The terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 shocked the entire world, with thousands of innocent people losing their lives that tragic day. In the aftermath, hundreds of search and rescue teams tirelessly sifted through the rubble at the World Trade Center in the hope of finding survivors. Among the rescue dogs that helped in the effort was a golden retriever named Bretagne. For more than two weeks, she worked 12-hour shifts searching for survivors at Ground Zero. Now, 15 years later, we regret to report that this canine hero has left us.
After the horrific terrorist attacks on New York City’s World Trade Center, golden retriever Bretagne took on an extremely important role. On top of searching for survivors, the dog also helped people process what they were experiencing, with some rescue workers even telling the dog their stories and sharing their feelings about their missing friends.
Bretagne’s owner told CNN, “Dogs can be so comforting, so it makes sense to me now. I just didn’t anticipate that, then.”
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Now, at age 16, Bretagne’s time on earth is over. According to CNN, she was the last surviving 9/11 Ground Zero rescue dog. Her health was quickly deteriorating and she suffered from many physical ailments. So her owner made the heart-rending decision to put her to sleep.
When Bretagne was brought to Fairfield Animal Hospital to be laid to rest, two rows of firefighters stood and saluted her in an emotional farewell to pay tribute to all she’s done.
“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,” the department wrote in a statement. “We will remember her fondly, and continue serving the community with her as inspiration.”
Watch a video of Bretagne’s final walk below:
Rest in peace, Bretagne.
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