What kind of an idiot does this?


I would no sooner but a bumper sticker on my car (try removing it one day and see the damage that is left behind) than I’d affix it to a sweet furry dude’s head. Just think about pulling off a heavy duty adhesive bandage and what it can take with it and then you will realize how painful it could be.

Of course, I also have to be honest, and say that there is no love lost on NY’s Rudy. Just go to my foundation’s site to the page that has continued to detail the health issues suffered by our first responders at Ground Zero.

I have been keeping a log of articles, videos, related films, you name it, since October 3, 2001. I am no stranger to the adverse effects of poor air quality. It is the reason that I am on disability today along with another school psychologist who also shared an office with me . . . an office that was contaminated with STACHYBOTRYS MOLD . . . in a school building that had to be closed and major abatement done. You know, the kind of work where you see those men in the protective suits having to clean up the contamination.rudy2.gif

Please, go watch the movie, Dust to Dust: The Health Effects of 9/11

And, please watch a great film by Robert Greenwald that is based on comprehensive factual information. Be sure to watch the film, broken into three parts, and to check out each link below it for the background information that was utilized.

The REAL Rudy – Part 1: Abandoned Heroes


The REAL Rudy – Part 2: The Radios


The REAL Rudy – Part 3: Command Center
Command Center FACT SHEET


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Zack’s Machine by Ken Sheetz: People weren’t the only ones who lost friends on 9/11.

A Dad and his Kids

Shortly after 9/11 we learned of a special tale written by Nan Schramm about her two Goldens who had survived 9/11. You see, Nan and her family lived 1 1/2 blocks south of the World Trade Center.

Entitled, Two Who Survived, it tells the tale of two Goldens who survived very traumatic beginnings, and then were met again with tragedy.

To know what these sweet dogs had been through, it was especially hard to then receive this October 1, 2006 update to Nan’s story about one of her young rescue Goldens.

Rochelle, we had to say good-bye to Hope today. She developed spinal lymphoma in the blink of an eye and Thursday could not get up. We are in the darkest place we have even been and I simply cannot remember a pain so acute. She was our one in a million girl. The vets wondered if 9/11 dust somehow brought on this rarity.

It was Nan’s story that immediately came to mind when I happened to recently come upon two separate articles.

Crashed carsThe first was quite distressing as it relayed a car accident in which a woman’s body was strapped in her wrecked car for four days, lost to the world until discovered by accident amidst the brush. Janet Patrick had been making her first trip along the Great Ocean Rd to visit a cousin.


When she did not arrive last Tuesday police were called. It took Saturday’s mirror accident to confirm the worst fears of Ms Patrick’s family.

“The police couldn’t find her for four days. It was so agonising,” Ms Patrick’s elderly widowed mother, Meryl, said. “At least we know. Although she lost her life, she has been found. It was such a relief in that way. Now I’m caring for her beautiful golden retriever, and he’s been sitting staring out the window. They know. He’s just watching and waiting.”

The loss of Janet’s life affected many, as we all, furry or otherwise, grieve.

The second article detailed a short film, entitled Zack’s Machine, that I had missed. The trailer for the film provided the following description:

The big story of a little dog who must survive after losing her master on 9/11. Dedicated to all the animal rescue teams who saved pets all over New York in the days that followed that terrible day. Playing at 7 film festivals already and counting! The version starring the voice talent of Edward Asner – Lou Grant on the MTM hit – plays Monday August 27, 2007 at the Camelot theater as part of the Palm Springs Film Fest.

Be sure to check out this great article that details Ed Asner’s involvement with the film, as Ed has been a passionate crusader for the victims of 9/11.

This 9 minute short, written and directed by a gifted up and coming filmmaker named Kenneth Sheetz, takes a poignant look at the events of September 11, 2001 from the perspective of a tiny puppy who finds herself alone and trapped in her New York City apartment when her new master, Zack, goes missing on 9/11. Although short in length, this film packs a powerful punch and works its way into your heart. The entire film plays out from the puppy’s point of view. We watch her master Zack go through his typical morning routine, which includes putting out food and water for puppy Sophia and playing with her for a bit, before heading out the door to his job in lower Manhattan at the World Trade Center. Moments later sirens begin to blare and chaos ensues in the city and these disturbing sounds are heard through the apartment alerting the tiny dog to possible imminent danger.

Sophia, the Puppy in Zack’s phone rings and his answering machine records a frantic message from his mother who is far away and desperately trying to piece together her son’s whereabouts. You can hear the terror and heartache in her voice as the camera focuses on Zack’s confused puppy. The incomparable Ed Asner is suddenly and distinctively heard through the answering machine as Zack’s father. He is urgently trying to come to the rescue and announces that he and Zack’s mother will be driving from Chicago to New York since there is no other way to confirm the safety of their son. Asner’s character makes a regretful and guilt ridden admission into the machine expressing his deep remorse at his distant relationship with Zack. You can hear the pleading in the weary tone of his voice.

All the while, puppy Sophia’s big eyes express a palpable vulnerability as she senses that her master is in trouble and she is trapped with little food and water. Using all of her might, she escapes her crate and manages to search the apartment for food, water and a sense of safety and comfort. Eventually, through a series of events we see the dog struggling throughout the apartment and getting into trouble trying to fend for herself as days pass. We hear Ed Asner’s voice on the answering machine once again to announce an unfortunate delay in his and his wife’s trip to New York. The answering machine becomes Zack’s parents’ only lifeline in their desperate attempts to reach their son. The fear in their voices is piercing to the soul, as is the expression in Zack’s puppy’s eyes.

Ed was attracted to the film because he liked the idea of it and the music of it. “I saw the rough cut of [the film] when Ken Sheetz was approaching me to do the voice of the father and gladly agreed. It was a very interesting approach to that tragic day.”

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!

But ‘Big Brother’ said the air at Ground Zero was safe

Judge Slams Ex-EPA Chief Over Sept. 11
By Larry Neumeister, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK – A federal judge blasted former Environmental Protection Agency chief Christine Todd Whitman on Thursday for reassuring New Yorkers soon after the Sept. 11 attacks that it was safe to return to their homes and offices while toxic dust was polluting the neighborhood.

U.S. District Judge Deborah A. Batts refused to grant Whitman immunity against a class-action lawsuit brought in 2004 by residents, students and workers in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn who said they were exposed to hazardous materials from the collapse of the World Trade Center.

“No reasonable person would have thought that telling thousands of people that it was safe to return to lower Manhattan, while knowing that such return could pose long-term health risks and other dire consequences, was conduct sanctioned by our laws,” the judge said.

She called Whitman’s actions “conscience-shocking,” saying the EPA chief knew that the fall of the twin towers released tons of hazardous materials into the air. A call to a spokeswoman for Whitman was not immediately returned.

The judge let the lawsuit proceed against the EPA and Whitman, permitting the plaintiffs to try to prove that the agency and its administrator endangered their health. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and reimbursement for cleanup costs and asks the court to order that a medical monitoring fund be set up to track the health of those exposed to trade center dust.

In her ruling, Batts noted that the EPA and Whitman said repeatedly — beginning just two days after the attack — that the air appeared safe to breathe. The EPA’s internal watchdog later found that the agency, at the urging of White House officials, gave misleading assurances.

Quoting a ruling in an earlier case, the judge said a public official cannot be held personally liable for putting the public in harm’s way unless the conduct was so egregious as “to shock the contemporary conscience.” Given her role in protecting the health and environment for Americans, Whitman’s reassurances after Sept. 11 were “without question conscience-shocking,” Batts said.


It was not surprising to learn that the former EPA Chief recently refused to testify before a congressional subcommittee on post-9/11 air quality. But, I sure did get a kick out of Congressional Chairman Nadler’s response:

It is my fervent hope that the former EPA employees, and in particular Ms. Whitman, will willingly cooperate with the Subcommittee’s inquiry. And moreover, I would strongly urge the Administration to encourage her appearance, given her absolutely central role in these matters, so that the American people may finally hear her direct answers to lingering, unanswered questions about the federal government’s failed response to the environmental aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks. That is the only way to get to the truth and do right by the heroes and victims of 9/11. And it is the only way we can ensure that our federal government is prepared to protect the health and safety of Americans should, G-d forbid, anything like this happen again in the future.

The real surprise came a mere three days later, when in a turnaround, Whitman agreed to testify at the house inquiry. It will actually mark her First-Ever Congressional Appearance on a Hearing Dedicated Solely to EPA’s Response to the NYC WTC Attacks. I am just embarrassed for all the heroes and victims of 9/11 that such an inquiry took so many years to come about. I guess that is what happens when ‘Big Brother’ feels his actions are unassailable.


It is what we DON’T yet know about the long-term effects of the air quality at the World Trade Center site that is so frightening. So many put their lives on the line and are now suffering lingering illnesses. And, many of our beloved dogs worked the site, in both disaster and therapy roles. This environmental issue is especially significant given my own history. Let me explain. . . . . .

Many folks ask how I have been able to create and run this huge Land of PureGold site. Well, I’ve been at it since 1997, but the main reason is that I am on a disability retirement and only do very limited private practice and school psychology consultant work now, although I used to work fulltime as a school psychologist in a public system, teach graduate school, and work extensively in private practice. In the Harford County Public School System in Maryland, I worked in a small, non-ventilated, non-windowed office at Edgewood Middle School for eight years. It was consumed by mold and despite continual complaints, nothing was done.

My secretary and fellow psychologists suffered from respiratory problems constantly, and my secretary and I both had unexplained, spontaneous nose bleeds as well. My health deteriorated to the point that I was unable to drive to work without falling asleep at the wheel. I now suffer from a multitude of disorders (mixed connective tissue disease, extreme environmental allergies, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome) and remain at home a good deal of the time.

By the way, that office I worked in. Well, after I went out on disability and the problems increased, the parents started complaining due to their children having increased breathing problems and asthma attacks. And, guess what? The school was closed and major abatement needed to be done with those men in the protective suits having to clean up the contamination. And, where was the worst concentration found? Yup, my office. That’s where the STACHYBOTRYS MOLD, plus others, was highest. Stachybotrys is that mold that has been featured on numerous news magazine shows, as it usually sends folks running from homes, and then needing to rebuild as their old homes cannot be salvaged.

Because my own health problems and disability are a function of air quality issues, I have had a particular interest in the health of the responders at Ground Zero. In fact, I have cataloged hundreds of pivotal articles related to this issue since October 2001.

As five years have now gone by since the attacks, we
have now begun to get a picture of how dangerous Big Brother can be when ‘he’ decides what it is we should and should not be told. The ramifications are far-reaching, especially given the following news video detailing a study about the effect of the damage on babies exposed to the toxins in utero.

Watch it please.

Toxins From 9/11 May Have Caused Developmental Problems In Children

Five Years Later . . .


At my Foundation site I have been following the health issues of those 2-footed and 4-footed folks who worked at Ground Zero. There are 5 years of articles and information and the picture that is painted is not a happy one, even though they believe the dogs comparatively fared rather well.

You can learn more about the 5 year study at the website for 9-11 Search and Rescue Dog Medical Surveillance. Here is a recent article on the research work being done.

Studying Health Effects On 9/11 Rescue Dogs
By Teresa Garcia,ABC 7 News

The dust, smoke and chemicals contained in those huge billowing clouds following the 9/11 attacks caused massive breathing problems among the rescue workers who responded. But, only now are scientists beginning to look at the long term side-effects our four-legged rescuers may be facing.

Now a study is underway to get a look at the effects on dogs. MRIs used to only be available to humans. Now they’re available to pets too. Four dogs have come to Redwood City with handlers from around the U.S. to the Pet Imaging Center as part of a five-year study.

The four search and rescue dogs ranging from 7 to 11-years-old will get their own MRIs to check their health conditions.

There’s more ……

Be sure to also watch the video (in full screen format) by CLICKING HERE.