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With new leash on life, she now needs new home: Braden the miracle dog


Six months ago she was 20 pounds of skin and bones and could barely stand up.

Now she’s 42 pounds of fun and runs with the couple’s greyhounds.

Tries to, anyway.

Meet Braden, a miracle mixed breed needing a permanent home.

“A good home where she’ll be No. 1,” said Dan Awalt. “She deserves her own family.”

Braden is a special needs dog — an insulin-dependent diabetic between 4 and 6 years old — Awalt and his wife, Dr. Marion Pandiscio, have been foster caring for since New Year’s Eve.

That’s when Awalt found her abandoned in Braden River Lakes, hence her name.

“She was staggering down the street, literally almost dead,” said the Air Force retiree. “Cataracts. Painful to touch. All bones.”

Even their vet suggested euthanizing the dog, but the couple decided to nurse her back to health.

“Many people thought we should have put her to sleep, but we couldn’t,” Pandiscio said. “This little dog was very good natured and tolerant of everything we had to do to her to keep her alive.”

Insulin shots twice daily. Special diet. Lots of TLC.

With donations from friends, they also got Braden’s cataracts surgically removed.

“We had to be careful putting chairs in different places or she’d run into them,” Awalt said. “She was a happy dog when she was blind and skinny, but now she’s really loving life.”

They’re just hoping, with the Manatee County Humane Society’s help, Braden goes to a home where she’ll be the No. 1 dog.

“It takes a special person, not just someone who wants another pet,” Awalt said. “It’s been rewarding watching her get better. Look at her now. She’s part of the family, but she deserves her own.”

Call Awalt at 748-1546 or 724-5419.

Or Judy Deaquair, adoption manager at the Manatee County Humane Society, 747-8808, ext. 313.

Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 745-7055, or write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL 34206 or e-mail him at Please include a phone number for verification.