We moved just outside of Nashville, Tennessee in July 2007. Our house is a small rental property on a street out in the country. Our new neighbors told us about a dog on our street they called Brownie. Brownie had been abandoned by his owners when they moved with their other dogs. A few people on our road would leave scraps for the old brown dog.
Brownie would sit in the grass along the street, always watching, like he was waiting for someone. We soon saw the poor boy being harassed by neighborhood kids and dogs, and we started feeding him and making sure he had water. He was independent at first. He would take the food from you carefully and would walk away to eat it. Soon though, he would stay longer and move closer to our house. My wife tried to get him to eat in the house on days the weather was bad, and soon he did. He would immediately go back outside when he was done.
The weather grew colder, and we started to worry even more about Brownie. On our anniversary, instead of buying each other gifts we bought him a doghouse. During a rare Tennessee snowstorm I received a frantic call from my wife Lindsay saying the police and dogcatcher were going to take Brownie. I rushed home in time to stop them, and we officially adopted Brownie.
We took Brownie to visit family in Pennsylvania, and had him checked out by Dr. Takacs in Ebensburg. We found out that Brownie had quite a traumatic life. He had a bad leg from being hit by a car, and x-rays showed that he had been shot at least twice. We had a hard time grasping why such an amazing soul had been so mistreated by people. After hearing his story the vet looked at Brownie and told him he was a lucky boy. After spending time with him the vet retracted his statement and said we were the lucky ones to have such a wonderful dog. Everyone had this reaction to Brownie, and his soulful brown eyes and his teddy bear face.
This once independent dog soon became the prince of our house. He loved sitting on the couch, and would stare at you and thump his tail until you’d pet him. His tail would thump so hard you could hear it across the house. He loved music and would thump his tail to the beat of songs on the stereo. He loved to hear us sing, especially if you’d sing his name in the songs. He loved to have his belly rubbed, and would get your attention by pawing at you. He loved his cuddle time with his mommy. But his true signature move was his thumping tail. I can still hear it.
He was a fantastic older brother to our sheltie Ginny. He would still thump his tail even if she was barking in his face or cleaning his tiny ears. They would sleep in the back of the car with their heads resting on each other during long trips to Grammy Jan’s house in Pennsylvania. They would both greet visitors as if Paul McCartney had just walked through the door. She has been lost without him.
We lost Brownie to cancer on June 20, 2011. He had been abandoned in his life, but he left this world surrounded by love. Not just our love for him, but the love that radiated from his beautiful spirit. His loss has been felt by everyone that knew him.
There were times I’d cry when I’d think about everything that he had been through, now I realize it all lead him to us. He filled our lives with love and laughter. He lived every day showing his appreciation for us. But it is us that are grateful. We are grateful that he chose us. Every day he gave us was a blessing and so was every smile and tail thump.
We miss you dearly Mr. Brownie. Four years was not enough time, but you gave us a lifetime of love. Our hearts are aching without you here, but at the same time they are filled with your spirit and love. We know you are waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge and we are comforted by the fact that we will be with you again.
We love you sweet boy.
Mom, Dad, and Ginny.