Heroes Come in All Shapes & Sizes: Remembering 9/11 and all the Canine Heroes
“I tried my best to tell Riley he was doing his job. He had no way to know that when firefighters and police officers came over to hug him, and for a split second you can see them crack a smile – that Riley was succeeding at doing an all together different job. He provided comfort. Or maybe he did know.”Riley’s Pet Parent, Chris
I remember where I was September 11th, 2001, as I am sure millions of us do. I was getting ready for work, upstairs with the news on, as I saw the unthinkable, monstrous devastation and unbelievable loss from a terrorist attack on the United States. On that day, 2,996 people perished, and many more since that day from the debris and toxic fumes they inhaled during the whole ordeal. On that day, our world changed forever…..
Nearly 10,000 emergency workers joined the efforts to help, from all over the country, at what is now called “Ground Zero”. Out of that number, over 300 of those heroes were dogs!
Bretagne was two years old at the time of the attacks. She and Denise Corliss, her owner and handler, worked at Ground Zero for 10 days as their mission went from rescue to recovery.
Riley, a Golden Retriever that assisted in the 9/11 search and rescue efforts, was trained to find live people. Still, he did help recover several bodies of firefighters. But Riley worked desperately to find the living – that was his job and he knew it. His pet parent and handler Chris constantly reassured him of his good work and that he was a good boy! Love, hugs, and smiles were his rewards daily!
COBY & GUINNESS
Coby and Guinness, both Labrador retrievers, searched tirelessly through the rubble of the World Trade Center before returning home to Southern California to retire at their handler’s home.
Both of these dogs worked for an even larger and more crowded area than they were ever trained for, searching for 11 days in 12 hour shifts. Their reward was a nap or a chew toy.
Together, they found the remains of dozens of people in the rubble.
Even today it is hard to think about and remember, but we are beyond thankful for the countless and tireless devotion of our emergency first respondents including all the rescue dogs.
From search and rescue dogs to comfort dogs to bomb detection dogs, these canines’ stories of courage, healing and long-lasting legacy must never be forgotten.
The pair, Denise and Bretagne, became a FEMA-certified canine team that also worked in the rescue missions for Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, and Hurricane Ivan. Bretagne began her training as a search and rescue dog when she was just eight weeks old, taught by Denise who was a volunteer firefighter with the Cy-Fair Fire Department. Bretagne passed in 2016, living an amazing, fruitful, and proud life. We remember her selfless service and for that of her loyal human trainer and friend!
We at Pet Treater, while still very saddened by the loss of 9/11, are beyond grateful and humbled by all the service men, women, and animals that gave their all during one of the most tragic times in American history. We are proud to live and run our business in the United States.
With much respect and remembrance,