By Rachel Richards, for StubbyDog.org
Brom is my special boy. Brom came to me at Thanksgiving four years ago. Both of us have a lot to be thankful for too.
Back in the day when MySpace was the current social media hotspot, a plea for help came across my MySpace account. An adorable 2-day-old Pit Bull puppy had been left on someone’s doorstep. Yup, you read that right – like an abandoned baby left on the church stairs in a movie, someone had dropped this helpless creature off. The woman who lived in the house already had two Pit Bulls and couldn’t keep another, and was desperately looking for a home. The catch was that she was going to have to be selective because this baby had a special need: He was born with only three legs.
So I messaged her and told her more about myself: that I train dogs, that I’m involved in K9 search and rescue, and that I already have two Pit Bulls, one of which, Inara, also has a disability. She’s deaf, but that doesn’t stop her from loving life; in fact, she’s in the 2012 StubbyDog Superhero Calendar! I sent her a link to my website so that she could read more if she wanted. After she and a good friend of hers looked my site over, she messaged me back and said that she would gladly home the puppy with me. I was ecstatic!
The woman was able to nurse the puppy with another friend who had a current litter about two weeks older then the puppy. Being the tiny one of the group though, he had a hard time keeping up with the others. He was taken to the vet frequently to make sure that he wasn’t becoming deficient in nutrients, and the vet gave him a clean bill of health, other than being underweight.
I drove to North Carolina the weekend before Thanksgiving to pick him up. I brought Inara with me to keep him company in the back seat since she was only 6 months old, and we spent the night with a close friend who lived nearby.
Driving home the following morning, I stopped by a vet’s office where a friend of mine worked to have Brom examined. She weighed him and he came in at a whopping 2 pounds, 4 ounces. She suggested I put him on puppy formula and wet food immediately to try to put more weight on him.
I have to admit that many people thought that he wasn’t going to make it. He was so skinny and weak. I was determined though. This boy may have been abandoned, but I wasn’t going to quit on him. I knew that he would need a strong name to carry him through the next several weeks and months. I chose the name Brom from the book and movie “Eragon.” He was a very strong character who carried on through great strife and prevailed. That was what I wanted for my Brom too.
Thanksgiving came and went, and my Mom spoiled Brom with a new coat. Even the smallest size left room for him to grow. Christmas quickly followed. Now it has been four years, and Brom is thriving on our small farm. He’s physically and mentally strong and has a huge love for life – and a rope toy!
If Brom had four legs, I have no doubt that he would have made an impeccable search and rescue dog. He is the embodiment of what a Pit Bull should be: strong, brave, athletic, loyal, driven and willing to please. He is everything that we look for in a good working dog. Instead, I have trained him for agility, and he has enough obedience training to have received his Canine Good Citizen paper. I registered him in the UKC Limited Privilege program as Old Glory’s Red, White and Blue, and I plan on taking him to his first agility trial in March. After that, we are going to work toward his rally and obedience titles.
From the day he was abandoned, everyone involved gave their all to give Brom the best chance they could. Because of that, he has so much love to give back. I know that he is looking forward to becoming a therapy dog this year just as much as I look forward to seeing the smiles that will light up people’s faces when they see his adorable upturned nose peeking through the door.