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Day 4... Smiling...

Brandy, April 2003

Charlie, Brandy and Sammy...

Brandy- Sleeping on the couch... Well, sort of.


Brandy, Dad and Charlie at Boxer Bash 2001


Happy Beginnings and Follow up: Brandy, my Little Defect.


Take comfort in the memories...









04/15/05 -My thoughts on  Old Collars...


Boxers leave paw prints on your heart...

08/26/04 -

You will never be forgotten...

Love always, Mom

08/26/03: Brandy lost her fight with cancer today. There are no words to express how much we'll miss her...

Sandy and Jim
And Charlie and Sammy too. 

03/18/97 - 08/26/03 (6 years old - too young to go.)


Brandy, my Little Defect   05 July 2003

I had recently helped a friend find and adopt a Boxer from the rescue site, and seeing all the pictures of homeless dogs, made me know I had to help.  So I filled out a Foster App, and waited.  At first things moved a little slow.  I wondered if I was qualified to take on this role.  We had no children, just Charlie, our 6yr old, neutered male Boxer.  I had always taken Charlie to our office, and he was in love with every dog he met, I was sure this was good for us.

Then things started to roll.  Jane Scott contacted me; we had our first of many hour-long phone conversations.  Jane is very in-depth.  A home visit was scheduled for the next day, and within ten minutes after the visit, Jane was on the phone, asking me if I could foster a four yr old female dog, from New Jersey. 

Brandy entered our lives on June 2nd, 2001.  She had been living in New Jersey, and spent her life between the family’s garage, and backyard.   We met her and her rescuer, Laura Urban, half way, picking her up on Staten Island.  It took us two hours to get there in the pouring rain and traffic.  We took a few minutes for introducing her to Charlie, which did not go as well as expected, and back we drove with our first foster.

She had a few accidents the first few days, possibly due to her new situation, or maybe because of the time spent in the garage, I thought.  And Charlie tried to bring her toys, and initiate play, only to be turned down abruptly.  Too early to tell, but maybe Brandy would be better off in a single dog home.

But day four changed everything… From the moment they woke, they couldn’t get enough playtime in.  You couldn’t wipe the smile off of Charlie’s face.  Great, I thought, she would be good with other dogs.

A neighbor with a Boxer expressed interest in Brandy, for her daughter and son-in-law.  They would be closing soon on a house in the neighborhood, with a fence, Boxer experienced people, and Charlie and Brandy could still be playmates.  Perfect, I thought, until I found out that rescue never promises to hold on to a dog, and their house closing was a few weeks away.  Oops.

Well I was allowed to hold on to her, and of course the rule makes perfect sense, now.  Her prospective family was to have closed on their house on June 29th.  If they had, I was prepared to hand her off and move on to the next rescue Boxer.  But when that day came and went, I knew I was in trouble.  They called to tell me that the next date they were aiming at was July 18th.  They added that they realized I was getting attached to her.  They left it up to me, and the next day, while Charlie and Brandy lay collapsed on the floor after playing for hours, the decision was made for me.  I would be helping them pick out another beautiful Boxer, when the time came and they were moved into their new home.

Along the way, I fostered a number of other Boxers.  And yes, Brandy takes a while to warm up to all other dogs, especially females.

And I figured out that those accidents she had, was incontinence, which was part of the reason I decided I had to keep her.  I suspect it was the reason her first family banished her to the garage.  But she is on medication for it, and has a dog door, and is reminded to go out umpteen times a day.  I nicknamed her “Leaky Butt”, and she responds to it now as happily as she does her real name.

And she has a recurring inter-digital cyst on her rear foot.  So I affectionately call her my Little Defect.

And she barks at rocks.  She rolls them around the backyard, carries them into the house, and barks at them some more.

Oh, and now she has cancer.  That’s why I decided to write this.  After posting so many Happy Beginning stories on the website, I thought that Brandy should have her own.  We are fighting it, and she just had her fifth chemo, but I thought I’d indulge myself, and post her story now.

Brandy, with all of her defects, has made me laugh and made me cry.  She has added so much to our lives, and I know you too could fall in love with a little defect.

Don’t just look at the perfect dogs.  You might just be passing up a wonderful little defect...

Old Collars...

I was redecorating my bedroom, moving around furniture and things, when I came across a stash of old dog collars.  Some were ones my guys had outgrown or worn out, some were donations to be used for incoming foster dogs, and some were from past foster dogs.  (I like to get them new ones when they start their new life.)

I reached in and pulled out a red checkered collar that I hadn’t looked at for almost two years.  At that moment Sammy walked into the room to say hi.  He came up to me and started to sniff the red checkered collar that was in my hands.  His little tail started to wiggle and he started his kidney bean dance.  He stood up on me and started to look around.  “You remember her don’t you? You remember Brandy” I said.  He reacted to her name and started licking my face and then ran to the window.  Back he came and then he ran to look out the door.  I calmed him down and put the collar back in the box.

Not long after, Charlie came in to see what I was up to.  I pulled out the red checkered collar and Charlie began to sniff it.  His little tail started to wiggle and he also started to look around for her.  When I mentioned her name he got more excited, repeating Sammy’s reaction.  I calmed him down and again put the collar back in the box.

I was sure, but then again not. 

Some time later, my youngest, who is now 20 months old, came into the room.  I held out the red checkered collar and Rudy sniffed it intently.  But that was it… Rudy never knew Brandy, having come to our family about a month after Brandy had passed… He walked on to sniff other interesting things newly uncovered.

Some people doubt the intelligence and souls of dogs.  Not I.

And for some reason I just can’t throw out old collars.

Sandy, Volunteer - Adopt A Boxer Rescue

   Each Boxer leaves paw prints on your heart.




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