Named Bretagne, she was one of the many search and rescue dogs sent to the site of the Twin Towers following the 9/11 attacks. Despite there being no survivors to be found amongst the wreckage, the bright young Golden Retriever soon became a source of comfort and therapy for the people working tirelessly through the rubble and dust. Bretagne's pet parent, Denise Corliss, remembers that they would stop to pet her soft coat, and share stories of missing friends, lost loved ones, and colleagues: "Dogs can be so comforting, so it makes sense to me now. I didn’t anticipate that then."
Following the duo's efforts in New York, Denise and Bretagne would go on to be deployed to a number of other disaster sites, and helped the efforts in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, as well as the clean-ups following Rita and other major storms. Despite receiving training from Disaster City, a training facility in Texas, there were times when Bretagne’s bravery worried even Corliss: "There were still times when I held my breath and said, 'I hope she does this right. I hope she’s OK.'"
The concerned pet parent needn't have worried, as Bretagne excelled in her role as a search and rescue dog until her retirement from Texas Task Force 1 in 2009. In the years since she left the force, the Golden Retriever worked for a local fire department as a search and rescue dog, and later in elementary school classrooms, helping children to learn how to read.
However, as Bretagne reached 16 years of age, Denise noticed that she had started to slow down somewhat, and was no longer enjoying life as she had done; the difficult decision to have the beloved dog euthanized was made.
In a touching tribute to Bretagne's many years of service, and her dedication to helping others, she was given a hero's farewell. Members of local fire departments and rescue workers, lined the sidewalk as the canine hero made her final trip into the veterinarian, and as her body was later taken home.
Thank you for your service, Bretagne; you will be missed by us all.