There’s always hope: The Story of Brandy


Brandy in her "fly" sweater

Brandy in her “fly” sweater

The dogs I meet at the Animal Welfare Society shelter often remind me that even when the odds seem stacked against you, hope waits around the corner.

Sweet little Brandy, a 12 year old female beagle reminded me of this once again.

I remember when I first spotted her.

As I walked the corridor where the “surrendered” dogs stay until they are cleared for adoption, I came upon this rather bony, faded looking beagle, doing the classic beagle yowl as she turned her head back and forth.

I wasn’t sure if she was in pain or scared and lonely.

Whispering to her that it’ll be alright, I squeezed my hand between the vertical pipe on the kennel door, and the cement wall upon which it was latched. She moved her head over and I scratched her ear as best I could…as she yowled away.

I gave her a hot dog slice. She seemed to have a hard time chewing it. I wondered if she had lost most of her teeth.

She alternated between munching on it and yowling.

Each time I returned to the shelter to walk, and play with, the dogs, I would  make sure I visited with Brandy, talking to her and letting her know that things will be alright…that someone would adopt her.

To be honest, I had my doubts.

What are the odds, I thought, of someone wanting an elderly dog who howls a lot when they have a choice among all the cute little puppies and young, vigorous adults?

I felt so sad for this old, loyal pooch who had probably spent her whole life in one home, only to find herself placed in a strange environment with large dogs around her barking and her familiar people nowhere to be found.

Fortunately, she gradually settled down and seemed at peace in her new—and hopefully—temporary home.

When Brandy got cleared for adoption, I was thrilled.

That meant I could take her for walks, pat her and hold her, which I did.

One day when I looked in her cage, I noticed a sign indicating that Brandy was going home in the evenings with one of the volunteers.

I was so thankful that old Brandy was getting the chance to at least spend the evening and night in a cozy home.

Then one day she was gone.

That same volunteer who was taking her home for the evening recognized that the odds of old Brandy being adopted were slim to none. She was not only in her twilight years, but also had medical issues. This volunteer, by the way, already having five dogs.

I just found out today that Brandy passed away.

Even though I feel sad the world no longer has this charming old dog, I feel so thankful that she spent the remaining days of her life in a place where she was loved and—I bet—spoiled in a way she never would have dreamed possible.

When I think of this old, faded beagle who yowled when she was lonely, wanting attention, or happy…it didn’t matter what her mood…I won’t only have fond memories of what a little character she was.

Her memory will be yet another reminder that there is always hope… even when the odds seem stacked against you.

Brandy on the move


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