Saturday, June 11, 2016

Bretagne, 9/11 Search And Rescue Dog, Given Well-Deserved Hero's Farewell

Firefighters salute Bretagne as she entered an
animal hospital recently, as failing health forced
her humans to give her a peaceful death.  
Recently Bretagne, a 16-year old Golden Retriever who was the last known surviving search and rescue dog from the 9/11 terrorist attack, died of kidney failure at the age of 16.

Truly a national hero, Bretagne, spent ten days following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack site in New York, searching for victims.

In 2005, she performed much of the same heroics searching for victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Louisiana.

I love the way the New York Times handled a story on the passing of Bretagne. The newspaper treated the event the way the New York Times typically writes stories on the deaths of important and influential people.

After retiring from search and rescue, Bretagne joined Texas Task Force 1 and Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department, often demonstrating search techniques for people who wanted to learn.

She also frequently visited elementary schools to help first graders with practicing their reading skills, lending her ears to the childrens' stories.

Bretagene on the job in New York after the 9/11
terrorist attack, 2001.  
Bretagne became something of a celebrity, and last year returned to New York where she was given a well deserved stay in a posh hotel and given gifts, and donations to rescue organizations on her behalf.  

In the past couple weeks, Bretagne, now quite old, became ill and suffered from kidney failure.

She was taken to an animal hospital one last time, as it was time for the hero Bretagne to pass away. Firefighters formed an honor guard and saluted Bretagne as she went into the animal hospital.

The video of this moment is below.

The firefighters offered the same sad, grateful salute as Bretagne's flag-draped coffin was taken from the animal hospital.

Bretagne was a true American hero, and we have a lot to learn from her.  I wish more humans were like her.

RIP, Bretagne.

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