When I was a child, I was still sleeping when it started. My mother woke me and brought me to the television set. I can still recall the image of the towers falling- it was unfathomable. At school that day, I recall thinking that this must be a bad dream and fearing the sounds of planes flying overhead. Later in life, the fear has subsided; but, the people who were directly affected by 9/11 will always have to live with the horrible tragedies that occurred that day.

Brooke Foss Westcott once wrote, "Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards; they simply unveil them to the eyes of men." That fateful day revealed the heroes of New York and we have many to thank for their valor. The firefighters and first responders risked their lives to save those buried by debris and many of them perished. Among the first responders were thirteen canine search teams at Ground Zero, searching for and rescuing those who could be saved.

Gary & Baxter searching in Haiti

Photo: UN

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) works tirelessly to make sure firefighters and other first responders have resources they desperately need in the event of a disaster. SDF has worked with teams during 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and earthquakes in Haiti. The organization takes dogs out of shelters and sculpts them into heroes.

The dogs are adopted and sent to the canine evaluation and training center, where they participate in an eight-month program to learn the skills they will need to save lives. SDF also works with first responders to ensure that they are trained to work with the dogs in emergency situations. These situations are set up with temporary piles of rubble and timber.

Each dog must undergo this training and pass a final examination before he is deployed to a search and rescue team.

Mike, Scott & Billy on 9/11

Photo: Andrea Booher, FEMA News Photo

Today, we would like to honor SDF and the work they have done and continue to do. We would also like to thank and remember the 343 brave firefighters who lost their lives that day. We wish those affected the best and hope to let them know: we remember.

Lastly, we'd like to call attention to a few other organizations that work to keep Americans safe. In addition to SDF, EntirelyPets supports a variety of other non-profit organizations that work to create invaluable resources for the American people. We would like to thank these organizations, which include the US Military Dogs and the K9 Unit Police Dogs. Both organizations work to prevent terrorist attacks and keep Americans safe.

US Military dogs are trained in combat and act as scouts, sentries and trackers. One US Military dog, Cairo, was used in Operation Neptune Spear, which was the mission where Bin Laden was finally found and killed. K9 Unit police dogs are trained to smell explosives to ensure safety throughout the USA and prevent further terrorist activity.

To support SDF, you can donate or sign up to volunteer through their website. You can also find a line of multivitamins and supplements to promote healthy joints, digestive function, and skin & coat in dogs that are produced and distributed by SDF here. A portion of the proceeds from each product goes towards training new SDF Canine Search Teams and each product is made here in the USA.