Omar Eduardo Rivera is visually impaired, and, until September 11, 2001, he worked as a computer programmer on the 71st floor of the World Trade Center with his guide dog, Dorado. The two were at work when the plane hit. Rivera thought that there was no way he would be able to make it down the stairs fast enough so he put his dog, Dorardo, first. He unleashed Dorado, gave him a hug, and ordered him to go - “I thought I was lost forever—the noise and the heat were terrifying—but I had to give Dorado the chance of escape.”
In the rush of what was going on, Dorado was swept away but within minutes, Dorado had found his way back to Rivera and stood right by his side. He refused to leave his owner behind. The two slowly made their way down the stairs - Dorado guiding his owner with the help of one co-worker who saw them struggling. It took them an hour to get down to the first floor and within moments, the tower collapsed. Rivera declares that he owes his life to his loyal best friend, Dorado.