The Legend of The Brandon Pack by Steve Brandon

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. - Henry David Thoreau

Before I share the advent and transformation of the life of the Brandon Pack, It is ESSENTIAL that you learn about , Steve Brandon!

You have not met me yet, because I am a FUTURE Pack member to tell his story after Steve has passed and reunited with ALL of his Rainbow Bridge Pack, happily.....FUREVER!

My name is: "Homeless" and THIS is the story of the home I always wanted.........

Steve was a very selfish man, cocky, self confident, "macho"; always living life on the edge, to prove his disability would never get the mastery over him. Steve had Gran Mal Epilepsy from age 5 and lived with it for 51 years , never caring about tomorrow. It was always about HIM. He was brought up in a family of 10 that loved dogs, but had them on "chains" while living in the city. When he did get out as a youth the family dog always came along and ran the mountains free to protect the kids. Steve grew up with German Shepherds!

Steve would soon set out on a journey that he could never turn back from , a journey that would continue to define him through the love of his friends, many of whom he would never meet and the dogs that would teach him the very basics of humanity...love for one another and a self sacrificing attitude. Steve was always poor, but rich in the love of his Pack.

You see, I am no longer "Homeless" but since Steve passed before giving me a name, I shall call myself "Rescued" because it is ALWAYS what I wanted to be! So without further delay....The Legend of the Brandon Pack:

Goober
Family- Holly, Goober, Steve, Buster
These are the two that would start a "chain-reaction" and create the Brandon Pack Legend!
Buster and Goober

Goober, aka " Brittany" came with his second wife, and what a blessing she would turn out to be...She would be his first "unofficial" Service Dog alerting his wife when he would have seizures in the garden.

She was always up to 'help out a fellow 'pack member' in the dispensation of their duties! Top of Cottonwood Pass, CO.

Very Easy-Going and intensely loyal to his wife! He always liked that about her, because when he had to drive 300 miles a night to go to college, he knew she would protect; so much so, that she would chase HIM down the hall if he and his wife were "playing" trying to nip his backside. LOL

"I wanted in on the fun too, Dad!"

Harley and Goober at Mineral Basin above Cottonwood Lake, Buena Vista, CO.

Nothing but Love in those Eyes!

THIS is what inspired him to choose who the next "Pack Member" was to be...
  • Content
  • Watchful
  • Protective

All the good ingredients for a Service Dog

The Eyes are the Window to the Soul
Loyalty has its Privileges
"For the Love of a Dog!"

Home at last, Home at last....thank DOG I am HOME at last !

Ever Watchful, Ever Vigilant!

"Goober" passed 6-1-10...She would be his ONLY dog to die of natural causes!

Wished I would have been around back then - Rescued
Buster

Meet Elhew "Buster Brown" Descendant of the legendary Damascus Elhew , aka "Runs Like the Wind!"

Dad told one of the earlier pack members who then passed it down through generations that Buster came from a very cold kennel in Leadville, CO.

It was very cold at 10,000 ft. and he need serious medical attention! Both Buster and his brother were sick, so mom and dad attempted to get them both, but it was not to be, they could only get Buster.

He got that name when Buster or "Bubba" was a pup. Mom told him not to let Buster loose because he was "new" to the family, but dad had a lot to learn about dogs yet. He chased the young Pointer pup several miles, in the middle of the snowy night, breathing and gasping while mom was rolling in the snowbank saying "See I told ya so!"

You are a dummy, Dad for letting me off the leash!

He was heart and soul, "Lemon-head" English Pointer

A "Pistol"

Full of Love and "Impishness"

Went on many hunts with dad and competed in Field Trials

Competed with the "Newbie" for the best swimmer award, but could NEVER out-swim a GSP

So Beautiful and Smart!

Dad would call him, 'The finest dog I have ever had', but he had no idea where his journey would take him!

A very wise dog that taught dad a great deal about patience and humility!

A Master at "teaching"

Buster and Isis aka "Squish" - Rodeo grounds, Buena Vista,CO.

not to mention personality!

Ha Ha, I just "blew a Raspberry at you, Dad!"

He loved the morning sun!

....and the warm fire at night!

As beautiful as he was on the outside, something very deadly was killing him, and dad had no clue!

I had Lymphoma AND Hemangiosargoma, but it never would slow me down.

Happy, Go Lucky!

Power-napper

Nothing like Family

Isis and Buster

Many Surgeries for both Cancers, TPLOs and eye issues!

"I just Roll with it, Dad"

Always happy to get on with life!

Enjoying the simple life!

Supporting Dad when he had seizures an entire year!

More Surgeries for cancer, and dad stayed up many sleepless night educating himself on cancer to save Bubba's life!

But there were good times to laugh!

Hey, can somebody help me out with this!
I love napping in the sun at Grandma's

Buster stole dad's heart!

He was the Catalyst that changed how dad would look at special needs dogs forever!!

Buster would pass the Winter of 2012 after dad spent time and money he did not have to drive him 400 miles every week for his Chemo- treatment in Colorado Springs, through blizzards, behind snowplows, using all his sick days and vacation days; whatever it took for his boy! He said of Buster, " I will never own another like him!" he was right, but Dad had still much to learn about the "others" to follow!

"Never own Another like Him"
To my knowledge today, Buster's brother is still at the Forrest Creek cabins in Buena Vista, CO. living a happy life for his brother! -Rescued
This is where "Pack Life" really starts, But dad didn't know it...he was guided by his heart, which often got him into much trouble with his family! - Rescued
The next two members of the Pack came together...."accidentally" as dad put it; yeah right! -Rescued
Harley

Harley was Dad best swimmer, but he came with "Baggage". Some of the First Pack members related his horrific story:

He was kept in a very cold garage, isolated from family while the other dogs enjoyed warmth and food. Occasionally, one of the girls would feed him when their dad was not watching. Harley would get severely emaciated and develop fear of men, because his owner was a fishermen and chewed him out when he put a paw in the water (it scared the fish)! The ONLY reason the owner got him was to fit in with Dad's father-in-law, but dad never liked him! He was a real Jerk! Harley would jump the 3 foot fence in search of adventure one too many times and land in the 'Pound' where he would meet his Furever home that would treat a GSP right!

All I wanted to do was swim, that is what a GSP does!

Dad gave him nicknames to build his confidence:

  • Harley-Fish
  • Harley-Trout
  • @#$%

He would become a very fine dog!

Harley would teach dad the meaning of "Self Sacrifice"

Fiercely Loyal, he would become dad's "official" navigator, staying awake while the rest of the pack slept those long distances treating Buster's cancer! It would be the finest gift dad could receive from a Pack member!

Look at Me!

Still clueless, dad was soon to learn of the "others" that would help to define him!

Smart, with a unique personality!

I stomped the garden once because Dad left me home, and I wanted to go EVERYWHERE with him. Can't a GSP get a break?

Master of the GSP "pout"!

The "Object of Affection"

I finally have a warm home with someone who loves me!

Free to Swim when he pleased!

...and run where he may!

But he would become very sick!

Dad did not know how to help me, I was always at the Vet.

You couldn't kill his Spirit

He taught the Young -  Squish and Harley- Buena Vista, CO.

Harley, Squish and Dolly
I was a Big Brother too!
Harley and Dolly
I had a HOT girlfriend as well and we were close!

Harley and Sissy

Sunset of a Legend

Harley would pass in the Winter, January 2015 from an unknown illness robbing his body of the ability to produce red blood cells and losing weight back to the point of emaciation. Dad suspected Leukemia, but vets ruled it out. The very thing that Harley struggled to free himself of, namely, bondage to emaciation, would kill him in the end.

I love my Bear!
I am sorry to break your heart dad, but "Others" need you now!
He had a really Good Life -Rescued
Bella

Meet the girl that would tear dad's heart out and cause Joy and Pain in equal measure...Elhew "Bella"

Bella would teach dad that there is strength in tears and "Long-Suffering"

Bella and Harley were "Besties!"

The story that has traveled through the 'generations' of Pack members is that the day Dad went to rescue Harley from the Pound, he spotted Bella's picture on the wall and it reminded him of Buster. Dad became excited and asked to see her. The Director of the Pound said she was abandoned and very hyper. Everyone that came to look for a dog would pass her up because she would S-P-R-I-N-G straight up in the air 6 ft. against the kennel fence. They called her obnoxious and a "mixed breed", but Dad KNEW what she was! He fell in love with that little girl; absolutely "star-struck", and the Pound was so happy to hear he was interested that they gave dad Harley AND Bella for 150.00...Yippee!! This was dad's first "official" rescue that he paid money.

They came home together!

I Love it when a plan comes together -Rescued

Precious and Precocious

She had dad wrapped around her Little Paw!

Dad would come to refer to Bella as his "Heartlight"! Can you see why?
Sleepy girl
Heart Light
I am so happy, I could dig to China!

Finally Part of a Family

She now had Brothers and Sisters!

Loved getting dirty with the boys!

I Like Cow poop too!
Still love me, Dad?
Sorry Dad....NOT!
I'm a "Lemon-Head" English Pointer too, just like Buster!

Daddy's girl

Full of Love and Loyalty

Look Dad, I am a Pointing!
"Honoring"
"Sneaking"

All the things a Pointer should know!

I was always yelling at my older brother, Buster to give me back my toys!
Bella and Harley were Finally home
I'm so Cute!

Bella was about to meet a tragic end that would require dad to become very strong, very quick!

Bella passed at home the night of Labor day 2010 after rolling off mom's bed while sleeping and landing on her back, breaking it. She was lodged between the bed and wall and could not flip herself around. Dad was, awakened from his sleep by screaming throughout the house, started CPR, trying to contact vets, but nobody was open on a holiday. She would stay covered on dads porch until the next day when he could take her to be cremated.

A Very Bittersweet Memory for dad

To THIS DAY, it is the hardest thing dad has ever had to go through, but it would build character and prepare him for the "others" that would come! -Rescued
Sable

Meet Sable, the Dog that would teach dad the value of "Compassion"

My Selfie

Sable was a tormented soul at 14years old. Shortly after Bella's passing, dad received a call from a rescue he worked with regularly. The Rescue would ask dad if he was interested in taking an elderly, infirm GSP into his home, because they did not know if she would last the Winter. Dad was still grieving for Bella, but needed to feel whole and worthwhile once again. So he agreed to take Sable into his home, so she could have a home of her very own before she passed.

I have a hard time understanding what was going on in his heart at that time, but dad was changing -Rescued

She was an old girl who slept a great deal.

Her eyes containing years of wisdom and GREAT Fear!

Wow! A home of her very own, just like i always wanted! -Rescued

Dad wished he could help her.

Sable did have some good days, but activities were limited.

I am tired, I do NOT know what love is, but i am Warm and cared for -Sable

She found friendship in Squish!

I bet YOU could tell some stories, Sable -Squish

Sable passed the Winter of 2011, 3 months after she came to her "Furever" home. Not much was known about her, but the lessons dad learned would strengthen his resolve to do MORE in Rescue, and he would need it for the "others" that would come....

Dolly

Meet Dolly, the only female of 7 brothers that would prove to be a Life-Saver for dad.

Dolly 2012
Harley and Dolly

Rodeo Grounds, Buena Vista, CO.

She would become Dad's second and best Service Dog!

She helped dad when he was sick.

A Life-saving gift from God!
Dolly and Squish

A Big Sister!

Who is behind Me?

Playful

Its my First Day in my "Furever" home

A True English Pointer

Dad loved her with his entire heart!

She got days off from serving dad too!
I always had my eyes on Dad!

Loved playing Frisbee with Squish!

Here I come, Squish!

Very Smart!

Service Dog Extraordinaire!

Gentle with Children!

I love you, "Bug!" -Dolly

Always alert for Dad, but remembering she was a Pointer!

I want some of THIS action!
Dolly would faithfully serve dad and make wonderful friends!
Dolly and Catherine Joy Hoffarth
Dolly and Sheila Hokensen Lynn
Dolly and "Kiera" at school where dad works!
Dolly continued to served dad for many years with him 24 hours a day.
Squish
Love manifests itself in the simplest of ways!
Sissy
Jill
Beau
Bea
Allison
Sissy and Allison
Champ
A "Treacherous" Journey 400 miles and 5 Mountain Passes in Whiteout Blizzards!
Rescuing Champ Aurora, CO. February 25, 2015 with the help of friends
Created By
steve brandon
Appreciate

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