Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
I haven't posted in here for awhile. Life got in the way of some the online groups I used to frequent, as it so often does. But I had posted several times here about Brody, so I thought I would share this about him...
Ears, legs, and an overly enthusiastic tongue.
That was my first impression of Brody when he came into my life. The second impression was that he looked more like a gazelle than a German Shepherd. He came bounding up to me like I was his best friend and I knew I wanted to adopt him practically immediately.
A week later, he came to live with me for good. When his former owner walked out the door, I expected that maybe Brody would whine or in some other manner be upset. I was expecting the process of us getting to know each other to take some time. German Shepherds are, I’m told, very loyal and I honestly wasn’t sure if he would fully bond to me.
Instead, when his former owner left, he looked at the door for a second. If a dog could shrug, I swear that’s what Brody did. Then he came over to the couch, hopped up like he’d been sleeping there his entire life, and from that moment on, he was my dog.
One of the first things I learned about Brody was that he had undiagnosed Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which explained the gazelle-like thinness. One of the second things I learned was that his tail could clear off a coffee table or break kneecaps.
The first I could do something about. The second, not so much.
I spent almost two thousand dollars on tests to get Brody diagnosed. When the vet finally figured out what was wrong with him, he was put on a special diet and medication. The vet told me that he’d likely always be very underweight and probably not very active. Unsatisfied with this answer, I began researching IBS in dogs and experimenting with various diets. Eventually, I found one that worked.
Six months later, when I took him back to the vet for a check up and shots, they weren’t sure that the magnificent beast before them was even the same dog.
In his prime, Brody weighed about 105 pounds. He travelled to Colorado with me. He climbed mountains with me. When I brought a 10-week old Tsura home, Brody was the perfect older brother. I’m convinced he could have eaten her whole in one gulp. Instead, he would lay there patiently while she nipped at his gigantic ears.
Every single person who ever met Brody became intimately familiar with his nose. He earned the nickname “Crotch Rocket,” and was diligent in making sure no other canine would swipe the title away from him. Some of my friends were not dog people. A few were even specifically nervous of German Shepherds. Brody converted every one of them.
Brody was the biggest derp.
I’ve never met a dog more excited to play in the snow.
Sometimes Brody was exceedingly frustrating.
He loved simple things like being invited up onto the couch.
Everyone who met Brody knew exactly what his voice would sound like if he could speak English.
Recently, Brody has been struggling. His vision has been failing. His hips weren’t what they used to be. And yet he was always still the same Brody, eager to see me and friends; always wanting to be wherever I was, even if that meant hobbling up or down the stairs; approaching every bowl of food as though he were receiving bonus pay to devour it; derpy as ever; always kicking in his sleep in pursuit of some dream rabbit he could ever catch.
This morning, I had to say goodbye to my friend.
His hips finally failed him. He could no longer stand up, and he no longer had the will to eat or drink. I could tell that the old Brody was still in there, wanting to be as goofy as ever. But his body had finally failed him.
Coming home is never going to be the same without the relentless pounding of his tail as he excitedly waits for me to open the door.