Bretagne is a 15-year-old golden retriever who is also last surviving rescue dog who searched Ground Zero for survivors after the terrorist attacks 13 years ago. Back then, she and her owner, Denise Corliss, were sent to New York from Texas on what was their first ever deployment.
This week, on the 13th anniversary of the tragedy, Corliss and Bretagne, which is pronounced ‘Brittany’, have returned to New York for the first time since 2001. Corliss, 49, told Today.com:
Seeing this kind of took my breath away a bit, similar to how the pile was the first time I saw it. It’s so calm and peaceful now, unlike the chaos of before.
I really believed we could find somebody — anybody — if we could just get to the right void space. But our reality was much different. We found all various kinds of remains, some recognizable, others not so much.
Bretagne retired from rescue searches at the age nine, although she still works as a service dog in a local elementary school in Cypress, Texas, where she helps children with special needs read out loud. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Bretagne the golden retriever sits at the World Trade Center site, where she helped search for survivors 13 years ago. It is the first time she and her handler, who live in Texas, have been back.
2. Owner and handler Denise Corliss is pictured with Bretagne at Ground Zero in New York City in 2001.
3. Corliss and Bretagne were sent to Ground Zero a week after the attacks and worked 12-hour days.
4. The team stop for a nap amid the rubble during their search in September 2001.
5. Corliss spoke to the Today show’s Tom Brokaw after visiting the site ahead of the 13th anniversary.
6. Bretagne, who also sat in on the Today interview, is older but no less energetic, Corliss said.
7. They are seen visiting the pools at the memorial, where 13 years ago they searched for victims.
8. After 9/11 – which was their first assignment – Corliss and Bretagne helped after Hurricane Katrina.
9. She works with children at elementary schools to help them learn how to read aloud.
And here is the video:
Share Bretagne’s story with your friends below — they will appreciate it.