“I needed a dog,” says Lindsay Brown of Massachusetts., who had loved and owned many dogs, but found herself without one. In October 2004, Brown visited the Northeast Animal Shelter in search of a new friend. When she saw Broken Hero, an 8-year old, 42-pound, black-and-tan hound mix, her heart went out to him. “I couldn’t leave him in that crate for another minute,” she says. “There was no question. I had to take him home.”
Broken Hero was a stray taken in by a West Virginia veterinary clinic. He lived at the office and was used as a blood donor. “He was giving blood to save others,” says Betty Bilton, assistant director at the Northeast Animal Shelter. When he couldn’t give blood anymore, he needed a new home.
Bilton heard about Broken Hero from the Monroe County Animal League in West Virginia, an organization where Northeast Animal Shelter rescues many of its dogs. Although the shelter usually takes in puppies because they are easier to place, Bilton decided to take Broken Hero. “This is what rescue is all about,” she says. “You knew in his eyes he loved people.” It turned out that Broken Hero was only at the shelter for 10 days.
Today, when Broken Hero and Brown take a walk, he often stops to let a person pass. If someone pauses to admire him, Brown has to intervene. “I say, ‘Will you please pat him because he won’t move until you do,’” she says. Brown is so thankful to have Broken Hero in her life. “I don’t call him Broken anymore,” she says, “just Hero.”
Jennifer Quasha is a DOG FANCY contributing editor and author of Don’t Pet a Pooch While He’s Pooping: Etiquette for Dogs and Their People (BowTie Press, 2004, $8.95). She lives in Connecticut.