It wasn’t too long ago that we received an email from a young lady who was asking for help to re-home a pit bull that her younger brother-in-law found in the middle of the night last December.

But it was just moments ago that we set our Brian free. His time on earth was done, his work accomplished and his angels wanted him home.

Brian never left his family. That initial email led to a cultured relationship between us and them. Brian brought into our world a family unit who showed us the true meaning of commitment, compassion, love and coming into the knowledge that they were entrusted with a soul who needed them. No matter how demanding the situation, they did not give up, they did not give in and they did not abandon. Brian soon became the catalyst of many things to come during his short time with us.

Brian was a gift, though his time with us was short, he gave us much to think about, to apply to our lives, to share with others, to ponder on. In the past six months, and because of Brian, we have grown. Brian’s presence in our lives gave us direction and momentum, passion and force, and a peaceful understanding that we were in the midst of a graceful creature. And we were.

Everyone who came into contact with Brian quickly became his people, his reason for being and the power of his presence was never ignored or taken for granted. And as much as he loved, he was loved in return. It was hard not to kiss that face of his, to stroke his fur, to hold his warmth close to you. Brian was a healing source, a spiritual touch and a tender whisper.

Just over 48 hours ago, Brian died on a soft blanket outside in the grass, with the wind softly blowing on his skin, the sun having just set, birds singing a sweet lullaby, and ten hands promising love and expressing gratitude for all he did for us. We released him with peace and with respect. It was as if God Himself orchestrated every last detail of perfection for Brian. And as we looked over, just feet from where we were, stood four regal mallard ducks. Were they paying homage to this magnificent boy, a creation of nature and all that is good? Or were they Brian’s angels, appearing to us in physical form to bring us peace and understanding that he wouldn’t travel this journey alone?

Brian, your shoes will never be filled, nor your spirit replaced. It isn’t meant to be that way. But one thing is for sure, when we look up to the sky and see a light flashing in freedom flying high above the breeze, we will think of you. That is where you now reside, free and beautiful…and whole. And as you fly free, take our love with you, breath it into the wind, and soar!

We will take your spirit with us as we travel the roads of rescue, as we encounter each new dog in need, and as we celebrate in the many successes we promise to create. Your strength and perserverance will keep us going in times of defeat. Knowing that we kept the best part of you with us, the love you gave so freely, will keep us balanced and focused and heading in the right direction . Find our Donnie, visit us often and lead us where we are meant to go. We’ll be waiting for you and we will follow!