On April 19, 2016, I did a pretty crazy thing. I took the day off from work and drove 180 miles south to New York City to adopt a dog. Not just any dog – a 13-year-old pittie who was dumped at the shelter by the only family he had ever known. His name was Brooke and I first saw him on the dogsofinstagram account.


I follow many dog rescue accounts across the social media spectrum and I see so many posts like the one above. There are always dogs in need. Our two dogs, both rescues, are enough work as it is and we were not looking to add a third. That is, until I saw Brooke’s face and read his story. This one was different. There was something about his face and his eyes. I had to go get him.

We had never adopted from the New York City Animal Care and Control (NYCACC) system before and I have to admit that it was confusing. Thanks to Sarah Lauch, I was able to connect with Caitlyn, a volunteer at NYCACC who was very familiar with Brooke. Cait helped me to navigate the adoption process so that I could adopt Brooke – and just in time! He was on the at-risk list for euthanasia that very day.

Meeting Brooke for the first time

The moment I met Brooke, I knew I’d be bringing him home that day. He was underweight at 42.6 lbs. and had a really bad case of kennel cough. He was stressed, depressed, and had stopped eating at the shelter. All of these factors – including his age – landed him on the at-risk list. He was in tough shape. I couldn’t leave him there.

Brooke freedom ride

Little did I know that Brooke’s story had touched so many people. I got so many messages asking how he was doing that I also opened a Facebook page for him. You can follow his new life there. The Facebook page is public so even folks not on FB can see it.