The last known 9/11 rescue dog has been laid to rest
A hero's farewell to a dog that made a difference.
A Golden Retriever believed to be the last 9/11 Ground Zero search and rescue dog has passed away, just a few months before her 17th birthday.
Bretagne (pronounced "Brittany") and her owner Denise Corliss were part of the Texas Task Force 1 deployed to the World Trade Centre following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, where they, along with hundreds of other valiant search teams, tirelessly worked 12 hours a day for two straight weeks to try and find survivors among the rubble.
The courageous dog went on to aid response teams for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, consistently putting herself in danger to save human lives.
She left Texas Task Force 1 in 2009, retiring for good a few years later, and after suffering kidney failure, Corliss and her family made the difficult but ultimately necessary decision to have her put down.
But before the sad goodbye, came an entirely earned hero's salute from firefighters at the Cy-Fair Fire Department in Harris County, Texas, who lined the pathway to Fairfield Animal Hospital as her proud owner walked her into the vets.
According to the Houston Chronicle, an American flag was later draped over her body as she was carried out of the building.
Since her retirement, Bretagne has visited schools and sick children, as well as helping with the training of new search dogs.
A spokesperson for the fire department said: "Some may say that the most a dog could be is a pet, however, to the over 400 members of the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department, Bretagne was a civil servant, a hero and is family.
“We will remember her fondly and continue serving the community with her as inspiration.”
For her 16th birthday - the birthday we now know would turn out to be her last - Bretagne and Denise were given the VIP treatment they deserved. You can watch the video of that day below. Just have a few tissues handy.