Golden Retriever Riley: The Real Canine Hero from 9/11 – Updated

I have a page at the foundation site on our Disaster Search and Rescue Goldens. It details a great book, Dog Heroes of September 11th: A Tribute to America’s Search and Rescue Dogs. The book details the stories of 77 handlers and their Search and Rescue dogs who responded at the World Trade Center & Pentagon following the September 11th attacks. It shows a photo of Dissaster SAR Golden, Riley.

Riley is one of the most famous dogs of Sept. 11 because of a photo taken of him at the World Trade Center site a few days after the attacks. In the photo, Riley is in a basket being sent over a 60-foot-deep canyon to search the rubble of the North Tower. “Normally when we send a dog, the handler goes with him,” said Riley’s trainer, Chris Selfridge. “This time we decided it was more practical to just send the dog.

I also recently learned of video being available of Golden Riley through SAR worker and author extraordinaire, Susannah Charleson. She is most familiar with this apparatus on Riley as she has trained in activities with similar gear with her SAR Golden Puzzle.

It is wonderful to actually have footage of the Golden Retriever who really DID work at the World Trade Center (separating him from those preposterous claims made by Scott Shields).

Riley is now retired, and suffers from various skin problems and the like due to his time at Ground Zero.

Feb 26, 2010 Update
So sorry to hear this from
Riley’s dad, Chris Selfridge.

On 2/26/10, Riley passed away. He was our family pet, my friend and partner. He will be greatly missed. I love you Bub!


Showing GOLDEN Pride in our Military: Enjoy our Flash Presentation!


Be sure to check out our Golden Retriever flash slide show that honors our brave men and woman in the military. Currently, there are 35 glorious photos from Golden Retriever lovers all over the country. If you have one to add, we would love to add your beloved Golden “red white & blue” themed photo to the mix. Just watch the show to see what kind of quality we are looking for. And, send the photos in high resolution to me at .



Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet: Helping Golden Retrievers Buddy & Scout

As horrible as the war can be on family life, it has been additionally painful to hear about what can happen to beloved dogs due to deployments and the lack of support or monies to have them cared for. So, it was heartwarming to hear about this wonderful organization, Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet, especially on a holiday that honors those in military service. This incredible group finds loving foster homes for beloved companion animal family members while military personnel are away from home on deployment.

Check out this article to see how Derek Brown’s two golden retriever puppies, Buddy and Scout, who are brothers, were so lovingly cared for and waiting for him when he returned.

A doggone deal for soldiers
By Lora Pabst, Star Tribune

Derek Brown’s two golden retriever puppies, Buddy and Scout, are brothers, and he couldn’t bear to split them up when he left Duluth for six months for a National Guard security deployment on the U.S. border with Mexico. Like many Minnesotans who face military deployment, Brown wanted his pets to be waiting for him when he returned, but he didn’t want to burden his family with their care. He couldn’t afford a kennel, either.

“For military people, that can be a big burden financially,” said Brown, a senior airman in the 148th Fighter Wing in the Duluth Air Force National Guard. “With a kennel, you just never know what kind of care you’re going to get.” …

Brown had no idea that the foster family who volunteered to take in his dogs would stay in his life even after he returned from his deployment in February.Lynda Ludwig, of Chaska, cared for the nearly identical 18-month-old dogs. Originally, she had to put a black collar on Buddy and a red one on Scout to tell them apart. Now she’s close enough to them that they feel like her own, she said.

Since Brown returned from his deployment in Arizona, he brings his dogs to visit Ludwig. She is even dog-sitting while he goes on vacation. “The pets are a part of home,” Ludwig said. “It’s so important to have them there waiting for you.”

Sally White, of Burnsville, started the Minnesota chapter last June because she knew there were people out there like her who wanted to support troops “beyond a yellow ribbon bumper sticker.” With a son in the Marines and a background in animal rescue, she knew this was a service that was lacking in Minnesota. “So many of our military have to give up their pets,” she said. “There are no alternatives.”

Golden Retriever Beamer just could not resist

Never a video camera when you need one. I was amazed that 16! firefighters responded to this dog call, in fact, due to Golden Beamer’s quest to get personal with a woodchuck. You will have to read the story to learn what happened to one traumatized little critter.

The story reminds me of the poor critters (frogs, gecco lizards, you name it) that could not get away and have wound up in my Goldens’ soft mouths, thankfully to be removed, but now probably in need of psychological counseling lol.

A golden retrieve for rescue crew
By Tim Wagner, Beacon News Staff Writer

AURORA — The Aurora Township Fire Department hauled out the jaws of life Sunday to help retrieve a golden retriever. At about 12:30 p.m. on an otherwise-quiet Mother’s Day, homeowners in the 1200 block of Gates Street called in reference to their golden retriever, Beamer, getting trapped beneath the concrete steps on their back porch.

Go read on to find out what happened . . .