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Blind Survivor Talks About His Best Friend
Monday, Sept. 17, 2001 - 12:00 AM ET

CBS Early Show

Bryant Gumbel reports.

NEW YORK -- Just as there are countless tales of loss and unimaginable grief, there have been a few stories that inspire a smile in the midst of the sorrow. Early Show Anchor Bryant Gumbel reports.

Michael Hingson, blind since birth, was in his office on the 78th floor of Tower One when the first plane hit. His guide dog, Roselle, was right there, as always. The smell of jet fuel was strong.

"She got up right away," said Hingson. "She came out from under the desk, where she was." After that, he added, "It was just a matter of following Roselle. We went to the stairwell and went down."

Hingson and Roselle, a 3-year-old yellow lab, were accompanied by a friend and business associate who was visiting from California. When they got out of the building, they were not aware that Tower Two had been hit. Soon, however, they were ducking into a subway, fleeing a chaotic scene of dust and debris.

Roselle and Hingson have been together for nearly two years. She is a trained guide dog from Guide Dogs for the Blind. Her reward for her work on Sept. 11? "Lots of extra sleep," reported Hingson, "and she got some dog biscuits."

Hingson worked for Quantum ATL, as the district sales manager. The computer company manufactures enterprise scale libraries and tape libraries that back up data for disaster recovery situations such as this.

ATL is currently offering its services free to companies affected in the disaster. Hingson continued working from home soon after the disaster. It is called ATL- NYDC Relief.

For more information about this program, visit Quantum ATL.

For more about dogs like Roselle, visit Guide Dogs for the Blind.

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Date last modified November 4, 2001