Dog left to die in creek gets a home

Brooke, who was tied to a rock during an advancing tied, in a happier setting.
Brooke, who was tied to a rock during an advancing tied, in a happier setting.
Posted: May 16, 2013

A big yard with a fence, an overstuffed bed, new collars, and a feline companion await Brooke, the aging black Labrador mix whose plight went viral after a Bristol Township couple found her tied to to a rock in a rising Neshaminy Creek.

After sorting through 65 adoption applications that came from dog lovers across the county - including ones from Arizona, Florida, Ohio and Washington State - Bucks County SPCA officials decided Brooke will be headed south to Annapolis, Md., on Saturday to spend her days with her new owner, Diane Bartkovich.

"This was such a perfect match," said Nikki Thompson, humane officer for the Bucks County SPCA, where Brooke has been staying.

Bartkovich, who saw a YouTube video of Brooke's story, picked up the phone and offered to give the elderly Brooke a "quiet, happy rest of her life," she said.

On March 30, Wyatt and Diane Erb were out for a Saturday afternoon stroll when they spotted the dog calmly lying by the edge of the Neshaminy Creek. Wyatt Erb became concerned when the dog didn't budge as the water started to lap up against her. He soon found that the dog's leash had been tied to a large rock.

Brooke, as she was aptly named at the shelter, captured the hearts of dog lovers across the county. She had been neglected, was seriously underweight and had a large growth on her hind leg.

"She has made remarkable progress," said Anne Irwin, Executive Director of the Bucks County SPCA. The ear, eye, and skin infections have cleared up and the 3-pound tumor on her hind leg has been removed, she said.

Brooke would look back at her foot for a short period after surgery, Irwin said, adding "It must have been an adjustment without her little ball and chain."

One of the deciding factors in the adoption was that Brooke would be the lone canine in the home, said Thompson. Brooke is not very tolerant of other dogs but has no problems around cats, she said.

"Brooke likes to be the one and only ," said Thompson. "She is a queen."

It was love at first sight when Bartkovich and Brooke recently met.

"She walked right up and gave me a kiss," she said. She said the dog was quiet, happy and gentle.

Bartkovich said she might change Brooke's name to "Erby" in honor of the couple who rescued her.

Other plans include walks, a vet appointment, visits to dog parks, and meeting Kitty, Bartkovich's 7-year-old cat who showed up at her back door one winter day and stayed.

Contact staff writer Mari A. Schaefer at 610-313-8111, or @MariSchaefer on Twitter.

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