Dogs, Drugs and Deliverance

Whether you're human or animal, we all have a past. Some may be worse than others but it shouldn't define us.  Beyond all of that, there is hope and the potential to learn from our mistakes. It gives us the ability to make incredible changes. Through training and dedication, it is always possible. There is no lost cause.

My name is Brandi and I'm an animal lover. I dedicate each and every day of my sobriety to trying to make a difference in the lives of animals. But I come from a dark place. I allowed myself to get mixed in with the wrong people and became addicted to meth. I did things I'm not proud of and evolved into a person I didn't like.

I spent many years down a dark path and lost my way for such a long time.  I was living a life in and out of jail, suffering in an abusive relationship, and grieving the loss of my newborn daughter with an unexpected heart condition. I hit rock bottom.  No mother should have to bury her child.  

Eventually, I saw the person I had become and decided it was time to make some changes. I decided I was going to fight for my life.  I trained myself to become a better person--the kind of person I could finally be proud to be.

When I began to get my life back on track, a special little Chihuahua named Jasmine came to me.  I've always had a passion for animals and was quickly drawn to her.  I continue to make good life choices for myself and also for her.  We all have things in our lives that inspire us to be better people. Animals happen to be mine.

I do what I can to make a difference by sharing posts of animals in need and sharing the work of my new friend, Dianne.  Animals are so unbelievably compassionate and I feel like this world would be a much better place if we were more like them.  I stay out of trouble now not just for myself but for these animals, too.  Jasmine is everything to me and in order to be a good mom to her, I have to continue to stay clean from drugs.

I was introduced to Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue through a friend of mine and became a volunteer. Through them, I learned about Find Your Inner Dog. I spent months watching so many dog training videos and was blown away by the compassion, love, and techniques used by Dianne in her training.

One dog in particular caught my eye. Brutus.  He is an old boy with a dark past like me. I think that's why I was so drawn to him. He came to Find Your Inner Dog to get some much-needed training in hopes that it might help get him adopted. He had a history of human aggression and he wasn't very friendly with other dogs. Dianne made it her mission to change all of that and she did. Not only did he become the dog we knew was there all along but he found a permanent home with Dianne.  She and her husband gave him the second chance at life that he deserved.

I followed his amazing story from day-to-day and knew I had to meet this dog that reminded me so much of myself. Lost, unwanted, aggressive and untrusted. Recently, I made my way to Scottsdale, AZ and got to meet Brutus along with the rest of the clan. I immediately felt this connection with him. Looking into his eyes, I could see the same thing that people now see when they look into mine: a bright soul with a good heart and someone who has worked very hard to become who they are today. I look at him and I know there's more than meets the eye.

Oftentimes, second chances are well-deserved and well-earned.