"I stood up and I could hear how pieces of glass were flying around and falling. I could feel the smoke filling up my lungs and the heat was just unbearable," he says.
"Not having any sight I knew I wouldn't be able to run down the stairs and through all the obstacles like other people. I was resigned to dying and decided to free Dorado to give him a chance of escape. It wasn't fair that we should both die in that hell.
"I thought I was lost forever. The noise and the heat were terrifying, but I had to give Dorado the chance of escape. So I unclipped his lead, ruffled his head, gave him a nudge and ordered Dorado to go."
Dorado was swept away by the crowds of people fleeing the chaotic inferno. But in the hellish searing pandemonium, the dog fought his way back to his master. Having accepted that he would die, Rivera felt the animal at his side. Then through dark stairwells in a descent that stretched out over an hour, with terrified people shoving past them, Dorado guided his charge to safety.
On this day of remembrance, visit Mental Floss for more inspiring stories of canine loyalty.