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Rainbow Bridge – Brandi

This week Brandi passed over to the Rainbow Bridge.

From Brandi’s Foster Home:

Brandi was instantly part of the family the minute she walked in the door.  It was like she’d been with us forever.  She made herself right at home….no fear whatsoever.  She immediately established herself as queen of the castle, All the dogs in the house immediately respected her space.  It was not hard to understand how she survived so long on the prairie as she was definitely a dominant girl that was not afraid to fight for what she thought was hers. Evidence in the numerous chunks out of her ears and tongue.  She was tough and tenacious, but at the same time so very loyal and full of love.

We immediately bonded and she followed me everywhere. We spent our mornings driving into town and around the city for work…she sometimes would share “shotgun” with the little dogs, She would let them cuddle up to her on the front seat…I’m sure feeling a sense of motherly duty from all the litters of pups in past years.

She absolutely loved Tim Hortons drive thru (any drive thru really)….she thought food came through every open window. Brandi had an amazing spirit and will to live and experience life to its fullest.  You could see the appreciation in her eyes that she didn’t have to fight for everything anymore….that she had a warm bed and her favorite sleeping spot at night. And food just automatically came to her….the sheer delight at feeding time and the yummy treats that just magically appeared.

This beautiful spirit will live on forever in our hearts.  In such a short time…she made such a difference in our lives.

Read more about how Brandi came to AARCS and why she touched the hearts of everyone who knew her.

A Message from AARCS

AARCS often takes in animals who have medical needs. While Brandi is a special case she is just one of many medical cases that we deal with on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. When an animal comes into our care as a medical case, they are assessed to see what can be done to give them quality of life. Animals who are terminally ill, like Brandi who had cancer, are placed into a forever foster home that will let them live out their days with a full belly and knowing love, companionship and dignity. If you would like to know more about helping these animals out, please email info@aarcs.ca or consider becoming an AARCS Angel.

Brandi’s Story

You think after 10+ years involved in animal rescue you would start seeing each animal as a number, dog number 50, cat number 385, the brown and black dog or the long haired orange cat. This however is not the case, each animal has its story, has its past and has a name.

Brandi has a story. I might not know the beginning of her life story but I know the second part of her story, the part where she was given an opportunity to be happy and treated with kindness and love. She is a dog that will always have a place in my heart. When you meet her, Im sure she will leave the same imprint in your heart she has mine.
I was driving the country side roads returning a truck load full of dogs during a spay and neuter clinic to their various guardians when Brandi crossed my path. I saw her in a field, walking slowly with her belly extended. I knew she was old, but why was her belly so large? I figured she was either pregnant or had a severe uterine infection.
After getting her surrendered due to her body condition, we loaded her up in our vehicle and drove her to Calgary where she would be assessed by one of our vets. It was determined quickly she has a large mass in her abdomen. Likely the size of a small football.
Instinctively the reaction from the veterinarian was to humanely euthanize her, end her life from any future of possible suffering. I don’t blame the veterinarian, in all honesty it is likely what we would have done in some cases like her. Yet for some reason it didn’t feel right. I knew deep down she was not ready to leave. She had life in her , it was clear in simply looking her in the eyes. Sadly I have held many animals who have been put to rest as medical intervention was no longer an option or in the animals best interest. I’ve held numerous animals whose bodies were so weak and ailed that the only kind thing to do was to let them go t. Brandi however was not yet ready. She was not in pain nor did she lose the will to live.
I offered to take her to the park for the day. I figured if today was the day she was going to be put down I wanted her to have at least one day where she got to eat anything and everything. I didn’t want her last day be the stresses of the long drive and an unfamiliar environment, so I loaded up my van with sardines, stinky dog food and cat kibble “dog can resist cat kibble”.
When I arrived at the clinic she came walking out with her tail wagging. I looked at her, she looked at me, and it was immediate that I knew today was not the day to say goodbye to Brandi. She jumped into the back seat of the van and we took off to the park. The entire trip she stood up in the back and sneakily ate the loose kibbles that were hiding in all the floor crevices of my van. When we arrived to the park, she jumped out of the van and began our was together, which ended up as 2 hour power walk.
I cancelled her appointment to be euthanized that afternoon and scheduled it for later in the day. This time it would be where a veterinarian came out to my place where hopefully she would have felt more relaxed. As time went on the more and more I knew I couldn’t go through with it. I called friends, my support group, the ones I call when I need advice. I phoned Deanna and told her she needed to meet me at the park right away. She needed to come meet Brandi and see first hand how amazing this girl is and how she needs to be given a new life in a home where she could be spoiled rotten, with knowing that perhaps it would only be for 1 week, perhaps several months, only time would tell.
Deanna headed over right away, and within moments of seeing the joy in Brandi’s face agreed 100 percent that we needed to hold off and look at other options. We sat the three of us in the van, Brandi between the two of us eating Deanna’s fries while we tried coming up with a plan. Both Deanna and I were leaving town that week or else we would have taken her to either one of our homes. The shelter was full, and we worried about an old girl like herself being in a kennel, as she was likely never confined her entire life.
Kim and Heather from Dawg Tired! That is who we need to call! Deanna dialled their number put them on speaker and explained the situation with Brandi. With only a few words in and without hesitation they agreed to take Brandi on as a permanent foster.
We all sat in the van crying as Kim shed a tear over the phone and Brandi continued to eat her fries. She had no idea what just took place, but both Deanna and I knew she just had won the lottery.
Her life now is extraordinaire. She lives the life any dog would want. She gets to run, snuggle, eat raw food and ride shotgun in Heather’s truck everyday. We know she will be loved every remaining day of her life. It might be one week, it may be 3 months, but for Brandi it is time for her to live.
I am forever grateful to AARCS for taking Brandi under their wing and of course Heather and Kim for giving Brandi such a wonderful life. Brandi you amaze me in the joy you bring to those who meet you. Thank you for coming into my life and thank you for reminding me why is it so important for groups like AARCS to continue the work they do.
RJ Bailot