The dogs of 9-11: “Retrieved” tells the stories of the 12 search and rescue dogs still alive
More than 100 dogs took part in 9-11 search and rescue efforts.
A decade later, only a dozen of them are still alive.
They are the subject of Retrieved, a new book by Charlotte Dumas, a Dutch photographer who tracked down the last surviving 9-11 dogs – three died while she was working on the book — and tells their story in words and pictures.
Dumas, 34, traveled to nine states in the U.S. from Texas to Maryland to photograph the dogs, now living with their handlers, in their twilight years.
The book, which, came out Friday, tells the story of them all, including Kaiser, Tuff, Hoke, Red, Merlyn, Guinness, Bretagne, Tara, Moxie, Abigail and Scout.
(The book doesn’t mention one 9-11 dog who died two years ago — but whose genes live on in his five clones.)
Noted for her touching portraits of animals, Dumas wanted Retrieved to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also serve as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs.
“I felt this was a turning point, especially for the dogs, who although are not forgotten, are not as prominent as the human stories involved,” she said. “They speak to us as a different species, and animals are greatly important for our sense of empathy and to put things into perspective.”
Dumas contacted the New York Fire Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and discovered that out of nearly 100 dogs who were among the first responders, only 15 were still alive last year.
“They are all retired and I spent time with each of their handlers learning about their experiences,” Dumas said.
“The dogs are now old and they will soon pass away … These portraits are about how time passes, and how these dogs and their portraits are offering us a way to deal with the things that happened as well as relying on them for comfort.”
Since 2002, Charlotte Dumas has worked exclusively on photographic projects exploring the ways in which we use, define and relate to animals. Her previous works include Al Lavoro! (2011), Repose (2010), Paradis (2009), Heart Shaped Hole (2008), Reverie (2006), and Day is Done (2005).
(Photos: Tara (top) and Abigail; by Charlotte Dumas, from the book Retrieved)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 9-11, 911, abigail, book, books on dogs, bretagne, charlotte dumas, dogs, guinness, hoke, kaiser, merlyn, moxie, photography, portraits, red, retreived, scout, search and rescue, surviving, tara, the dogs of 9-11, tuff, world trade center