When Amanda Richter and her boyfriend Brad Ames first met rescue dog Brodie, the German Shepherd Border Collie won their hearts instantly.
“He just looked so cute and my heart went out to him,” Richter said. “He just really pulled on my heartstrings. I just felt really sorry for him but at the same time, he looked like such a spunky little dog.
“I felt really drawn to him.”
When he was just 13 days old, Brodie suffered a cranial and facial injury after he was bitten on the head by his mother.
Richter said the vet examined him, didn’t think he needed surgery and cleared him.
“But it turned out that as he got older, his injury grew and got worse. So his bones, as he got bigger, everything kind of twisted and fused together,” she said.
“His jaw is really crooked. They’re not aligned. As he grows, his skull is being pulled on and that’s why his eye kind of bulges out on one side. His one side of his face is very stunted. He’s got this little eye — that’s the one he’s partially blind in.”
But Brodie’s unconventional beauty captured the attention of a lot of people. Prior to his adoption, Old MacDonald Kennels‘ photos of him prompted thousands of messages and inquiries.
Richter and Ames decided to go meet him in late September and brought him home the same day. Richter said it was “absolutely” love at first sight.
Since there was such interest in Brodie, they decided to share his progress through his own Instagram account @bestboybrodie. The Instagram account describes Brodie as “a spunky, one-year-old partially blind rescue pup who looks a bit like a Picasso masterpiece. Recently adopted and so very loved.”
The response has been mind-blowing, Richter said.
“It’s crazy. Everybody loves him!”
In addition to being recognized at local dog parks and pet food stores, Brodie — and his perfectly imperfect look — has garnered attention from news outlets around the world.
“He was on the TV in Argentina this morning. I had someone send me a clip of it,” said Richter, adding he’s also been covered by the New York Post, People Magazine, LADbible, Daily Mail and CBS all over the U.S.
“We were a bit shocked actually. He’s just a dog… He just does what dogs do.
“But it’s nice and we enjoy it because it kind of gets the word out there for other special needs dogs that people would look past in the kennels.
“Everybody wants the perfect breed, the perfect dog. But really, these guys are just as good, if not better.
“He’s just such a funny dog. We don’t even notice his face anymore. He looks normal to us.”
While Brodie will have to be monitored for any future complications, he’s adapting wonderfully so far.
“His brain is perfect. They did a CT scan and they said everything came back normal in that area, so that’s a good thing,” Richter said. “He’s just really, really hyper, but I think that just comes in the breed.
“He’s highly intelligent. He learns tricks faster than any of my other dogs. He’s obviously got a little bit of an adolescent thing going on.”
The 12-month-old pup has already become quite attached to Richter and Ames. It’s safe to say the feeling is mutual.
“He’s a really fun-loving, goofy dog. He’s really silly. He makes us laugh every day,” Richter said. “He likes to cuddle when he’s in the mood, but most of the time he just likes to play and run around. He’s really funny, just a sweetheart.
“He’s the sweetest little guy.”
The pair hope sharing Brodie’s story will encourage others to not overlook animals who may not fit the stereotypical aesthetic mold.
“They should give special needs dogs a chance, or dogs who may not be perfect, might look a little different or need a little extra attention,” Richter said.
“It’s not actually as much work as people think and it really brings a lot of joy to yourself too, knowing you’re helping a dog like that. And also to rescue and adopt; don’t shop.
“And if we can help the organizations that bring in these dogs that have special needs, with donations and awareness or going in to adopt a dog, I really hope that’s what happens out of this,” she added.