As we mark the 17th anniversary of the tragic attack on our nation, we would like to commemorate all victims and heroes who were affected on September 11th as well as their family and friends. On that day, countless heroes, civilian and professional, stepped up to help those in need and comforted those whom needed it most. Their sacrifice and bravery displayed on 9/11 is still, to this day, honored and appreciated and will be throughout history.

Alongside many of the courageous men and women serving the American public were specially trained dogs who assisted emergency rescue workers to locate missing persons, rescue them and after, provide therapy to those same people. Often working 12-hour shifts in dangerous      conditions, dogs conducted search and rescue operations just as they were trained and as a result, numerous lives were saved. From rescue dogs to support animals, dogs serve a number of roles that protect human life and provide support to those who need some comfort.

Fast forward to today and the number of jobs that dogs fulfill on a daily basis is increasing. From battling wildfires to supporting our veterans wounded in the line of duty, canines continue to serve tirelessly and selflessly. In schools, we are seeing dogs support students in need of emotional comfort and help those struggling with their academics or social interactions, giving them a safe space to vent their frustrations. Through patience and dedication, dogs have been trained to do incredible things for us in all aspects of our lives. Whether they are saving our lives or helping us get through a difficult time, our loyal pups serve us.

As we honor our hero dogs, we can take a moment to appreciate not just what they do to keep us safe but the strong bond we’ve formed with them as our pets and working partners. Saving lives and touching hearts is only a small part of the amazing things dogs do for us. From Chihuahuas to Labrador Retrievers, hardworking canines worldwide are proving that size and breed doesn’t make a difference when it comes to the impacts made on people’s lives. Working side-by-side with their handlers serves as a reminder that the need for unity, particularly during an emergency, is critical to success. That same thinking applies beyond tragedy, however. The need for unity and cooperation among all people is a keystone in building a society that provides opportunity for happiness and equality.

If there is any lesson to take away from the thousands of heroic dogs serving every day it is that we must remain resilient together and look towards the future with positivity and an open mind. Despite the struggles these dogs face, they return home with a lust for play and a desire to please. In honor of the incredible men, women, and canines who devote their lives to keep us safe and free, we at the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum give our sincerest thanks and will take the lessons they have taught us to heart and continue spreading the message of unity and resiliency.