(Update for 2015 – Sweet and brave Bretagne is now 16 and still helping kids learn to read.)
Look at those sweet gray muzzles! What cuties! And so very brave. These hero dogs helped search for people in the rubble following 9/11. In 2012 when we first posted this story there were 12.
Only one of these dogs is still alive. Bretagne, a 15 year old golden retriever, still works as a service dog helping special needs kids by listening to them read out loud. For more on Bretagne here’s an excellent article on the Today Show site – “Last known 9/11 Ground Zero search dog still lends a helping paw”. Here’s a current picture taken by her 9/11 handler and current companion, Denise Corliss.
Her she is with Denise working at the World Trade Center site in 2001.
In 2012, Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas traveled to nine states to photograph the 12 remaining dogs, then in their golden years, at their homes. She produced a book of the photographs titled “Retrieved.”
Here is the story and their photos. These are from a wonderful article written by Charles Mayfield. Unfortunately, even after much Google searching, we can’t find the original source. Below is the article that includes pictures of 2012’s 12 surviving dogs.
Wishing you a day of reflection on the lives lost, the hearts broken, but the spirit of everyone who was touched by the events on September 11, 2001 remains strong. The rescue dogs who have crossed The Rainbow Bridge are surely held in the highest esteem, and we like to imagine that they are being given lots of love and treats by those who perished on that horrible day.
Nearly 100 dogs worked at the trade center ten years ago; only 12 are left. THESE OLD WONDERFUL FACES SAY IT ALL… These are the surviving dogs that worked the trade center that are still alive but retired, they are heroes too.
Their eyes say everything you need to know about them. Just amazing creatures. True heroes of 9/11 still with us today.
Moxie, 13, from Winthrop , Massachusetts , arrived with her handler, Mark Aliberti, at the World Trade Center on the evening of September 11 and searched the site for eight days.
Tara, 16, from Ipswich, Massachusetts, arrived at the World Trade Center on the night of the 11th. The dog and her handler Lee Prentiss were there for eight
Kaiser, 12, pictured at home in Indianapolis, Indiana, was deployed to the World Trade Center on September 11 and searched tirelessly for people in the rubble.
Bretagne and his owner Denise Corliss from Cypress, Texas, arrived at the site in New York on September 17, remaining there for ten days.
Guinness, 15, from Highland, California, started work at the sitewith Sheila McKee on the morning of September 13 and was deployed at the site for 11 days.
Merlyn and his handler Matt Claussen were deployed to Ground Zero on September 24, working the night shift for five days.
Red, 11, from Annapolis, Maryland, went with Heather Roche to the Pentagon from September 16 until the 27 as part of the Bay Area Recovery Canines.
Abigail, above, was deployed on the evening of September 17, searching for 10 days while Tuff arrived in New York at 11:00 pm onthe day of attack to start working early the next day.
Handler Julie Noyes and Hoke were deployed to the World Trade Center from their home in Denver on September 24 and searched for five days.
Scout and another unknown dog lie among the rubble at Ground Zero, just two of nearly 100 search and rescue animals who helped to search for survivors.
During the chaos of the 9/11 attacks, where almost 3,000 people died, nearly 100 loyal search and rescue dogs and their brave owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Now, ten years on, just 12 of these heroic canines survive, and they have been commemorated in a touching series of portraits entitled Retrieved.
The dogs worked tirelessly to search for anyone trapped alive in the rubble, along with countless emergency service workers and members of the public.
Traveling across nine states in the U.S. from Texas to Maryland, Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight days in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from 9/11. Their stories have now been compiled in a book, called Retrieved, which was published on the tenth anniversary of the attacks. Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted Retrieved to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs. “I felt this was a turning point, especially for the dogs, who although are not forgotten, are not as prominent as the human stories involved, “explained Charlotte, who splits her time between New York and Amsterdam .” They speak to us as a different species, and animals are greatly important for our sense of empathy and to put things into perspective.”