Last known surviving 9/11 search and rescue dog laid to rest

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Last known surviving 9/11 search and rescue dog laid to rest

Postby Thunder1 » June 7th 2016, 6:30am

There's got to be a big bag of treats waiting for this one in the next world...


(CNN) — When it was time to say goodbye, she was given a hero's farewell.

Firefighters and rescue workers lined the sidewalk as her body, draped in an American flag, was carried out. Tears streaked down some faces.

Bretagne, believed to be the last surviving 9/11 Ground Zero search dog, was euthanized Monday.

The golden retriever was 16. Old age had slowed her down, and it was time to put her to sleep.
So, the firefighters at the Cy-Fair Fire Department in Harris County, Texas, lined the path up to the Fairfield Animal Hospital, as her owner, Denise Corliss, walked her in to be put to sleep.

Deployed to disaster

Back in 2001, Bretagne (pronounced, "Brittany") and Corliss were fresh graduates of Disaster City when they were deployed to New York shortly after the World Trade Center attacks.

Corliss joined hundreds of other search and rescue teams sent from around the world to find survivors at Ground Zero, working 12 hours a day for two weeks straight.

We know now there were very few survivors found in the rubble of the twin towers, and Bretagne, like so many other searchers, worked hard -- only to find none.

Making a discovery

But Corliss discovered something unexpected: rescuers and firefighters would approach Bretagne and pet her. Soon they'd be sharing their personal stories with Corliss, describing the missing friends, loved ones and colleagues they were searching for. Bretagne had become a kind of therapy dog. "Dogs can be so comforting, so it makes sense to me now," she says. "I just didn't anticipate that, then."

Other calls to action

9/11 was only the first of many national disasters that called Bretagne and Corliss into action.

Deployments followed for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and other storms. Once Corliss watched Bretagne risk her own safety when the dog found herself standing on the end of a dangling staircase.

"She walked to the edge of it and she stopped -- turned -- and she came back down," Corliss recalled to CNN in 2014. "She did exactly what she was supposed to do, but it scared me a bit."

Despite all that training, Corliss admits "there were still times when I held my breath and said, 'I hope she does this right. I hope she's OK.' "

Pushy puppy

It's no coincidence that search and rescue dogs such as Bretagne succeed while working under such dangerous conditions.

From the time they're puppies, dogs must survive a rigid screening process before they can do this kind of work.

When Corliss spotted Bretagne, she had a feeling this dog might be right. The puppy was pushy.

Sharing a plastic kennel with eight other puppies, Bretagne buffaloed her way through the pack from back to front, to greet Corliss.

"That kind of pushy behavior helped her be the persistent don't-give-up-style of working dog that I needed later," says Corliss.

Later years

Bretagne left Texas Task Force 1 in 2009 to focus on her work as a local fire department search and rescue dog. Then after a couple more years, it was time for her to retire altogether. But that didn't mean the end of Bretagne's public service.

In her later years, Bretagne spent time once a week teaching kids how to read. Really.

She visited elementary school classrooms, where children, who "may be intimidated or uncomfortable reading out loud to their classmates, have an opportunity to develop reading skills by reading to her," Corliss said.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/07/us/bretag ... 166_6_2016)
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Re: Last known surviving 9/11 search and rescue dog laid to

Postby TemerityB » June 7th 2016, 11:19am

My hero. Good lord.

Service dogs, therapy dogs, police dogs, military dogs ... there are no words.

As someone who is still trying to get over the loss of my own 15-year-old dog, this one really hit home - particularly as a New Yorker who was also here for 9/11.

I'm, well ... there are no words.
Bet those Swiss Legend owners are so happy their "Sapphitek" crystals have a 10-year warranty. Oh, wait...
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Re: Last known surviving 9/11 search and rescue dog laid to

Postby Thunder1 » June 7th 2016, 11:44am

yeah..
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Re: Last known surviving 9/11 search and rescue dog laid to

Postby Mortuus » June 7th 2016, 12:25pm

I love my little companion dog, as she knows when I'm not doing so hot, and she'll jump right in there and give me a face wash and doggy hugs to help me get past whatever it was that was bugging me. They give so much more than we ask of them, and their love is absolutely unconditional. When Daffy goes, I don't think I'm gonna survive it for long, as she's such a special doggy and life without her doesn't seem even remotely possible...
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Re: Last known surviving 9/11 search and rescue dog laid to

Postby biglove » June 7th 2016, 4:47pm

The story of Bretagne choked me up. I only wish that humans could love and serve as dogs do.

The wife and I were just talking about my daughter's 13 year old Shih-Tzu we just lost a month back. We have rescued a mini Schnauzer and it is as if she could sense my daughter's loss. They are inseparable and the healing this almost five year old pup has brought to our family, and especially to my daughter, is beyond imagination.

Don't know if humans do much to belong in heaven; but, dogs sure do.
"Adults are obsolete children."-Dr. Seuss
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Re: Last known surviving 9/11 search and rescue dog laid to

Postby TemerityB » June 7th 2016, 7:21pm

Mortuus wrote:I love my little companion dog, as she knows when I'm not doing so hot, and she'll jump right in there and give me a face wash and doggy hugs to help me get past whatever it was that was bugging me. They give so much more than we ask of them, and their love is absolutely unconditional. When Daffy goes, I don't think I'm gonna survive it for long, as she's such a special doggy and life without her doesn't seem even remotely possible...


Mort, that's really sweet, but, as George Carlin said, dogs are "tiny tragedies waiting to happen." They simply don't live long enough. Just remember there's a whole world of dogs out there to step in, all ready to be your best friend.

Like I should offer anyone words of encouragement; my dog's been gone six months now and it still blasts me in the gut like a Mike Tyson haymaker every single day.
Bet those Swiss Legend owners are so happy their "Sapphitek" crystals have a 10-year warranty. Oh, wait...
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Re: Last known surviving 9/11 search and rescue dog laid to

Postby biglove » June 7th 2016, 7:40pm

"Adults are obsolete children."-Dr. Seuss
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Re: Last known surviving 9/11 search and rescue dog laid to

Postby Mortuus » June 7th 2016, 8:02pm

TemerityB wrote:
Mortuus wrote:I love my little companion dog, as she knows when I'm not doing so hot, and she'll jump right in there and give me a face wash and doggy hugs to help me get past whatever it was that was bugging me. They give so much more than we ask of them, and their love is absolutely unconditional. When Daffy goes, I don't think I'm gonna survive it for long, as she's such a special doggy and life without her doesn't seem even remotely possible...


Mort, that's really sweet, but, as George Carlin said, dogs are "tiny tragedies waiting to happen." They simply don't live long enough. Just remember there's a whole world of dogs out there to step in, all ready to be your best friend.

Like I should offer anyone words of encouragement; my dog's been gone six months now and it still blasts me in the gut like a Mike Tyson haymaker every single day.

I know what you mean, TB; my first doggy -- a little cocker spaniel/Pekinese mix -- died 45 years ago, and my eyes still get leaky over her from time to time.

I'm not much of a poetry person, but this wonderful old piece, by Rudyard Kipling, says it better than I ever could.

“The Power of the Dog”

THERE is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie—
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find—it’s your own affair—
But … you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone—wherever it goes—for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve:

For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long—
So why in—Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

:cry:
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Re: Last known surviving 9/11 search and rescue dog laid to

Postby koimaster » September 11th 2016, 10:27am

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“Your heart was warm and happy

With the lilt of Irish laughter

Every day and in every way

Now forever and ever after."
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