Tribute for Brando

Tribute for Brando

With profound sadness, we regret to announce that our beloved hero Brando passed away on September 12, 2022, after a short illness.  Brando was one of our Ned’s Wish ambassadors, attending many of our events as a meet and greet dog, and helping us show the public how amazing our heroes are.  Brando was special to each of us in a different way, and will be sorely missed.  

From Brando’s Handler:

If there was ever a dog living his best life it was Brando, and he deserved it. Brando and I partnered under tough circumstances for both of us.  Brando for not working out with his partner and me for losing my partner unexpectedly after 5 years together. I was probably not always fair to Brando in my assessment and expectations at first, and it took me longer then it should have to realize how special Brando was and what he was capable of. Brando was an extremely loyal and hard working partner that always had my back and did what I asked to the best of his ability. Looking back, I think it was his kind and caring side that probably helped me the most and its for that he will always be special to me and my kids.

I do remember the day I realized Brando was at the end of his working career, or I should say the day Brando let me know. He lay down in a field during a missing person search after about 15 minutes and just looked at me, and it was as if I could hear him say Dad I am done, I am not enjoying this anymore. He got up and we finished, but I knew he had given his all and was ready for the next chapter. My kids really wanted to keep Brando but I knew I couldn’t work a dog and give him the attention he needed or deserved.  So thank you for giving Brando the opportunity to live his best life. 

From Brando’s retirement family:

Brando was without a doubt my heart dog.  I still find myself looking for him throughout the day, and miss him terribly.  Brando was a bear of a dog who loved as fiercely as he worked, and we developed a close bond almost immediately.  It just seemed Brando knew he was home for good, and he fit into the tapestry of our home seamlessly.  He was a dog that was no stranger to the odd grudge… something my partner was well acquainted with… but was also a quintessential mamas boy who wasn’t afraid of asking for a little help if the “mean” cat was sitting on the stairs he needed to go down, or laying too close to that kong he desperately wanted, or even just looking at him from a room away.  I can also recall more than once having a 90 pound German shepherd crawling onto my chest at 3am at the barest hint of thunder, because sometimes tough guys just need a snuggle to get them through a storm. 

Brando was a playful companion for his brothers Kable and Finn, playing chase and trying to find mice in the long grass for hours.  We enjoyed long hikes together at the lake, and Brando LOVED his camper… even going so far as to teach himself how to turn on the heat and massage on the recliner beside mom.  And, his hedgehog… he loved his hedgehogs almost as much as he loved bacon, which is saying a lot.  He carried them any distance of hike, used them as pillows when sleeping, and never let them very far out of his sight.  The first thing he did when it was time for a truck ride was look around for his hog to come along.  It was something that got him a lot of attention on our walks, and he loved showing off for new people.  Brando was well known at our local pet stores, and Tim’s drive-thru… he got to know the phrase “bacon patrol”, and took this job very seriously.  He was my constant travel buddy, and always enjoyed seeing new things and meeting new people, whether that was at a Ned’s Wish event, or home with my elderly mother in PEI.  I also want to extend a huge thank you to Cpl Craig Mattatal, for allowing me to have this wonderful dog in my life.  He and his family made a sacrifice in giving Brando up for his retirement, and I can’t imagine a life where Brando and I didn’t get to meet.  I’m forever grateful to you all. 

When the time came, Brando passed peacefully on my lap with his hedgehog tucked under his chin, right where he liked it best.  He was just two months shy of his 13th birthday.  Sadly, just a month later, Brando’s brother Kable also passed.  It had been some time since the two had a good wrestle, as both struggled with mobility issues as they aged.  It gives me some solace to know they are together again, and can play and run as much as they want.