Who rescued who?

Taking A Chance:

Ellen Bookman, an avid blogger and nominee for the WEGO Health Awards, is a strong independent woman who knows what real struggles are in life. Years ago, she was experiencing various symptoms, such as not being able to focus, loss of feeling in her feet, and weight gain. In addition to these symptoms, Ellen felt herself become depressed. She had no grasp of what was really going on with her body and decided to seek help, so she went through a difficult period of unhelpful doctor’s visits. The doctors kept misdiagnosing her on top of over-medicating her, and everything seemed to culminate into a frenzy she couldn’t control…until she discovered the real truth: Ellen had Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s is a progressive nervous system disorder; one which causes problems with mobility.

After her diagnosis, Ellen felt like she was never going to get back up again and feel like herself. It wasn’t until she discovered the LDFB Boxing for Parkinson’s group in Atlanta that she started to feel whole again. The Livramento Delgado Boxing Foundation is a non-profit organization created by Paul Delgado and Larry & Ellie Kanh. These founding members discovered through research-based trials that a regular regimen of vigorous exercise can delay the progression of Parkinson’s Disease dramatically. Ellen was skeptical of this of course−she never felt comfortable going to a gym. How was she just supposed to leave herself, especially in the condition she’s in, and box with complete strangers who don’t understand her? However, one day she convinced herself to go and eventual found a new family who not only understood her struggles but many of the fellow boxers there were going through the same sacrifices Ellen’s made during Parkinson’s treatment. And yet, Ellen still felt more loss beyond her new diagnosis following the death of her dog Sammy.

Ellen takes care of multiple dogs, usually, they were in pairs with one of the dogs being older than the other. She’s always felt a kinship with dogs because they’re so friendly and lovable. When Sammy died, he left behind his best friend Marley who was about 8 years old at the time. Ellen knew eventually she’d get another dog, but she wanted to wait one year.

Then came Brody.

The Savior: Brody

One afternoon Ellen spontaneously went to Petsmart with her best friend. She was determined the next dog she was going to adopt was going to be a chocolate lab. However, a group of rescue dogs were stained at the adoption event and that’s where she met Brody. The instant Brody hugged Ellen she knew that Brody was going to be her dog. Brody put his paw on her shoulder and leaned his head against her in a hug, and the rest was history! Ellen was also keen on adopting Brody due to Brody being a rescue dog because all her other dogs were rescues too.

Brody, photographed by me, in Marietta Square

Brody is an energetic dog with a whole lot of love to give the world. He’s a black and white-colored mix of 25% labrador, 25% pitbull, 12% chihuahua, and the other 34% of his mix is unknown. Brody was rescued by Ellen Bookman at just fifteen weeks old after having been raised in the foster system. Her previous dog, Sammy, had been rescued by her friend after he was seen strolling around the parking lot of a Publix. He was a timid puppy having been raised in a loving foster family. He grew up with his siblings and mother in the same home, where his foster family really got to understand Brody’s soft and sweet demeanor. Ellen says that adopting rescue dogs is important because many dogs have such unique stories and when they’re rescued there a moment where the foster systems−much like the one Brody was in−provide a way for foster parents to really get to know a dog’s character.

Brody staring off at the other dogs in Marietta Square. Photographed by me.

Brody's Impact:

Brody came into Ellen’s life full of a lot of love.

He’s been with her throughout her entire Parkinson’s diagnosis, and now that she works from home, Brody sticks by her side always. His constant companionship is a lifeline, says Ellen. She knows adopting a dog is never perfect. The biggest challenge of adopting a rescue dog is the challenge of not knowing the dog’s background or history. When you adopt a dog one needs to be concerned about the dog’s trauma. If you’re not aware or concerned with a dog’s trauma it can impact how they interact with you.

Ellen treated Brody with lots of love and affection. His presence in her life has made living with Parkinson’s Disease much more bearable. Therapy dogs have been known for being really soothing for people who deal with life-threatening diseases. Brody’s presence during Ellen’s treatment provides her with the affection and comfort needed during such a difficult time.

Brody carries such a sweet demeanor and bubbly personality that will no doubt bring a smile to your face when you see him. Brody is Ellen’s constant companion since she’s a stay at home boss. His favorite things to do are sleep next to Ellen when she’s working, flopping around on the ground when playing, and swimming in Lake Allatoona.

Rescuing a dog like Brody seems like a daunting task. At the end of the day though you might not realize that adopting a dog affects not only the dog’s life but your own. RescueDogGames helps people like Ellen find a dog perfect for their lifestyle.

For more information about Rescue dog games visit their website:


To learn more about Ellen Bookman visit her website:


For more information about Parkinson’s Disease check out these links:




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