Happy Tail written by Jane Gram.

For reasons I can only attribute to insanity, our family decided to adopt Brody from Gateway Pet Guardians Rescue in October 2013. At the time, we had an older German Shepherd Dog named Mack, and our cat, Newman. We thought Mack, who was the ultimate couch potato, needed a playmate. And we thought two dogs are just as easy as one. Right?

So, off we (myself, my husband and our two daughters) went to an adoption event at a local business close to our home. I was looking for a small, calm dog. My husband and girls were apparently not on the same page. After being at the event for exactly 33 1/3 seconds, I hear squeals from my daughters from the Gateway Pet Guardians Rescue tent near by, that sounded exactly like my daughters. I walked over to see what the ruckus was all about, and knew instantly that we’d found our dog. Both girls were on the ground next to Brody, who was basking in the glow of their instant love. My husband stood looking with amazement, nodding at me, and I knew I had no say in the matter. A quick application with GPG meant they would “hold” Brody for us until they conducted a home visit. Of course the home visit was a success, and Brody became ours.

Over the next few years, the phrase “Oh Brody!” has been uttered more times than I can recall. “Oh Brody! Mom, Brody ate the TV remote control.” “Oh Brody! Mom, Brody ate your brand new shoe.” “Oh Brody! Dad, Brody ate another TV remote control.” “Oh Brody! Why are you digging holes to China in the backyard?” “Oh Brody! Why did you take a box of tissues through the dog door, into the back yard, and spread 500 tissues throughout the yard?” Are you getting the picture? This dog is putting the famous Marley to shame.

However…countless times I’ve also heard the profound impact Brody has had on my children. “Oh Brody! I love you!” “Oh Brody! You’re my best friend.” “Oh Brody, you were a good girl on your walk.” “Oh Brody! You’re so snuggly.” “Oh Brody! Please sleep with me during the storm.”

Recently, I’ve offered up Brody’s service to another local rescue as a “temperament tester” dog. I take Brody to a local animal shelter where she meets rescue dogs so the team can see the other dog’s reaction to simply being around another dog. Brody’s carefree, relaxed demeanor has helped the rescue judge the comfort level of the rescue dog around other dogs. After every trip, she gets a treat, a pat on the head and a “Oh Brody, you’re a good dog.”

I’ve learned that Brody has unconditional naughtiness and unconditional love. If I have to have the latter, I’ll take the former. She’s taught my girls responsibility and respect for animals, and has provided an abundance of love in return. “Oh Brody! We love you!”