Taking A Chance:
Ellen Bookman is a woman who undoubtedly has experienced adversity in her life. Adversity can be a tough thing to overcome for most people. Ellen however, is not like most people. Approximately ten years ago, she began experiencing various symptoms, such as lack of focus, loss of feeling in her feet, and weight gain. On top of these symptoms, Ellen realized that she had become depressed. Plagued by these worsening symptoms, Bookman decided to consult a physician. When the first doctor visit yielded no results, Bookman continued this trend of consulting a licensed physician and either getting no results or being misdiagnosed until eventually she received life changing news. Ellen Bookman was informed by her doctor that she had contracted a central nervous disorder, called Parkinson’s Disease.
Following this diagnosis, Ellen felt as though she would never feel like her old self again. Many people who suffer from Parkinson’s seek refuge in many different support groups, charities, through family members etc. Ellen explored many different avenues of support for her disease with little success, until eventually, and reluctantly, she came across a non-profit organization where she finally started to feel the support she had been looking for. Unfortunately at that time, Ellen’s long term dog Sammy passed away leaving a void in her life that even the non-profit could no longer fill.
Ellen, throughout her entire life, has always felt a close relationship with dogs. They have always helped comfort her in ways of stress relief and companionship so after a mourning period of the untimely death of her dog Sammy, she decided it was time to look into adopting “Woman’s best friend.”
That’s when Brody entered her life. He’s a black and white-colored mix of 25% labrador, 25% pitbull, 12% chihuahua, and the other 34% of his mix is unknown. Brody’s mother was taken in as a rescue into the foster care system where she then gave birth to Brody and his siblings.
The Savior: Brody
One afternoon, Ellen, on a whim, went to a local pet store with no expectations of finding the dog that would change her life forever. She went with the idea in mind that the next dog she was going to adopt had to be a chocolate lab. On this day, however, a local adoption center was occupying the sidewalk outside the pet store and it was there that she first saw Brody. Ellen browsed the corrals of dogs with no luck until she came to the last one and saw the dog of her dreams. Brody put his paw on her shoulder and leaned his head against hers in a hug, and the rest was history! Ellen was also keen on adopting Brody due to the fact that he was a rescue dog because throughout her life, Ellen has only ever had rescues and she feels very passionate in adopting over buying dogs.
Brody is a high energy dog with a heart of gold. Brody became part of the Bookman family when he was just fifteen weeks old. Prior to his rescue, he was raised in a loving foster family. As a puppy, Brody started out very timid. Fortunately though, through the experience of growing up in an environment with his siblings and mother in the same home, Brody developed into the lovable playful dog that stole Ellen’s heart.
Brody came into Ellen’s life at the perfect time.
The hero of our story has been with Ellen throughout her entire Parkinson’s diagnosis. Ellen has the luxury of being able to work from home which has allowed her to bond much more closely with Brody than most people experience. “His constant companionship is a lifeline,” says Ellen. Typically, the biggest challenge of adopting a rescue dog, for most people is not knowing the dog’s background or history. Bookman feels very fortunate that she was able to get Brody’s entire backstory and know that he comes from a great foster home.
“Adopting rescue dogs is important because many dogs have such unique stories, and when they’re rescued there a moment where the foster systems−much like the one Brody was in−provide a way for foster parents to really get to know a dog’s character.”
Ellen praises Brody with lots of love and affection. Brody’s presence in her life has made living with Parkinson’s Disease much more bearable. Therapy dogs have been known for being really soothing for people who deal with life-threatening diseases. Therapy dogs go through extensive training, so they can be prepared for any circumstances their owners may endure. Brody’s presence during Ellen’s treatment provides her with the affection and comfort needed during such a difficult time. Brody is also aware when Ellen may be struggling with treatments or just needs love and affection. He provides her with the emotional support, and helps Ellen get through each and every day.
Brody possesses a sweet demeanor and a bubbly personality that will no doubt bring a smile to your face when you see him. Because of his traits, Brody is Ellen’s constant companion. Brody is attached at the hip to Ellen, and his presence inspires her to continue every day. Since she’s a stay at home boss she gets to spend all the time with Brody. His favorite things to do are sleep next to Ellen when she’s working, flopping around on the ground when playing, and swimming in Lake Allatoona. His comfort and protection when Ellen is working makes the working days go by easier. Brody is silly and has a personality like any other dog, so he likes to flop around and make silly faces. When the weather is nice, Brody enjoys swimming in Lake Allatoona, and it is great exercise for such an energetic dog. Brody lightens up Ellen’s life, and she is thankful for him.
Rescuing a dog may seem like a daunting task, and it certainly can be at times. People need to weigh their odds and understand everything it takes to own and rescue a dog. There are sleeping habits that need to be developed. A dog may be potty trained in a foster home or at a shelter, but a new environment means new habits. Rescuing a dog also means the new owner needs to give it the love and affection necessary. Ellen was prepared for all of these things, and she does not regret rescuing Brody. At the end of the day, you might not realize that adopting a dog affects not only the dog’s life but your own. Rescue Dog Games helps people like Ellen find a dog perfect for their lifestyle.
For more information about Rescue Dog Games and their efforts to save the lives of dogs, visit their website: https://rescuedoggames.com/
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To learn more about Ellen Bookman visit her website:
More information about Parkinson’s Disease can be found here:
Article composed by: AJ Cagle, Kiersten Cusick, Gracie Shackelford, Janay Gordon, Holly Welch