the word Lynne Engelbert whispers into her dog Lucys ear when she
needs her to find the dead: a body, a piece of skin, even a tooth
that will give an answer to someones loved ones.
And in late September 2001, crossing a pile of mangled steel that
used to be part of the World Trade Center complex, the 10-year-old
Border collie followed that command, returning to sit by her handlers
side to announce a discovery.
me, said Engelbert, a volunteer from Saratoga, California, who
is now taking part in a three-year Penn-based study of the September
11 search-and rescue dogs and their handlers.
Lucy went to the spot, tapped it with her nose, and came back with
an ebullience that could not be misread. She was in my face: Ive
done my job. Give me my reward.
Engelbert, a veteran rescue-worker from the Oklahoma City bombing
who works professionally as an emergency-response-and-recovery program
coordinator for NASA, couldnt see anything, but she knew that Lucy
had given a rock-solid alert. So she took off her glove and used
it to play a game of tug with her dog.
Four hours later, the body of a firefighter was recovered deep within
the wreckage at that very spot.