In rescue, we see a lot of dogs who come from neglectful situations or have had a tough start in life. They all have unique personalities, and some dogs need a little more TLC and rehabilitation than others to make the transition to a new home.
But even pups from the most troubling situations, once they’re given love, stability and security, can leave the past behind and live in the now. We continue to be amazed at how resilient and hopeful dogs are, and that is certainly one of the many things that we can learn from them.
Brad is one of those dogs who has been mistreated by people, but still has an innocence and innate sweetness in him that he wants to share with a person he can trust. He has never known what a loving family can be; living outside on a chain from the time he was a puppy, neglected and starved for both food and attention.
Despite it all, Brad is still a loving dog with a gentle spirit who wants to belong to someone. He is a handsome, strapping young Boxer who is under two years old and weighs 63 pounds, and has big puppy-dog brown eyes that reveal his inner sweetness and curiosity about new things.
Brad came into rescue after being seized by Animal Control. He was severely underweight and had open wounds around his neck from an embedded collar, which happens when someone puts a tight collar on a young dog and never resizes it for their growing bodies. Brad’s collar had to be surgically removed from his skin.
The veterinarian discovered that Brad had a broken femur from a previous trauma. This may have come from being hit by a car early in life or some other blunt force trauma, but he was never taken to a hospital or vet to address it. He probably suffered a lot, but luckily his leg has healed well enough that the injury doesn’t slow him down, and he can walk and run with ease. Brad is very lucky to have made it through these injuries in such good health. He remains a strong and resilient pup.
I took Brad for a long walk before we did his photo shoot, and he was great on the leash and a model subject that day, but that’s not always the case with Brad. He can be leash-reactive around some dogs, which is not uncommon with pups who have been chained up most of their lives. He’s also picky about his canine friends and prefers calm, larger dogs. Brad would do be best in a home with a fenced yard so that he can have an area to run freely in while he works on learning his leash walking and outside socialization skills.
Inside the home, Brad is a very calm and laid-back dog who is crate-trained and knows his “sit” command. Through his foster family, he’s learned what it feels like to be loved and cared for, and has even discovered the glorious wonder of the belly rub and the comfort of a cushy dog bed.
I spoke with Brad’s foster mom, Kelly, and she told me that when he first arrived she would give him space, but lay on the floor near him to connect. Brad quickly bonded with her and would snuggle up next to her as she gave him a belly rub. She realized, with some sadness, that this was probably the first true affection he had ever received in his life.
Now that Brad’s had a taste of the good life, he’d really like to find a family of his own. He is very eager to please, and because he’s so treat-motivated he learns quickly. The family who adopts him will need to have some experience with strong breed dogs and the patience and willingness to work with him on training, socialization and introducing him to new things.
He’s learning how to play and is curious about toys, but is not sure what to do with them. He needs love and attention, and really wants to just be near his person and have some stability in life. A calmer home environment is probably best for Brad to make the transition, so younger kids are not the best fit.
Brad has had a tough start in life and needs someone to step up for him. He is a sweet dog and will be a very loyal and loving companion, but needs someone to show him the ropes. Our hope is that we are able to find him a permanent home through the Patch, but we’re also looking for a temporary foster family who can help with his rehabilitation.
Click here to learn more about fostering and how you can help Brad or other dogs in need.