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Her Watch Has Ended…

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Moments and days and weeks after the 9/11/01 terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the nation’s search and rescue dogs carried a lot of the nation’s hopes and prayers for finding any and all those who may have survived the massive and deadly attack, as well as the remains of those who did not.

Bretagne, a 16-year-old search golden retriever and the last surviving of those loyal search dogs from 9/11, was put to rest yesterday with a final farewell salute to her duty and service

With a host of honors to her name and countless searches behind her, Bretagne was honored – as any human would be – one final time before her death.

A row of firefighters stood at attention as Bretagne walked with her owner, Denise Corliss, into the Fairfield Animal Hospital in Cypress, Texas.

Bretagne began suffering from kidney failure and when she stopped eating, Corliss knew it was time to say goodbye.

‘She was really anxious last night and she just wanted to be with me. So I laid down with her, right next to her. When she could feel me, she could settle down and go to sleep. I slept with her like that all night,’ Corliss told TODAY.

Leading up to her death, Corliss and her husband wrote out a bucket list for Bretagne and completed the items on it before Monday.

One of them included visiting local Robert Road Elementary School where the pooch had become a story time pal and had also helped work with autistic children.

The dog was also a volunteer firefighter and – in addition to 9/11 – had aided in searches during Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Rita.

‘She had lived longer and accomplished more than anybody,’ Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department spokesman Capt. David Padovan told the New York Daily News.

Following her death, Bretange’s body was draped in an American flag and driven to Texas A&M University. There veterinarians will study the effect of Ground Zero on her body.

‘She was one of a kind,’ Padovan added. ‘She was always eager to do searchers, even after she “retired”,’ Padovan said.

Corliss bought Bretagne in 1999 after she was asked to take part in a training exercise for search and rescue dogs. She said workers buried her underneath rubble for an hour before sending the dogs to find her, and she will always remember the relief she felt when she heard one of them barking above her.
After that, she decided to buy Bretagne and began training her to do the job. Within a couple of years they were deemed good enough to be assigned to Texas Task Force 1. […]

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Sleep well, you sweet and beautiful girl…

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