Touching Lives, Warming Hearts

Through Human & Animal Interactions

Brandi Leigh McLaughlin

Beloved Companion of Sharon McLaughlin

May 6, 2004 – February 18, 2015

Brandi Leigh. a Yorkie,  came to live with us in her forever home on February 18, 2012.  The first eight years of her life were Brandi at RFspent being a breeder in a puppy mill situation where she experienced abuse,  was traumatized, surviving the ordeal with a nearly broken spirit.  When she first arrived,  I remember how she would run away from me. Then when she learned to use the doggie door, she found she could escape even farther away by running out in the yard.    For me, it took absolute patience, love, understanding and unconditional acceptance of who she was  and what she had experienced in order for her to trust me. Once she accepted a doggie treat from my hand, she began making real progress with her training of basic commands plus learning the routines of being an  integral member of our family.  Over time, I did gain that trust from her so much so that she eventually became a KPETS registered therapy doggie.  Her visits to a local nursing home brought so much joy and comfort to the folks she visited there, and they will miss her as much as I will.


Brandi enjoyed our walkies so very much,  and  she always made me laugh when she tried to do the familiar scratching move after she went to the bathroom.  Only with her, she did a little dance  routine, jiggling all four of her paws sometimes three of them at a time, it was hysterical.  Never experiencing the feel of real grass before, it must have felt so very good to her.


KPETS2014_65Brandi (1)Recently, I read an article on how to rehab a puppy mill breeder.  As I read that article, I realized that Brandi somehow taught me how to help her recover and heal from her past life as I had no experience  with puppy mill dogs. All we did together was right  there in that article, even the part where once a treat is accepted  from your hand, you have gained their trust.  Brandi died on February 18th exactly three years from the day  she came to my home.  I lost her to a brain tumor that was diagnosed on February 16th.  She passed away in my arms two days later,   It was most comforting to know that I did most everything right with her rehabilitation.  She was so beautiful.


I will always keep these memories and so many others of her and who she was in a special place in my heart.  Knowing that she can jump and play again when she crossed over Rainbow Bridge and is now in Pet Heaven is a comfort to me.
Thank you for your love and trust, Brandi.
~Sharon McLaughlin