Category: Pets

REMEMBERING THE FOUR LEGGED HEROES OF SEPTEMBER 11

We remember the heroics and sacrifices made by first responders on September 11, 2001, but the stories of the four legged heroes are not as well known.  In the hours and days after the event rescue dogs worked side by side with their handlers to find victims buried in the rubble. Although not as celebrated as their human counterparts, these brave dogs risked their lives to save those who were trapped.

 

The longest living rescue dog from that day was a Golden Retriever named Bretagne (pronounced Brittnay).  As a 2 year old Bretagne worked side by side with the other rescue workers for ten grueling days locating survivors.  After the events of 9/11/01, Bretagne also worked hard in search, rescue and recovery events after hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ivan.  Formally retiring from search work at age 9, Bretagne continued to work as a goodwill ambassador and a reading assistance dog at her local elementary school.  Bretagne lived nearly 17 years, passing on June 6, 2016. As she entered to animal hospital local firefighter lined the sidewalk and saluted. Her life had such an impact in her community, there is currently a life-size bronze statue of her in a Houston suburb.  On days like today, people can visit the statue to reflect on what a good dog with a big heart can accomplish.

Bretagne received her dog training from her owner, and handler, Denise Corliss.  Corliss, who was a volunteer firefighter, began training Bretagne at only 8 weeks old.

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