Moxie, a search-and-rescue dog, worked 12-hour days at ground zero, on September 11th and through the following week.
She had been trained to find survivors… but she never found one.
She did play an important role, though. Keeping spirits up in a confusing and depressing time.
Mark Aliberti, Moxie’s handler, said:
"You couldn't walk through the site without people stopping to pet your dog. The F.D.N.Y. guys would want to hug your dog because they hadn't seen theirs for days. It keeps you motivated."
Moxie kept her handler grounded and on point when it would have been so easy to get overwhelmed.
Mr. Aliberti said:
"It's almost like you don't have time to get involved in your own stuff. You're going through a tough time but you have to take care of somebody.
The dog isn't thinking, 'Wow, look at this mess,' but if you're stressed out or wound up, the dog feels all that. The dogs did good, and they helped us do well."
Now 13-years-old, Moxie is the last of six search-and-rescue dogs that deployed from her Massachusetts task force.
The search at the World Trade Center was her first and last deployment, and probably for the best, Aliberti says:
"Moxie, although she's a good search dog, she never was the sharpest knife in the drawer," Aliberti says. "Things that should have bothered her – dangerous stuff – they didn't. She'd jump right in."
Sounds like a real hero dog.
While everyone is thankful for the service of the N.Y.F.D. many forget about the service dogs that played an equally important role of helping us out and keeping our hearts warm through one of our darkest days.
We wish Moxie many more happy years of retirement.
[Image via Fame Pictures.]
Tags: 9-11, fdny, fire fighter, hero, moxie, rescue dog