This site is no longer being updated. Read more on pet behavior and wellness at The Wildest.

A Special Day for an Incredible Pup

BarkPost celebrates the birthday of the last known living 9/11 SAR dog.
By JoAnna Lou, September 2015, Updated June 2021
As we come upon the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I wanted to highlight Bretagne, the last known living search and rescue dog who worked at Ground Zero.  The Golden Retriever and her handler, Denise Corliss, were members of Texas Task Force 1 and joined nearly 100 other search and rescue dogs to find people trapped in the rubble of the World Trade Center. Even more amazing, the incredibly difficult job was Bretagne's first search and rescue deployment.

Last month, when BarkPost learned that Bretagne's 16th birthday was coming up, they decided to fly Bretagne and Denise back to New York to honor the special team. The day started with Bretagne and Denise checking into a luxurious suite provided by 1 Hotel Central Park and dining on some yummy room service burgers. Then they toured Manhattan in style in a vintage taxi, where they stopped to see a happy birthday message with Bretagne's photo up on a billboard in Times Square.

Next stop was Hudson River Park where Bretagne was presented with the "Bone to the Dog Park," the canine equivalent to the "Key to the City," Then they headed back to the hotel to end the day with a party overflowing with dog toys and a cake provided by Bubba Rose Biscuit Company and District Dog. Bretagne and Denise were also presented with a cobblestone at the 9/11 Museum and a $1,000 donation in Bretagne's honor to Texas Task Force 1.

The trip was a great way to honor Bretagne and Desnise's service, but also an opportunity to invite them back for a more relaxing visit to the Big Apple. Today Bretagne is retired, but spends her time visiting kids with special needs. What a special day for an incredible duo!

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.