Big Brown

Remembering Big Brown
Submitted by Louise Conway

It’s not about us. It’s about the dog.

When I applied as a foster for the Atlanta Dog Squad, I was open to whatever came my way in terms of a rescue dog.

I had no idea that what would come my way would steal my heart so quickly. And so fully. His name was “Big Brown”. So appropriate for such a big, beautiful animal, who lumbered out to meet me and immediately leaned into me, as if to say “Thanks for coming”. We headed home and I quickly learned that he was indeed a special dog. So gentle and unassuming. He made no demands on me and was always so happy (doing that four-legged happy dance) to be headed outside for a walk.

This BIG (should have been 90 lbs) chocolate lab had a personality that warmed your heart and made him so easy to love. He was legendary at the vet where he had been boarding — to the extent that a very special technician there had already applied to adopt him! He was a gem. And on our walks through the neighborhood, all my neighbors were immediately drawn to Big Brown.

But that gentle giant was undergoing heartworm treatment and had other health issues we would only uncover later. As his health issues were manifested, I became more resolute. He and I would get through them together! After all, this was a dog worthy of all the tender loving care I could give him. When only 25 days into his stay with me he lost his battle, I was heartbroken.

Although my first foster experience was heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time, I have to say I would do it all over again. To foster a dog is to give him new life, no matter how short that new life turns out to be. And as hard as it is to say goodbye, it’s not about us. It’s about the dog.

Big Brown, I hardly knew ye’. And I loved you just the same. Godspeed to that special place where you’ll romp and play and feast on turkey sandwiches…with Stormy and Nanny and Buster and Maggie and …