Just a brook. Or more accurately Brooke.
I love that photo.
This little love sponge came to us via a mildly circuitous route.
I sat down on the floor at my in-law's house when this little brown dog wanders over to get some lovin'. And more lovin'. And more....you get the point. She just loved being around people. She was the mildest of puppies.
Her then owner said something like "Oh. I see you met your new dog." This was followed closely by various Toddlings wandering over to say "Mom said we could keep her. Isn't she great!" And other such stuff.
But we already had Asha. I was more than a little leery of introducing competition into his domain. I eventually agreed that we could try it for a couple days to see if they would get along.
They got along. Not that you would know it by their first few days together. Asha loved to play the big bad dog. He would put his jaws on Brooke's neck and pretend like he was this vicious, dominating dog. While her neck ended up pretty soggy, he never really was doing more than playing.
And she gave as good as she got from time to time.
Then we had another problem. Brooke wasn't always Brooke. First she was Mandy. And aside from being a Barry Manilow reference, her name was close to our beloved daughter's. So obviously that had to change.
From what little we know, she was living in a home that was ill suited for a medium sized dog. It was an apartment where she had little time to go outside. Walking her was considered a "chore".
We believe that she had not been properly trained as we lost an awful lot of wooden furniture that first couple of years. She just didn't know that there were somethings that puppies could chew and other things that that they couldn't. She didn't know what chew toys were. But she learned.
Stuck in an apartment with no chew toys and taste for wood, we could only speculate about her treatment.
Brooke was the mildest dog in the world. You couldn't even use the fake "I'm mad at you" voice without her ears going back, her tail going way down, followed closely by a flop onto her back as if to say, "I'm sorry and I'll never do it again...if I ever figure out what it was in the first place." We don't know if that was who she was or who she had to be.
It didn't matter to us. She was just this great little puppy who wanted nothing more than to be loved and praised. Brooke was exactly what she was when we first met; a love sponge. She'd take all the love and attention you cared to give.
Brooke was Asha's sidekick in just about every adventure. He would get out of our fenced in yard, and she would run along to see what happened next. If he was in the garbage, then she was right along side looking for whatever tasty treats there might be available.
But she was always the sidekick, never the lead dog. The truth be told, I think she liked it that way.
The one thing that was unique about Brooke was that she loved moles. The little critters that dig trails under your grass. And Brooke would dig up the moles.
Technically, she would dig up their trails in a mad hunt for the moles. Sort of like "The Digging-Est Dog". That would last until the moles decided to dig down instead of just under the grass.
I came out the back door to see what the dogs were up to. I was betting on "no good". I wasn't disappointed. I asked Asha where Brooke was. He didn't feel like answering, so I called her name.
And this tail stuck up out of the grass and started wagging. Just a disembodied tail. Either that or there was something odd in the grass seed we had been using.
So I whistled and slowly this dog backed up out of the ground. I went over to see how bad the damage was only to find that Brooke had dug a nearly vertical hole that was big enough that she could almost fit entirely within it.
Except for her tail. I guess it needed the room to wag.
Eventually, the mole population was properly controlled and the damage to the yard was reversed.
Brooke had been having some problems eating recently. And some problems eating before that. We tried just about everything that she might like to have; SPAM, tuna fish, snackies, etc.
But in the end, the vet said her liver was giving out and for the second time in less than two months, I found myself holding a leash and an empty collar. Which matches the big empty spot she has left in our lives. She was about 13 years old and had spent over a decade with us.
One more photo of the biggest love sponge in the world.