'He's perfect': Alberta couple sees only beauty in deformed pup
Brodie had a rough start in life, but he’s now an Instagram superstar
Amanda Richter likes scrolling through Facebook pages of rescue dogs, just to see what's out there.
Richter, of Red Deer, Alta., came across a post on the Old MacDonald Kennels page and it stuck with her.
"I just felt really connected to him. I looked at his pictures multiple times a day. I just had to go out and meet him, so we did," Richter told The Homestretch.
Richter and her partner Brad Ames travelled to Ponoka to see the one-year-old German shepherd-border collie.
"We spent some time with him at the kennel. The rescue asked us a bunch of questions and they felt like we were a really good fit. So we went home with him the same day," she said.
The couple adopted Brodie despite his shaky start in life.
"Brodie was bit on the face by his mom when he was 13 days old," Ames explained.
It might have been an incident of food aggression, but the vet said aside from a lot of blood, little Brodie would probably be OK.
"As he got older, all these deformities started to show. That bulging eye. His skull is kind of pushing out on his eye. He has troubles breathing. He is partially blind in the little eye that actually looks OK."
But a connection had formed between the three.
"He actually has the best temperament. He is very hyper and energetic, but he is so sweet and loving. He is always happy," Richter said.
"When we go to a dog park, people say he looks like the happiest dog ever."
Richter set up an Instagram account for Brodie, so people could follow his progress.
"It just started growing and growing and growing," Ames said.
"There are a lot of people messaging, going through depression or they have physical disabilities and they see Brodie and it just brightens their day. They look forward to it. It brings them hope."
And Brodie's Instagram fans are now pushing 60,000.
People magazine came calling.
Then some others.
"The newspaper in Ireland, we got a message from Spain, we got a video of the news anchor in Argentina. There's China, France. I saw a news anchor in Minnesota," Ames said with a laugh.
"I don't know, there is just something about his face, he is just so different looking, but he's just so cute," Richter added.
Ames says for Brodie, ignorance is bliss.
"He's so happy even though the way he looks. He has no idea he looks like that, but you know, he is so happy," he said.
"He snores like a human. I don't know if he's louder than me, Amanda has to judge that."
Richter and Ames say their lives have improved since Brodie came along.
There is something so pure about him.
"He would never care what we look like, he loves us no matter what, even at our worst. I don't know, it's kind of like we are giving that back to him, even though he is not ever at his worst," Richter said.
"He's perfect to us. He is beautiful. A dog's love is so unconditional."
With files from Monty Kruger, Jenny Howe and The Homestretch