Honouring our rescue dogs.

In this case, honouring one particular one.

As many know, yesterday was the fourteenth anniversary of when those two planes struck the towers of the World Trade Centre. Thus it seemed beautifully appropriate to recognise the life of the last living 9/11 rescue dog by republishing the article just published on Mother Nature News.

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Last living 9/11 rescue dog rewarded with epic day

Bretagne traveled to NYC to be honored for her weeks of service at Ground Zero.

By: Laura Moss, September 11, 2015.

At 16, Bretagne is a senior dog, but that hasn't slowed her down. She now volunteers at schools. (Photo: BarkPost)
At 16, Bretagne is a senior dog, but that hasn’t slowed her down. She now volunteers at schools. (Photo: BarkPost)

About 100 search-and-rescue dogs scoured the twisted steel beams and crumbled concrete of the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and today, Bretagne (pronounced “Brittany”) is the last known living 9/11 search-and-rescue dog. And she just had the best day ever.

To honor Bretagne for her service and celebrate her 16th birthday, BarkPost teamed up with the dog-friendly 1 Hotel Central Park to give the golden retriever a “Dog’s Best Day” that included a full day of treats and activities in New York City.

When Bretagne arrived in New York with her owner and handler Denise Corliss, she was greeted by a personalized billboard in Times Square.

Photo: BarkPost
Photo: BarkPost

Then she was off to play in the water at Hudson River Park, where she was presented with the doggie version of the Key to the City.

Former search-and-rescue teammates attended Bretagne’s sweet-16 party later that day, where she received a variety of toys and treats — and her very own birthday cake.

Photo: BarkPost
Photo: BarkPost

Corliss was also presented with a $1,000 donation for Texas Task Force 1, Bretagne’s search-and-rescue team, which is the most active one in the country.

In addition to her recovery work at Ground Zero, Bretagne and Corliss also worked in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, and today, the senior dog serves her community by volunteering at school programs that teach children to read.

Corliss adopted Bretagne as an 8-week-old puppy in 1999, and after undergoing rigorous training, the two joined Texas Task Force 1. Their first deployment was to Ground Zero, where a search for survivors quickly turned into a search for human remains.

Bretagne with a firefighter and her owner and handler, Denise Corliss during her "Dog's Best Day." (Photo: BarkPost)
Bretagne with a firefighter and her owner and handler, Denise Corliss during her “Dog’s Best Day.” (Photo: BarkPost)

For two weeks, the golden retriever tirelessly worked 12-hour shifts at the former site of the World Trade Center, and one day, Bretagne walked away from Corliss, ignoring commands to come back. The 2-year-old dog made her way to a firefighter sitting on the ground, laid next to him and put her head in his lap.

“When we deploy to some of the disasters, what I didn’t anticipate is the role that they take on as a therapy dog,” Corliss told BarkPost. “It provides an opportunity for people to have support from the dog and comfort from the dog in a real difficult environment.”

Watch Bretagne enjoy her best day in the video below.

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Don’t these wonderful, fabulous animals just make your heart ache!

Jean and I salute Bretagne and all the other Search & Rescue dogs both here in America and all around the world.

9 thoughts on “Honouring our rescue dogs.

  1. “Bretagne walked away from Corliss, ignoring commands to come back. The 2-year-old dog made her way to a firefighter sitting on the ground, laid next to him and put her head in his lap.”

    Empathy. How wonderful, and deeply touching.

    1. Hariod, when I read today’s post out aloud to Jeannie yesterday evening I, too, choked up at that point. The wonderful way that Bretagne picked up on how that firefighter was feeling, a man she presumably had never before met, was beautiful beyond words.

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