Brodie - Colleen DiMarzio-Richards - West Brookfield, MA


Colleen DiMarzio-Richards
West Brookfield, MA

BARC’s Chief Brodie-Boy, CGC
Berner-Garde - 23483

Brodie was rescued by BARC in July, 2004 from an Amish puppy mill in Ohio. He was only 8 weeks old, grossly malnourished, full of lice, worms, and filthy – as were all five of the Berner puppies rescued that day.  Brodie was lovingly fostered by Mark and Carol Stephenson in Ohio and began to feel what belonging to a family was like.  Mark and Carol told us that from the beginning Brodie was the kind of dog who is happiest just sitting back and taking it all in.

After a few weeks, Brodie came to live at his Forever Home in West Brookfield, MA.  Against the advice of his foster family, we flew him on a plane to get him to us as quickly as possible.  In retrospect, we feel that was a very bad decision.  He must have been terrified.  Could that experience have contributed to the fear that he still lives in today?  We’ll never know.

Brodie has many health issues, including hypothyroidism, bi-lateral hip and elbow dysplasia and osteoarthritis.  The most frustrating thing about all of his health issues was getting a definitive diagnosis.  No one was able or willing to believe that a 6 month old dog was so severely dysplastic.  No one could believe that we wanted to spend the money on “a rescue dog” to have corrective surgery and the necessary physical therapy.  We had to search for quite a while to find a vet who understood.  In the mean time, most of our education came from experienced members of the Berner community.  (THANK YOU!!!)  What an education it has been!

Brodie has earned his CGC and even trained in Team Obedience. He will always be timid, but he is a kind, gentle soul with incredible patience. He is always in some amount of pain, and because of that his tail does not wag as often as it should, but a raw diet, homeopathic treatments and monthly chiropractic adjustments have really begun to change him.  He seems more at peace and sometimes even a little bit brave.  Despite his pain, he is happiest when he is running free in the woods with his Berner friends.  There is nothing more beautiful in the world than to see him running with his tongue hanging out and his ears blowing in the wind!  It brings tears to our eyes – every time.  Seeing his happiness makes everything that he has gone through worth it.  We know these are experiences that he would never have gotten if he hadn’t been rescued.

Two years ago, Brodie got a new little Berner sister to keep him company and to take over all Alpha responsibilities. Now Brodie is learning to PLAY – something he was never able to do as a hungry puppy living in a cage at the puppy mill. His tail is wagging more each day. He is a wonderful boy who is loved by everyone he meets – and especially by his family!

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