9/11 rescue dog Bretagne celebrates birthday in style

  • 11/09/2015
9/11 rescue dog Bretagne celebrates birthday in style

A hero rescue dog which helped sniff out survivors following the September 11 attack in New York has celebrated her sweet 16th birthday, with the city showering her with gifts.

Bretagne, a golden retriever, couldn't have imagined her first ever deployment as a search and rescue dog would to the scene of the United States' worst terrorist attack.

She was taken to the scene of the destroyed Twin Towers, where for two weeks she worked 12-hour shifts helping searchers, comforting firefighters and police officers, The New York Post reports.  

Fourteen years later, Bretagne is one of two living rescue dogs sent to help at Ground Zero and has just turned 16.

Now retired, Bretagne was flown from Texas to New York with her handler Denise Corliss for a weekend of pooch pampering.

Her trip was funded by BarkPost – a website for dog lovers – and included a fancy suite at 1 Hotel, which overlooks Central Park, one of Bretagne's favourite spots for a walk.

She also got a dog-friendly cake, featured on a billboard in Times Square and had a cobblestone at the 9/11 Museum dedicated to her and Ms Corliss.

Hudson River Parks also gave Bretagne a key to the city for her bravery, and there was also a special reunion of Texas Task Force 1 – the canine crew she was sent to New York with.

Bretagne retired from search work at the age of nine, and has since turned her attention to the classroom, helping children with special needs.

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