Roselle, Who Led Her Blind Owner Down 78 Floors On 9/11
Maybe you've previously sat back and tried to picture what it was like in the World Trade Center's north tower on September 11, 2001. We're talking about the people in the 90 floors that were below where the plane hit, who heard and felt a loud boom above them and then realized they'd better start heading down before the entire building definitely collapsed. Evacuating during that chaos had to be a scary ordeal for anyone, evacuate-into-your-pants scary. Now picture having to do it while blind.
Computer salesman Michael Hingson was on the 78th floor that day, and his guide dog Roselle was asleep under a desk when the impact woke her up. She led Michael all the way to safety, through stairwells neither has presumably ever navigated, down 1,463 steps. Or rather, she led a group of 30 people -- turns out legal blindness wasn't as big a deal as we just said it was because everyone was having problems seeing and was happy to have a confident dog pointing the route forward. Roselle only stopped along the way to comfort a panicked woman, by licking her. And once they were on the ground, she acted as a guide to another woman they met, whose eyes were injured from the debris.
The story then took a dark turn; she had to meet Larry King.
Wow, that truly was a one-of-a-kind story. Except, no, turns out there was also a guide dog on the 71st floor the south tower. His owner, Omar Rivera, worked at Port Authority headquarters, and when the first plane hit, his computer crashed off his desk. Salty, a yellow lab, led him into the stairwell. But about halfway through their descent, Omar realized there was so much smoke around them and so much confusion that they were going too slow. There was little chance of them making it out together. He let go of the dog's leash, and pushed him to go onward alone.
That didn't really work out, because Salty was a guide dog, not an abandon dog. After going a little ahead, he ran right back to Omar. Leading him all the way down took more than an hour, during which time plane number two hit the building they were fleeing. They got out with just a couple minutes to spare and sprinted two blocks away before the tower collapsed. Salty kept working as a guide dog for years after that, then went on to a retirement filled with tennis balls.
Oddball, Dispatched To Save The Littlest Penguins
Content warning: The following story contains so many beloved elements that it should be the home page of the entire internet.
Penguins are cute. Small penguins are cuter. The smallest penguins in the world are a species officially called the "little penguin," because birdologists don't mess around when it comes to selling you on how cute these guys are. In Australia, they instead call little penguins "fairy penguins," because as Australia's Minister of Birds put it, "You think 'little penguins' sounds cute? Sod off, you plonker, we're going to use a name that's so cute, you will immediately die."
JJ Harrison/Wiki Commons
They are also literally fairies and have much skill with magic.