Bretagne, the last known living 9/11 search-and-rescue dog, was laid to rest after a teary sendoff, befitting a hero.

The 16-year-old golden retriever was walked into a Houston area animal hospital on June 6 by her handler, Captain Denise Corliss. They were flanked by two dozen saluting members of the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department and search-and-rescue community, reports the Houston Chronicle. The tearful salute continued as her body was carried out from the clinic draped in an American flag.

bretagne's flag-drapped coffinDraped in an American flag, Bretagne's body receives a salute from firefighters and search-and-rescue personnel. (Photo: Texas Task Force 1/Facebook)

Corliss adopted Bretagne (pronounced "Brittany") as an 8-week-old puppy in 1999. After rigorous training, the two joined Texas Task Force 1 and Bretagne became the founding canine member of the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department's K-9 Search and Rescue Team. Their first deployment was to ground zero. About 100 search-and-rescue dogs scoured the rubble in the aftermath of the attacks, where a hunt for survivors turned into a search for human remains.

Until her retirement at age 10, Bretagne also responded to other major disasters including hurricanes Katrina and Rita. After her retirement, she continued to serve as a community ambassador, visiting local elementary schools to listen to young readers and spend time with students with special needs.

Bretagne celebrated her 16th birthday with much fanfare in September, including a dog's day in New York City filled with treats, toys and a special commemorative billboard.

Bretagne's New York billboard Bretagne was celebrated in New York for her birthday with this billboard. (Photo: BarkPost)

The Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department issued a statement about a "firefighter death":

"Some may say that the most a dog could be is a pet, however, to the over 400 members of the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department, Bretagne was a civil servant, a hero and is family. We will remember her fondly, and continue serving the community with her as inspiration."

Bretagne and handler Denise Corliss Bretagne after a search-and-rescue mission with handler, Denise Corliss. (Photo: Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department)

Mary Jo DiLonardo Mary Jo writes about everything from health to parenting — and anything that helps explain why her dog does what he does.