Since having his skull crushed by his mother when he was only 13 days old, a one-year-old German shepherd-border collie cross has stumbled upon social media fame because of his crooked jaw and unique facial features.
Shortly after they adopted Brodie in September 2019, the energetic pup’s owners Amanda Richter and Brad Ames started an Instagram account, bestboybrodie, to share Brodie’s health journey with their community. The Red Deer couple never expected Brodie’s worldwide following would grow to over 49,300 followers in less than four months.
“People will comment that they were having a horrible day, they were down in the dumps, but seeing his post brightened their day and helped them feel better,” said Richter. “We’ve had people with disabilities themselves message us saying that they love seeing a dog like Brodie and that it makes them feel good.”
The attack by his mother caused severe cranial and facial injuries which he grew into as he developed. Brodie had originally been up for adoption at Old MacDonald Kennels outside of Ponoka, Alta., and received a lot of attention on the rescue shelter’s Facebook page when they posted his photos.
As soon as she saw his photos, Richter knew she wanted to adopt the special dog.
“I really loved the way he looked. I thought he looked so sweet and I felt very drawn to him,” said Richter. “We wanted to just meet him but then we came home with him on the same day.”
People who had seen Brodie’s photos on Old MacDonald Kennels’ site encouraged Richter and Ames to start an Instagram account so they could keep in touch with the unique puppy. They didn’t know just how many people would be interested in following along with Brodie’s life.
Living with Brodie is just like living with any other hyper puppy, Richter said. With two working dog breeds in him, the one-year-old is high energy and keeps his owners busy. Because of his curved snout and one nearly blind eye, he needs eye drops once a day and requires smaller kibble.
“He has a great quality of life and he’s very highly intelligent. . . He always does silly things that make us laugh. He makes our life better,” said Richter.
She hopes that Brodie’s story inspires other people to adopt special needs dogs or dogs that aren’t “perfect.”
“These little guys bring just as much happiness into your life than any other dog. You have to be prepared for medical costs that could come up, but we just really hope that people will adopt and give special needs dogs a chance,” said Richter.