9/11 Responder Visits Museum, Honors Therapy Dog Nikie

Frank Shane and his therapy dog Chance visit a display with artifacts honoring Shane’s former therapy dog Nikie.
Frank Shane and Chance at Nikie’s display (credit: Jenny Pachucki)

During the recovery period at the World Trade Center site, Frank Shane, a certified trauma responder working in Mental Health Services, and Nikie, a K-9 Disaster Relief therapy dog, would visit respite areas to comfort workers who toiled to clear the wreckage. Nikie was not only a source of comfort, but also what Shane calls a “transitional object” that helped pull people out of the mental and emotional burden of their work at Ground Zero. Nikie became a very important presence at the site. Shane and Nikie worked at Ground Zero until the site was cleared and even participated in the Last Column ceremony by handing out flags to recovery workers.

After Nikie passed away in August 2004, Shane donated his therapy vest and dog booties, still stained from working on the site, to the 9/11 Memorial Museum. The items are now displayed in a section of the historical exhibition that documents the recovery period after 9/11. During the Museum’s dedication period last week, Shane, with his new therapy dog, Chance, visited the display dedicated to Nikie, his Ground Zero therapy dog who helped to restore a bit of peace and normalcy to the lives of many.

By Margaret Barng, 9/11 Memorial Deputy Communications Manager

Previous Post

Messages of Remembrance at 9/11 Memorial Museum

A large rusty beam from the Twin Towers is displayed beside four signing screens in Foundation Hall. The concrete slurry wall is visible in the background.

"Never forget," "always in our hearts," and "God bless." In the days after 9/11, these messages came to animate missing posters, signs and billboards. As recovery workers toiled to clear the devastation, they expressed their grief and solidarity by inscribing these words of hope on the Last Column, the last piece of steel to be removed from the World Trade Center site.

View Blog Post

Next Post

9/11 Memorial Honors Rescue and Recovery Workers

9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels, FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano, former firefighter Sal Cassano, and 9/11 Memorial Museum Director Alice Greenwald take part in a wreath laying next to the Survivor Tree on Memorial plaza.

Today, on the 12th anniversary of the official end of the rescue and recovery effort, the 9/11 Memorial laid a wreath at the Survivor Tree in honor of the thousands of workers who served with dedication and selflessness in the months after September 11.

View Blog Post