How many words can you have for a dog who was with you less then 8 months? Many, many more then I have space for here. Brody was such a very special lad. And as happens so many times, he came into our world when we least expected it. My wife (Carrie) and I decided to pay a vist to a local animal shelter on Memorial Day weekend in 2006. Carrie wanted a 'puppy fix', but she flat out told me before we left - "We are not bringing another dog home today!" Of course that was before we saw Brody. We aleady have two shelties (Barclay and Bonnie) and we know what a special breed they are. We were just walking by the cages at the shelter when we passed one and I saw a flash of sable and white out of the corner of my eye. Carrie proceeded on, but I stopped and noticed that the card on the cage said 'Sheltie - age 7'. The card indicated he had been turned in by his owner about an hour before we got there. I told Carrie about him and we decided to take him for a walk. We saw immediately that he was filthy, heavily matted, flea covered and limping. We also discovered he was heavy heartworm positive. But that didn't prevent Brody's soul from shinning through. We quickly knew he was going to have a new home. We bathed him and while we were afraid we would have to totally shave him, Brody let Carrie comb out all of his mats. Unfortunately, the heartworms had taken a heavy toll. We treated him and eventually killed all the heartworms but tests showed his heart and lungs had been badly damaged. The left side of his heart was twice the size of his right. The vet warned us that he wouldn't live a full life. He might have two weeks, or two months or two years. Things could happen very quickly because of all the damage. But Brody was a trooper. We tried several meds and finally it seemed like he was on the path to recovery. He enjoyed a happy Thankgiving and Christmas - lots of food and treats. And Brody "grew" as a dog. He grew to trust us. To know that he would have steady food, a warm, dry place to sleep, and most of all, a family that loved him. And he returned that love - many, many times over. The past three months, Brody was just enjoying life. Every morning he would jump up and greet me as I got out of bed. His tail would wag and as I reached down to pet him, he would give me three kisses on the chin. And then all three of our puppies would have breakfast, take their pills, go outside and then get a treat from dad before I left for work. When I went out to get the paper or the mail, always waiting for me at the front door would be Brody. And when I got home at night, there would be Brody standing by the door. He would just stand still until he heard the key in the door. And then his tail would start wagging and he was jumping up to greet dad. You could always see the twinkle in his eyes and the smile on his face. He just loved life. Then yesterday it all stopped. Everything was normal when I left for work. But about an hour later Carrie was leaving for work when she noticed Brody having breathing trouble. She called the vet (and me). But before I could get home, and before she could even get him out to the car, Brody was gone. The vet said that it looked like one of the vessels to his heart ruptured. It was very quick and fairly painless. His heart and lungs were a ticking time bomb because of the heartworm damage. And yesterday, the bomb went off. I still can't believe it. To have him so happy and full of life one moment, and then to be gone the next. Life is not fair. He was only 7 years old and was in what should have been the prime of his life. Carrie and I grieve. We cry alot. But we also smile. We smile knowing that what little time we had with Brody contained enough love for a multitude of lifetimes. Brody was a loving boy and he showed that love all day, every day. His 8 months with us were far too few. But they were filled with joy and happiness and love, and that is really all you can ask out of life. He was happy and loved. And best of all, he knew that! Goodbye, my little Brody-Odie-O. You were such a good, good boy. Mom says she misses her Sweet Baboo. Barclay, Bonnie and Henry miss you too. We love you Brody. We will always love you. And as long as we breathe, you will be alive in our hearts. You touched us, little guy. And we thank you for sharing your life and your love with us. Rusty and Maggie are already waiting at the Bridge. They'll play with you until that one day when all of our souls can be together again. Rest easy Brody. Love, Dad. |
*February 23, 2007. Hello, Brody. It has now been a month since you left us, little guy. Not a day goes by that you don't fill my mind at least ten times a day. But at least now everytime doesn't bring tears. It mostly bring smiles. I think of how alive you were. How joyous life was to you. How you filled every waking moment with love and joy and that wonderful room-filling personality you had. It brings a big smile to my face right now just picturing you in my mind enjoying life to its fullest. Mom and I miss you, Brody. Mom said she heard you walking on the hardwood floor in your favorite spot the other night. I hope she's right and you are visiting us. But most of all, I just hope that you are at peace. And that one day our spirits can touch again. I am sorry I could not be there for you when you left, but you just went too quickly. But Mom was there for both of us, and I am sure you knew that and could feel our love as you passed. You will live forever in our hearts and our memories. You're a good boy, Brody-Odie-O. Love, Dad.
*May 25, 2007 Hello, my little guy. Dad sure misses you. It will be a year ago tomorrow that we found you at the Bartlett Animal Shelter. And in the course of this past year you stole our hearts, and then you broke them when you left us. We recently got Ginny Weasley and Lacey to help fill the void, but it is not the same. I love them both, but they are not you. I still look for you almost every day, but I never see you. Though every once and a while I feel like you are near. I hope so. You gave us so much love in those 8 months - enough to fill my heart for a lifetime. Be good, my Brody-Odie-O. You are always in my heart. Love, Dad.
*Christmas Eve, 2007 Hello, my little guy. Tomorrow will be our first Christmas since you left us. It is going to be a very tough day for me, because you are still so much on my mind. In the last few years we lost four of you, including Maggie, Henry and Rusty. But you were the toughest to lose, because we had you the shortest. And you were just starting to really live and enjoy when you had to leave. Not a day has gone by this year that I haven't thought of you and wished with all my heart that you were back with us - at least for a little while longer. But I take comfort in knowing that your pain is gone and I know that your spirit lingers on with us. I miss you Brody-Odie-O, and I will be thinking of you tomorrow when the puppies and kitties open their presents and enjoy the treats and the day. And I know that you will be with us then, and everyday, forever in our hearts. Love, Dad.
*January 23, 2008 It was one year ago today that you left us, little guy. The pain of your leaving is still deep and strong. Of all our "kids" who have passed on, your death is still the hardest to take. I always promised you I would be there when you went, but your body gave out too fast and I couldn't make it home in time. Your physical form is no longer around, but your spirit will live forever in my heart. You were a good boy, and you had a heart full of love. We miss you, Brody. Love, Dad.
*Christmas Day, 2008, Merry Christmas Brody! Dad really misses you today. I know how much you loved Christmas, with all the treats and turkey. Blake, our newest sheltie, is a lot like you. He is playful, especially with the kitties. You would have had fun with Calvin & Hobbes. Mom and Dad still think of you, and we will always love you. Rest easy, my little guy. Love, Dad.
*January 23, 2009 I can't believe that it has been two years now since you left us, little guy. I can still see your smiling face and tail wagging as you race up the ramp in the back yard. And I can feel your paw patting me when you wanted something and I wasn't responding fast enough. You had such a love for life. And you will live forever as long as I breathe and remember. Mom and Dad miss you Brody. Rest easy. Love, Dad.
*December 25, 2009. Merry Christmas, Brody-Odie-O! Mom and I talked about you today, and how much you were enjoying life. We only got to share one Christmas with you, but it was a great one. We miss you, little guy. Your sheltie buddies Barclay and Bonnie joined you at the Bridge this year. Enjoy playing with all your fur brothers and sisters until we meet you one day at the Bridge. We love you, Brody! Love, Dad.
*Janaury 23, 2010. Hello, Brody. Now 3 years since you left us. So much is going on with our new sheltie puppy Beau, in addition to Blake, Lacey, Ginny Weasley & the kitties Calvin & Hobbes. So much has changed since you said goodbye. And yet, there is still a big hole in my heart from your passing. Daddy misses you Brody. You were a very special lad, little guy. We will always love you. Love, Dad.
* Christmas, 2010. Merry Christmas, my Brody-O! Christmas is always difficult when I think about you. We only had the chance to share one Christmas with you. But at least I know that it was a good one for you. Blake is reminding me more of you all the time. He has also developed the habit of wacking me with one paw when he wants my attention. I keep thinking that you must have stopped by and told him about that trick! We miss you, Little Guy! Love, Dad.
* January 23, 2011. It is so hard to believe that it has been 4 years since you left us, Brody. I can stand at the top of the ramp in the back and still see you racing up to meet me. You were so full of life. More than any other, your passing was the most unfair. You were just becoming the very special lad we knew you could be when you were taken from us. Rest easy my Brody-Odie-O. Love, Dad.
* Christmas, 2011. Merry Christmas, my Brody-Odie-O! We wish you were here. We only got the one Christmas with you and that wasn't enough. You were our hardest loss. We miss you. Love, Dad.
* January 23, 2012. Hello, little guy. Wow, so hard to imagine you have been gone for 5 years. In my mind I can still see you so clearly racing up the back ramp. And as I told mom this morning, every day when I woke up you would greet me each morning with three kisses. In many ways, you were our hardest loss. Rest easy, my Brody. I will see you one day at the Bridge. Love, Dad.
* January 23, 2013. Six years? The hurt still feels like yesterday. You were the diamond in the rough, little guy. And you were just starting to shine when you left. We still love you & miss you. Rest easy, Brody-Odie-O. Love, Dad.
* January 23, 2014. How can it now be 7 years? It just seems like yesterday you left us, little guy. Mom & I miss you and we love you. You are forever in our hearts. Love, Dad.
* January 23, 2015. Mom & I were just talking about you, little guy. Of all our losses, yours was the toughest in many ways. You had such a wonderful life ahead of you and just as it was starting to blossom, you were gone. Thanks again for sharing the time you did with us. We miss you Brody. Love, Dad.
* January 23, 2018. Hello, my Brody-Odie-O! It is so hard to think that it has been 11 years since you said goodbye to us. I know you didn't want to go, but know that Mom & I still love you every day. You were such a special boy, who never got to bloom. At least I know you had finally felt that you had a "home". And that home will always remain in my heart. Rest easy. We love & miss you. Love, Dad.