Many veterans truly seem to live the phrase “no man left behind.” Service member David Broido took this motto to the next level when he applied it to his four-legged friend, Bones. In 2017, when Broido found out that his PTSD service dog was suffering from cancer only curable by an expensive amputation, he was devastated. However, he wasn’t going to give up on Bones without a fight. He planned an epic, fund-raising road trip from California to his hometown of Philadelphia…and it ended up being life-saving for Bones.
Searching For A Service Pup
Like many individuals who return from the military, David Broido, who served in the 82nd Airborne Division, came home with trauma from his time spent in active duty. After many terrifying nightmares and crippling anxiety attacks, Broido was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. It could make day-to-day life unbearable for him, and both Broidio and those close to him began to worry for his wellbeing. Broido soon decided to pursue acquiring a service animal for PTSD, though it took him two years after returning from service to accept a furry helper into his home.
Broido decided to train his service animal himself. He adopted a shelter pup and named him Bones, and he began to teach him a number of tasks to assist him. Before long, the human-canine duo was inseparable. Broido trained Bones to remind him to take his medication and to wake him from unsettling nightmares, amongst other tasks. However, Bones also provided something to Broido that couldn’t be taught: comfort, warmth, and companionship. Immediately, Broido’s life began to improve, and everyone around him could notice the difference.
The Duo’s Devastating News
Before long, Bones began to open up the world for Broido again. While PTSD can make it difficult to leave the house, Bones became Broido’s greatest adventure buddy. The duo set out across California to explore historic locations, participate in cosplay events, and appreciate the gorgeous landscape tucked away across the state. Whether it was checking out places where films were shot or driving hours to visit the Whitewater Preserve, the pair knew how to explore. The adventurous dog earned the nickname Dr. Indiana Bones, which later became the name for the Facebook page where Broido would share their explorations. However, despite their exciting trips, Broido’s life slowed to a halt after a terrifying vet visit in 2017.
The vet informed Broido that Bones had osteosarcoma. “Pretty much every dog owner’s worst nightmare,” Broido explained. Bones’ only shot at surviving the fatal bone cancer was to have his leg removed. Unfortunately, the surgery was far out of Broido’s budget. Still, Broido wasn’t going to give up on his four-legged rescuer that easily. After all, Bones had saved his life…why couldn’t he save his? After researching the procedure, Broido decided that the cheapest option would be to get the surgery done in his hometown of Philadelphia. He would still need to raise some funds for the surgery, so Broido’s friends set up a GoFundMe for Bones’ procedure. He packed Bones into his car, prepped for the 2,500 mile trip from Cali to Philly, and got ready to give Bones’ what may have been his epic final adventure.
Going Out With A Bang
Along the way to Philadelphia, Broido and Bones had a blast. They stopped at a ton of gorgeous locations, such as Arches National Park in Utah and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. They passed through stunning scenery, too, including driving through the breathtaking Rocky Mountains. Broido wanted to make sure Bones had an awesome time on their adventure, especially if it might have been the last road trip that they would get to take together. “In case the worst news was delivered when I got here,” Broido explained, “I wanted to make sure that we got some really cool adventures…we had a great time.” Fortunately, along their trip, their GoFundMe shot up in donations, and they raised enough money for Bones’ surgery.
Bones’ amputation was completely successful. Broido was so grateful to his community for donating to help keep his service dog by his side. Broido and Bones’ were able to go on more adventures after his surgery. Unfortunately, Bones’ amputation didn’t eliminate his cancer on a microscopic level. Bones’ lost his battle in April of 2018. However, Broido gave Bones’ the greatest, most adventure-filled life that the lucky canine could have asked for. Broido also began a new adventure with another service pup in 2019, an Australian Cattle Dog named Blue Ferrigno. You can follow their adventures on their Facebook, Blue Ferrigno & Friends.
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