Matt's Memo: Good Over Evil, Brownie the dog

Brownie and Patricia.

Patricia Barnes gets emotional when she talks about her dog Brownie being shot in her Syracuse backyard, "He's like family to me. I love him." An angry person with a handgun pierced the throat of the two year old shepherd mix. It was an evil act of animal cruelty on an innocent animal from a good hearted family. That was just before Thanksgiving.

Now, just before Christmas, Brownie TMs path toward healing took a turn for the worse requiring critical surgery to repair his damaged trachea. Patricia and her adult son get by on disability. She doesn TMt have much, but she does have a bond with her Brownie.

She also has people in her corner. As Brownie recovered from the trauma of the shooting Patricia found the Shamrock Animal Fund. She has stayed in close contact with us. My wife Jamie and I have connected her with veterinary care beyond the fine work done by her regular vet at Town and Country in Syracuse.

A couple of weeks ago I talked with Paul Morgan from the SPCA who investigated the shooting. He was unable to find evidence to charge anyone, but he did bring on board Dr. Holly Reid in Baldwinsville to X-Ray Brownie TMs throat. The trachea was damaged, but seemed to be mending. He TMd have to be watched to see if air was leaking into the body instead of cleanly moving in and out of the lungs.

Well wishes and donations came from animal lovers across Central New York. $10 here and $25 there. Caring people in Mohawk and Moravia, Chittenango and Fulton. Others who didn TMt send money sent prayers and love for Brownie and Patricia.

Then this week struck. This young energetic dog suddenly was getting puffy. That air was leaking. Patricia visited her vet who told her Brownie likely needed surgery. Patricia called Jamie. Jamie contacted the Veterinary Medical Center in Dewitt and Cornell TMs Veterinary Hospital. VMC in East Syracuse was the closest and best option.

Everyone converged there Patricia, Brownie and Jamie. The veterinarians and staff at VMC recalled Brownie from the day he was rushed there after being shot.

By the next day, Dr. Tim Robinson was performing surgery to repair the holes in Brownie TMs trachea. He needed to borrow tissue from other places and use some fabricated material to repair what a bullet had torn apart. The surgery was a success, but Brownie was not yet out of the woods.

The next day Dr. Maureen Luschini said Brownie had complications. They included swelling in the surgical area and paralysis of one side of the opening where air passes into the trachea. Still this vigorous dog was handling it all. Sedation kept him comfortable while he healed.

On the night before Christmas that TMs where Brownie TMs health stands. A shooter who has not been caught tried to end this dog TMs life or at least steal his bark. But, the goodness in people is doing all it can give Brownie and family a Happy New Year.

Donations for Brownie and other animals in Central New York can be made by check or credit card online by going to

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