Brody didn't have a great start in life. The first time we saw him, he was huddled in the corner of a kennel at an animal shelter in San Diego. The staff at the shelter said they had picked him up as a stray. They found a microchip, but when they called the previous owner, she said she didn't want him. It's hard to understand how anyone could abandon an animal like that, but I suppose we should be thankful that her heart was so callous since it led him to us. The minute we saw him, we knew we had to take him home.
That day at the shelter, we thought Brody needed us to protect him. But it turned out to be the other way around. He was a fierce protector of everyone around him. Not by aggression. I doubt he even knew how to snarl or show his teeth. It certainly never occurred to him to do so. No, he was fierce in his love and how he surrounded you with his comforting presence. He would gaze at you with his soft brown eyes and you could feel that he truly loved you.
Brody was always up for an adventure and loved to explore. He loved his daily walks and his toys and his cookies, just like any dog. But in many ways, Brody did not act like other dogs. In fact, other dogs sometimes seemed confused by him. One time an aggressive dog got loose from his yard and charged at Brody, clearly ready to attack. Suddenly the dog stopped in his tracks, just feet from Brody, and stared at him. Brody stared back with a friendly look that said, "Oh, hello, what's your name?" You could see the tension go out of the other dog, but he continued to stare at Brody as if he had no idea what just happened. That was not unusual. Brody was a quiet soul who spoke volumes in ways we'll never understand. More than once, people told us they'd never seen their animal get along with anyone before Brody.
No matter the situation, Brody conveyed an overwhelming sense of calm and peace. And he was always looking for someone to comfort. It didn't matter the species. He loved them all. We'll never forget the time we were at the veterinarian when someone walked in with an injured and very distressed cat. Brody kept crying and trying to get close. The man holding the cat brought her down to Brody's level to let him sniff. Brody began licking the cat's head and the cat instantly quieted and calmed down. Everyone in the room watched in amazement. That was our Brody.
Brody passed away from a brain tumor in 2008. We knew we had to do something to carry on his legacy. We founded Brody's House Foundation in 2010. To this day, whenever Brody's House has helped another animal, our reward is knowing Brody would be proud.