Very Last 9/11 Rescue Dog Passes Away At 16 Years Old

Very Last 9/11 Rescue Dog Passes Away At 16 Years Old

While dogs are the nicest buddies anyone could ask for, there is one aspect about them that everyone despises more than anything else.

These four-legged angels will treat you with respect no matter who you are and will provide you with entire company, respect, loyalty, and love; yet, we must all accept the terrible reality that these ideal friends will only be with us for a short period. Maybe that’s why these creatures are so fantastic in the first place; if they lived longer, they’d become cynical or opinionated. In any case, the most we can do is love them wholeheartedly and ensure that they are well cared for and respected while they are with us.

We all have to say goodbye at some point, and Denise Corliss knew it would be difficult. She looked into her eyes after 16 years with her beautiful golden retriever Bretagne by her side and realized that her closest buddy deserved to go. But there’s something particular about Bretagne that makes this farewell a must-attend event for every American. Bretagne’s demise marks the end of an era.
Jennifer Bauer of KPRC2 was responsible for filming this moving tribute.
Please scroll down to learn more about Bretagne, the last 9/11 rescue dog.


Bretagne was purchased by Denise Corliss in 1999. After some intensive training, the couple entered the proud ranks of Texas Task Force 1, a search and rescue organization ready to search through rubble.


Corliss and Bretagne had been training nonstop, but no action seemed to be coming their way. They had planned for hurricane season, but happily no disaster had occurred.

That all changed on a bright and sunny September day. Her first rescue mission would take place in the aftermath of September 11th.


Texas Task Force 1 was activated when the twin towers in New York City collapsed. Corliss was totally overwhelmed when she first realized the horrible amount of the destruction.

Bretagne, on the other hand, was well-versed in her profession and responsibilities. She jolted her companion awake, and the two embarked on a frantic hunt for any survivors buried beneath the wreckage.


In the days and weeks following 9/11, an estimated 300 other search and rescue canines were there. Everyone was hoping to locate at least one more survivor.

The dogs, however, rescued more than lives that day; they saved souls. The sheer presence of these dogs was said to bring smiles to the faces of firemen, first responders, and rescue workers who had nothing to grin about during those tough times. They assisted in the treatment of PTSD brought on by the events and visuals of those assaults, and we should all be grateful for that.


Following 9/11, Bretagne assisted in the search and rescue efforts following a number of subsequent disasters, including Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ivan.
She finally left the action, but not before saving countless lives and making innumerable friends. She stayed at home with her mother, Corliss, and retired comfortably. She was getting on in years for a dog her size, yet she never stopped smiling and still enjoyed “hunting” for things around the house.
Bretagne, however, stopped eating just a few months before her 17th birthday and appeared to be rapidly deteriorating. Corliss realized it was time to let her best friend go when her kidneys began to fail.


Bretagne was a hero in one of our country’s darkest moments, but she was also a friend to her human. Dogs come into our lives for a brief period of time, but the impact they make on our spirits and emotions demonstrates how angelic they truly are.

Corliss decided to take her best companion to the vet for the last time. However, when they arrived, they witnessed something absolutely moving.


A group of firefighters were there to honor Bretagne for her service. Like any military funeral, this group of men and women saluted Bretagne in one of the most emotional farewells you could ever see.


Corliss tried her hardest to keep it together, but she couldn’t help but cry. She’d known Bretagne since she was a puppy, and the two of them had experienced so many adventures throughout the years. So saying farewell to such a long-time friend and family member must have been a strange experience.


We’re sorry for your loss, Denise Corliss. You and your dog were there to assist folks during a difficult time in their life. This is the end of an era, and all we can hope for is that you find peace despite the loss of Bretagne.

While we’re saddened by her death, we can’t help but be grateful that she had the opportunity to live such a long and interesting life in a home where she was adored.

Thank you both for your service to our country!

Please Watch Bretagne’s Final Walk And Help Us Honor Her Memory

And please SHARE this touching story if you’re thankful for amazing dog and human rescue teams like Bretagne and Denise Corliss!

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