Image Credit: Charlotte Dumas/Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear collars and leashes.
One such hero crossed the rainbow bridge yesterday in Texas. Bretagne, the last surviving 9/11 search and rescue dog, was euthanized and given a hero’s goodbye as her body was taken home in a flag-draped container.
NPR reports that Bretagne, a Golden Retriever, was 2 at the time of the 9/11 attacks. It was her first rescue operation. She was taken to the site to search for survivors and, later, remains. At the same time, she provided comfort to the rescue workers at the site.
After her 10-day stint at Ground Zero, she went on to complete rescue operations after hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ivan. She retired from rescue work at 9 years old, but continued to help people. She was a reading assistance dog, giving first graders a non-judgmental audience as they practiced reading aloud.
Even as she slowed down due to age and illness, she was beloved by the firefighters she served with. As she was taken on her last walk into the hospital, they lined the sidewalk and saluted her. Their goodbye as her flag-covered body was taken away was tearful.
Goodbye, faithful friend. America thanks you for being there on our worst day.