It's been 14 years since tragedy struck America on 9/11, and every year on this day, we remember those lost, and send our appreciation to the people who appeared first on the scene to search and rescue. But among those first responders is a group not often acknowledged — the search and rescue dogs working alongside police and firefighters.
These trained animals played an integral role in finding missing people and guiding authorities to the places they were needed most.
Sadly, as the lifespans of our canines friends are much more limited than our own, today there is only one known surviving search and rescue dog who worked at Ground Zero.
Her name is Bretagne.
Bretagne is a golden retriever who served as a member of Texas Task Force 1 with handler Denise Corliss. According to a YouTube description posted by BarkBox, Bretagne and Corliss have had "an unshakable bond" ever since their experience on the scene at the World Trade Center after 9/11.
And when BarkBox, "a monthly subscription service that sends treats, toys and products meant to delight pups (and their parents)," found out that Bretagne was about to have a 16th birthday, it wanted to do something extra special for her.
BarkBox teamed up with 1 Hotels to bring Bretagne and Corliss to New York City for the birthday of a lifetime.
After being greeted at LaGuardia Airport, the pair got to take a ride in a limo to 1 Hotel Central Park, where Bretagne received a hero's welcome as the pup of honor. In their hotel room, the dog was greeted with treats and toys galore.
"I was just so grateful to have a K-9 partner that helped me get through it," says Corliss. "She represents the working dogs ... and they all are deserving of a day like today."
Corliss and her dog kicked off the day with a ride through the city in a vintage taxi cab and when they arrived in Times Square, Bretagne's picture was on a big screen with a big "Happy Birthday, Bretagne!" lit up. The pair was then taken to Hudson River Park, where Bretagne happily got to play in fountain.
Then Bretagne was given the doggy equivalent to the key to the city — a bone to the dog park. When Corliss and the dog returned back to the hotel, they were met with a surprise party, complete with lots of guests, more gifts and treats.
The day ended with a $1,000 donation to Texas Task Force 1 in Bretagne's honor.
All in all, it seemed like a pretty amazing day for all involved. Watch the full video below:
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