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Last surviving 9/11 rescue dog honored with birthday celebration

As the nation prepares to remember the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001, the last surviving rescue dog Bretagne celebrated her own special day
Last surviving 9/11 rescue dog celebrates birthday 01:23

NEW YORK -- On Sept. 11, 2001, amidst the darkness, emerged many human heroes. But there were also non-human heroes who stepped up that day and in the days and weeks to come. Bretagne being one of them.

The gold retriever from Texas is the last known living Sept. 11 search and rescue dog. She was just 2 years old at the time of the attack on the World Trade Center, and was one of 100 search and rescue dogs deployed to Ground Zero.

"We were there to try to find survivors," Bretagne's owner and handler Denise Corliss recalled to BarkPost. "And when our task force arrived in Ground Zero, I just couldn't believe the magnitude of it. Then I looked down to her, and she seemed stoic and ready to work."

Fourteen years later, BarkPost teamed up with 1 Hotels to give the beloved dog a day of celebration in New York City for her 16th birthday. The day was known as "Dog's Best Day," an on-going series from BarkPost that celebrates deserving dogs.

BarkPost says they are a company dedicated to making dogs happy. And it sure seems for Bretagne they did just that.

It was a special day in New York City for both Bretagne and Corliss. It was a busy day for the pair, too.

Bretagne was whisked throughout the city and given the hero treatment. It started with a limo at the airport and then a suite over looking Central Park at 1 Hotel.

Bretagne was then taken to see a personalized billboard in Times Square displaying a happy birthday message. She even received the doggie "Key to the City" presented by Hudson River Parks.

And it didn't stop there.

At the end of the adventure, her former teammates on search and rescue organization Texas Task Force 1 greeted Bretagne with a surprise party. Her happiness was evident by her big smile and when she went over to her pile of gifts and grabbed the bag of treats that were presumably for her.

Bretagne not only served at Ground Zero, but BarkPost explained she also helped with search and rescue in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

At 16 years old, she is now retired. Bretagne spends her days volunteering at school programs that help children learn to read.

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