Sara E. Martin
Rescue Dog’s Name
Where Did You Find Your Dog?
I adopted Brodie from the New Britain Animal Control in Ct. He was about seven months old at the time, skinny as anything and a little dinged up from street life.
Tell Us About the Moment When You Knew that You Two Were Meant for Each Other.
I had just graduated college and was tossing around the idea of adopting a dog. One night while browsing PetFinder, I came across Brodie’s picture and I knew he was the one. I filled out a application and that weekend I was at the pound, springing him from his concrete kennel. The first time I saw him, he pressed himself against the chain link of his cage to get as close to me as possible and nibbled my fingers through the bars. I knew this dog was meant for me, and I for him.
How Has Your Hero Changed Your Life?
Brodie changed my entire perception of what a dog is, and what being a dog guardian is. I had grown up in a house full of animals and I had a grasp on the basics, but as it turned out, Brodie needed more than basics. He was fearful of the world and it was a brand new experience for me. Having grown up with two ”Lassie” like dogs I was at first unprepared and overwhelmed by this beautiful creature who was suddenly depending on me to guide him through what he perceived as a terrifying world. Through him, I learned patience, empathy, and made a bond and partnership closer than I have with most people. I learned, and keep learning, more than I thought possible about dog behavior, and training, to help him feel less stressed and realize that the world can be a wonderful place. I met, and keep meeting amazing people along our journey, people who have helped the both of us grow and become good friends. I was also thrown headlong into the world of prejudice against pitbulls, something I knew was a issue but never realized just how bad it was. I had decided I wanted a pit when I started looking for a dog because all of the ones I had ever met in the petstores were always the sweetest, goofiest dogs. I grew up with ”scary” digs, shepherd and rotti mixes, so the public perception of the breed meant squat to me. I soon realized that in taking responsibility for Brodie, I was also taking responsibility for hundreds of dogs that look like ”pitbulls”. It became my job to present him in the best light possible, to show people that blockheaded dogs are not the monsters people make them out to be. That they are dogs, plain and simple. To demonstrate that proper management and respect are key to keeping ALL dogs and people safe. Brodie may not be the kind of dog that can give strangers kisses or hang out in dog parks, but I strive every day to show him off as a breed ambassador doing what we CAN do – going on walks through the neighborhood with him walking loosely by my side, having him sit politely and wait when kids or bikes go by. Dressing him up in cute costumes and plastering his gorgeous face all over the internet. People complement us constantly about how well behaved he is, and it makes me proud to hear it every time.