Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust

Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust

4.2 351
by Michael Hingson, Susy Flory

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Faith. Trust. Triumph.

“I’m sorry,” the doctor said. “He is permanently and totally blind. There is nothing we can do for him.”

George and Sarah Hingson looked at each other, devastated. Their six-month-old son, Michael was a happy, strawberry blond baby boy, healthy and normal in every way except one. When the

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Faith. Trust. Triumph.

“I’m sorry,” the doctor said. “He is permanently and totally blind. There is nothing we can do for him.”

George and Sarah Hingson looked at each other, devastated. Their six-month-old son, Michael was a happy, strawberry blond baby boy, healthy and normal in every way except one. When the Hingsons switched on a light or made silly faces, Michael did not react. Ever. “My best suggestion is that you send him to a home for the blind,” the doctor continued. “He will never be able to do anything for himself.”

Forty-seven years later, a yellow Labrador retriever puppy was born in the whelping unit of Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California. The puppy’s name was Roselle. On September 11, 2001, she saved Michael’s life. This is Roselle’s story too.

—From the Introduction

Every moment in Michael Hingson’s and Roselle’s lives seemed to lead up to this day. When one of four hijacked planes flew into the World Trade Center’s north tower on September 11, 2001, Michael Hingson, a district sales manager for a data protection and network security systems company, was sitting down for a meeting. His guide dog, Roselle, was at his feet. Paired for twenty-one months, man and dog spent that time forging a bond of trust, much like police partners who trust their lives to each other.

Michael couldn’t see a thing, but he could hear the sounds of shattering glass, falling debris, and terrified people flooding around him and Roselle. However, Roselle sat calmly beside him. In that moment, Michael chose to trust Roselle’s judgment and not to panic. They were a team.

Thunder Dog is a story that will forever change your spirit and your perspective. It illuminates Hingson’s lifelong determination to achieve parity in a sighted world and how the rare trust between a man and his guide dog can inspire an unshakable faith in each one of us.

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Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
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5.60(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.70(d)

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Thunder Dog 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 351 reviews.
rtwins More than 1 year ago
Each tower has three stairwells. We head for Stairwell B, in the center. Safety is somewhere down below and 1,463 stairs are the only way out. ~ Michael Hingson Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson with Susy Flory is an autobiography of the author and his service guide dog and companion, Roselle. This touching and heartwarming story is different in scope than most books about September 11, 2001 and will forever change your spirit and perspective of this tragic day. Roselle is afraid of thunderstorms. The author had been up with his dog throughout the previous night during the thunder and lightning, but woke and went to work, September 11, 2001. When one of the hijacked planes flew into the World Trade Center's north tower, Roselle was fearless. Michael Hingson's description of their descent to the ground level is more detailed than any sighted account I've read to this date. His senses are so alert that he vividly describes smells, sounds, and reactions from Roselle that paint pictures for the reader. This book is not only about 9/11, but about his life as a blind man growing up in America. Throughout his journey down the stairs of the World Trade Center, he reflects on his lifetime of learning, and relates how he used that stored knowledge to his advantage in this situation. I learned little known information that happened on the inside of the WTC, until the printing of this story. My favorite part was the author sharing how God spoke to his heart and mind during this ordeal, calming and bring peace to his soul. I also learned about service dog training and how they are literally partners with their masters. This book concludes with a wealth of useful information including: a timeline for Sept. 11, 2001, 10 Courtesy Rules For Blindness, Blindness: A Left-handed Dissertation by Kenneth Jernigan, many resources for blindness, and a glossary on terms related to blindness. You will be captivated how Michael Hingson and Roselle depended on each other and God to live through this day.
KC2010 More than 1 year ago
Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson is the true story of his escape from the World Trade Center on September 11th with the help of his faithful guide dog Roselle. This story was so inspiring, and so amazing that I must recommend it to everyone! The detailed account of their descent from the 78th floor of the World Trade Center during the terrorist attacks, while amazing, is not the heart of the story. The story of how Michael Hingson overcame blindness to do things that a sighted person wouldn't imagine possible for a blind man is truly what makes this book great. The obstacles he has overcome and the accessibility that he helped pioneer for the blind community is awe-inspiring. This book made me think of blindness in an entirely new way. The limitations that so many sighted people place on blind people are really our own limitations. Reading about the work and training of the guide dogs was also very interesting. I highly recommend this book to everyone. Learning how to interact with others who have blindness is the best thing I took away from this book. Every person should read this and learn from this story! They will learn what courage really looks like! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze .com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
crichmanfreebies More than 1 year ago
Thunder Dog is a book that is like no other! It is a true story of man who is blind, his guide dog, and ground zero. It is written by Michael Hingson with Susy Flory and published by Thomas Nelson. Anything about ground zero hits close to home for me as my husband is a firefighter. Reading this book, opened my eyes even more than I could have thought. Thanks to this wonderful seeing eye dog, and the courage both dog and owner had, they were both able to walk out of the tower when the first plane hit. Going down the stairs with a calmness that helped others in the process of it all. This truly is a heartfelt story, and I recommend it to any dog lover, firefighter, emergency responder and family of anyone involved in emergency response or the terror that took place on that fateful day. I am a huge animal lover, and I know their capabilities. To read the bravery and sincerity of this dog, along with it's loyalty to it's owner really moves me. This book is an A+ read!!!
ceeceelee More than 1 year ago
Every life lost on 9/11 was a treasure we will never recover but as I read Michael's story, I could not believe what an unimaginable loss of knowledge and experience in human factor design for the blind community would have gone with him if he had not made it out of the Twin Towers that day. You must read this story. It is so multi-faceted. Very well done. (I did not receive a complimentary copy of the book - I purchased it on my own.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that this book is an amazing story. This story really touches my heart. I compared thunder to my dogs and my dogs are nothing like thunder
middletree More than 1 year ago
Thanks for Thomas Nelson Publishing's Booksneeze program, I received a free copy of Thunder Dog, by Michael Hingson and Susy Flory for review purposes. I got it a few days ago and devoured it in very short order. The book is Mr. Hingson's account of his experience as a survivor of the attacks on the World Trade center in September of 2001. He worked on the 78th floor of the first tower to be hit, and the bulk of the story is about his journey down the stairs, guided by his guide dog Roselle. It's a great story bu itself, but made much more interesting by interspersed glimpses in the life of the author, starting as a child whose parents refused to send to a special school for the blind. They insisted he live as normal a life as possible, which sounds great in theory, but a little scary in practice. For example, they let him ride a bike as a kid. A blind boy was allowed to ride a bicycle throughout the neighborhood. using his sense of where obstacles should be to guide him and keep him from harm's way. As a whole, the story works. It's moving, exciting, heartwarming, heart-tugging, and powerful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about a blind man namead michael hingston and his guide dog, roselleand how they escaped the north tower (tower1) in the world trade center on9/11 2001. This is the greatest book i have ever read in my whole life. One of the reasons i love this book is that it tells you about michaels past and how it be born blind. I highly recommend this amazing true stry to everyone weather you are young or old boy or girl, this book is perfect for everyone. :-)
tallTale More than 1 year ago
I thought that this was pretty good, but to be honest I skipped the last 30 pages or so, as it was sort of confusing for me. It did a lot of jumping around towards the end, from Michael to his wife to somebody comparing a blind person to left handed people (was that Michael or someone else explaining I still don't know!) It's pretty moving as a book and I have a lot of respect for the guide dog and man in the book. I also have a new understanding of blind people, which I appreciate. BUT, and while I understand the author had a near death experience and is deeply religious, and I wouldn't of minded a little insight of this; I felt there was too much. Not that it was preachy so much, as I just didn't feel it was needed, and took away from the real story in my mind. When it started quoting psalms, it really withdrew me from the book, and from there to the end, I wasn't so into it. Glad I read it, and the beginning was very good, but because I skipped pages at the end, I couldn't give it five stars.
jenn komansky More than 1 year ago
Couldnt put it down one of the most fascinating books i have ever read very highly reccomended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My classmates at school recomennded the book. The first couple of pages are boring but as you go on it gets better. Cio from Jallo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book will make you cry
Books4Tomorrow More than 1 year ago
Reading Thunder Dog was a suspenseful, frightening and yet deeply spiritual experience. Starting with a thunder storm in the early hours of 11 September 2001, Michael Hingson and his guide dog, Roselle, takes the reader through the horrifying events at the World Trade Center. From the moment the first plane crashes into the north tower, down 1,463 steps and out into the chaos of the streets that surround the WTC, to the collapse of the towers and the author's perilous journey home; this is a reading experience nobody should miss. Having owned and trained numerous dogs and having had guide dogs of my own, I'm going to start my rave about this book with Roselle. Although a guide dog must be able to keep calm and continue working under most circumstances, it is still remarkable that Roselle, who is afraid of thunder, kept her head during the noise and stressful atmosphere of 9/11. More than that, she found time to touch the hearts of a woman who started panicking as well as a fire fighter on his way to the inferno higher up in the building. "He gives Roselle one last pat. She kisses his hand and then he is gone. I would realize later that this touch was probably the last unconditional love he ever got." Each chapter starts with a relevant quote that ties into the contents of that chapter. While the author tells about his experiences, he frequently flashes back to his youth and his life as a blind person. Although this is highly informative, it also serves to crank up the suspense of how, and in what state, he will eventually emerge from this disaster. Thunder Dog is called a page-turner in the foreword with good reason. The information about blindness and guide dogs in this book is presented in a positive, even fascinating way. Part of one chapter, told from Michael's wife's point of view, emphasizes the concern and fear felt by the loved ones of those caught up in the events of 9/11. The descriptions of what Michael experiences through hearing, touch and smell while exiting the building and leaving the area, is so vivid that it creates a realistic feeling of menace and fear for the reader. Add to this the scenes of chaos, seen through the eyes of a business associate, David Frank, and Thunder Dog becomes a book that truly lets one experience that day in history. Apart from all the descriptions and recollections in this book, there is also a profound spirituality to it. The question of faith and trust in God is addressed in a touching manner that definitely made an impact on me.  "We have to get out of the dust or we are going to die. But even in the dust cloud, with my guide dog now blind, too, I feel God’s presence. He is with me. I am not alone. I am running with Roselle." Thunder Dog is not without its fair share of humor. The author has a fine sense of humor which is liberally distributed throughout the book. While walking down the 1,463 steps, isolated from what is happening outside, he makes the following suggestion: “I have an idea. On our first day back in the tower, let’s all meet on the 78th floor at 8:45 a.m. and walk down the stairs as a way to lose weight.” For a reading experience that will have you alternating between nail-biting suspense, the occasional laugh, and definitely a few tears, I recommend this unforgettable book as an absolute must read. Join Michael and Roselle on their walk to safety and share in their fear, uncertainty, mutual trust and eventual victory. (Ellen Fritz)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hockeyrules More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing, though by the 2nd paragraph on page 2 I was crying. Michael Hingson is a person that everyone needs to know. It's a story about Michael and his Guide Dogs. It talks about 9/11 and his heroing escape from the North Tower, with Roselle, his then Guide Dog at his side. You can't put this book down and be prepared for tears. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a true story about an amazing man and his Guide Dog! Thank you Michael for sharing your story!!!
jyoumans More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book alot. It opened my eyes to the life of a person with a guide dog and it also gave me a new perspective to being blind. When I read a book, I always want to learn something and/or learn a new perspective. This met that need. Roselle and Michael bonded like no other relationship I have experienced and the horrific acts of 9/11 showed that. I also appreciated Michael's challenges he has had to encounter in his life and what a difference a parent can make in the attitude/success of a child. I recommend this book - even with the tragedy surrounding what this book illustrates, it still makes you hopeful and energized to keep going "forward".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thunder Dog is the best book I was born on 9/11/01 so it was even more special for me to read. You should read it. You will enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great true story of personal experience within the tragic happenings of the terror attack on 9-11. I gained new respect for the way blind people live their lives, and how their guide dogs help them to function.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very informative on blindness, adaptations in the world and laws. Very heartfelt account of surviving 9/11 and the love of service dog Roselle. By the title, I thought there would be more about Roselle, the dog, rather than the blind history, but overall a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thunder Dog is no page turner. It is well written and enlightening as a book describing the life a blind man is capable of living; in that sense, it opened my mind to a new way of viewing the blind. However, I was disappointed that the description of the author's experience on 9/11 was not more dramatic. In fact, the escape from the tower with the help of his guide dog is only a small part of the book, being interrupted frequently by stories of the author's birth, childhood, education and employment and the history of technology that aids the blind. However, if you have an interest in guide dogs, getting a peek into the everyday life of a blind man or you are looking for a motivational biography of a man with a can-do attitude, you may like it. Look elsewhere to read about 9/11.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a good book... For all ages! My 10-year-old dauter loved it, too. This author has beautiful writing, I feel sooo connected to the characters. I totally recommend this to anyone and everyone. I guarentee you will enjoy, it is not a waste of dough at all!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing read!!! Read it in just one day! His story is truly amazing and gives a sense of hope no matter what the situation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. I highly recommend it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best book ive read in my life even though im 9 years old!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought this on sale, read it in hours. Great story remembering 9/11, depicting teamwork and a gammut of emotions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book I've read in a long time! Highly recommend.