Bretagne, the last 9/11 ground zero search dog, passed away peacefully at the age of 16 in Cypress, Texas.
Her handler and longtime owner Denise Corliss knew it was time for Bretagne to say goodbye when she failed to eat for three consecutive days, as Today reported. At Fairfield Animal Hospital in Cypress, Bretagne received a heroine's welcome and was gently put to sleep. Her body upon leaving the hospital was draped in an American flag.
The faithful pup will "be transported in a formal procession from Fairfield Animal Hospital to Texas A&M University in College Station." In addition to her honorable work at Ground Zero, working with Denise day and night, Bretagne also became an icon in recent years as last year, she returned with Corliss to the sight of Ground Zero. At age 15, Bretagne had not been there since those fateful days in September 2001.
Corliss took Bretagne swimming almost every day after the pup's 13th birthday to foster her mobility in older age. Bretagne retired from search and rescue at age 9, but continued until her death to be a "reading assistance dog at an elementary school near her home."
Bretagne was truly a hero of a pup and it was an honor to have called her a resident of our state. Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department Captain David Padovan said it best to Today: "Just because she's a K9 doesn't make her any less of our department than any other member."
Rest in peace, Bretagne. You will be surely missed and your work will never be forgotten.