This is a tale of love, kleenex may be needed.
Back in Nov 1997 I attended a Pet Haven adoption day at a Holiday store in Bloomington. I went there with the intention of possibly adopting a sheltie, but in person it seemed too small for me. So I looked at other dogs available, and found my dream dog. Brandy was about 14 months old, was house broken, knew a few commands from the Pet Haven volunteer who spent time with her while she was living at the dog pound (too many dogs at that time, too few foster homes). The volunteer said they thought she was a collie x German shepherd and a little under weight at 55 lbs. She walked well on leash in the parking lot, and kept looking up at me, so I knew I had found my dog.
They also said she may have been abused by someone early in her life. She has been scared of vacuums, rakes, shovels. She would attack the vacuum, so I always say "Go to bed" and she goes into the bedroom until I'm ready to vacuum that room.
I met my husband about a year later and she bonded well with him. We have had many great memories with Brandy: taking her to the BWCA, backpacking out west, swimming at his parents' house in Ely (Brandy loves to play savior if you appear to be drowning), running next to us while we cross country skiied. She is very golden with only bits of black in her back coat, and we like to call her our Golden Retriever x German shepherd x whatever else is in the mix. She moved from our Maplewood home to Duluth MN back in July 2005.
She loves snow, so it is good to be living in MN with her. I thought since she would stay out of the water when we lived near Lake Phalen that she wouldn't ever be a water dog let alone a swimmer. The first time my husband and I went fishing in his parent's boat and took Brandy with us, she jumped after our first lure cast. At that moment I knew she would be a natural swimmer. Luckily we didn't catch her on the line, and brought her back into the boat via the swimmer's ladder.
On her first backpacking trip back in 2001 she had a blast. She was a typical herder, going out front and then to pick up the last hiker, so she would walk twice as long as we did. She had her own doggie backpack in which she carried her food, water bottle and on that first trip extra items that didn't fit in our friend's backpack. We took her out to Utah's Uinta Mtn Range in 2005. She learned to cross a couple of rivers on that trip, once slipping off of the logs to cross the river, and almost getting carried under the logs by the current. One of friends had already crossed the river, quickly grabbed her and pulled her to safety.
Sadly this past May she started to cough quite a bit, so we brought her to our vet. She was diagnosed with lung cancer on June 7, 2009. She sure had slowed down a lot the past few months, and we think that is the toll the cancer is taking on her. We're sad to say that we had to put her down on Wed July 15, 2009, just 2 months short of her 13th birthday. Thank you for saving Brandy for me to adopt her.
Thank you for all the work you do for animals. We were both so grateful to be Brandy's parents for as long as we did.
Thank you, J & K, for loving Brandy.
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5 years ago