Jim Brakewood Jr. would possibly seem like form of a scary dude. At 6’2”, loaded with muscle groups, lengthy, wild hair and a beard a to match, he cuts a reasonably imposing determine. It’s as if a Viking determined he wasn’t prepared for Valhalla simply but and determined to pay Instagram a go to as a substitute.

He has a comfortable spot for canine, although. In explicit, his Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Amora.

Jim has seen battle. In two excursions in Iraq he has been in battle, he has been wounded and he has misplaced buddies. During his second tour, Jim was shot within the head in Mosul, however one way or the other survived and made his means again dwelling. He earned a Purple Heart, however was recognized with PTSD and like lots of our veterans he turned to ingesting and ideas of suicide.

His warrior spirit wouldn’t enable him to only hand over, although.

Jim realized that he was headed down a harmful path, had been making poor selections and was decided to make a change. After a while, he felt {that a} younger pet would possibly assist together with his PTSD coaching. He recollects the day he went to the humane society to undertake a pet and met Amora, a three-legged Staffordshire Bull Terrier,

“On the way back to go check out the puppies I walked by Amora. She just had her surgery to amputate her back right leg, she had her cone [on] and her bandages/stitches were still fresh. She tried with all her might to get up and meet me and I could see how much it hurt her but she didn’t care and I fell in love right there.”

Photo by Joseph Gianetti of @photographingstrength


As everyone knows, Pit Bulls typically get a foul rap. Marked as an “aggressive breed”, they make up 40% of the 1.5 million canine euthanized in shelters annually. Even trying like a Pit Bull breed can imply an extended keep in a shelter kennel for a canine, or worse, being euthanized instantly. However, Jim wasn’t involved. Moved to tears on the little pup in her surgical procedure cone, he determined to take her dwelling. She settled in, climbed into his lap and fell asleep. Jim marked the event with a photograph – Amora asleep and him with a contented smile, even with the tears in his eyes.

The second Jim captured within the picture turned out to be an enormous one,

“I knew my life had changed. I couldn’t kill myself anymore. I knew I had to stay alive to protect her and make sure she was ok. She needed me. I needed her.”

Photo by Joseph Gianetti of @photographingstrength


Amora arrived on the shelter after being in a automotive accident. Her leg was injured to the purpose that it couldn’t be saved and was eliminated simply earlier than she met Jim. She isn’t a “service animal” or “therapy dog” in the way in which that we sometimes consider one. Jim says:

“I have trained Amora in almost no way. She comes when I call her and that’s about as far as I have taken it… She doesn’t have the official designation of ‘service animal’. She cuddles next to me when I need it and I don’t even ask, she knows when to give me space somehow, she gives my life purpose and direction.”

Photo by Joseph Gianetti of @photographingstrength


“She keeps me company, gives me a best friend… I don’t think I can emphasize enough how much she means to me and how much she has helped me. I wake up in the middle of the night if she stops snoring.”

? pic.twitter.com/B5MSh7oUzk

— War Beard (@JimBrakewood) April 12, 2017

“…she gave me the will to live. A 5-year relationship ended, I was a complete and utter isolated shut-in outside the gym and my PTSD and TBI symptoms and issues were just getting overwhelming. I couldn’t enjoy things anymore, I had no motivation for much of anything…”

Photo by Joseph Gianetti of @photographingstrength


“…and somehow she changed all that.”

Just got here dwelling to a do-it-yourself quilt for my little princess Amora!!! pic.twitter.com/osPOSwftXu

— War Beard (@JimBrakewood) April 10, 2017

“It’s hard to explain … when I brought her home I just knew I had to protect her and give her the best life I can. And I couldn’t be selfish and kill myself anymore, she needs me.”


Photo by Joseph Gianetti of @photographingstrength


Update: Shortly after Jim shared his story with us, he misplaced Amora to a tragic accident. She is missed day by day and remembered fondly as a vivid spot in his life. He continues to rescue Pit Bulls, and saved Logan shortly after shedding Amora. 

You can sustain with Jim and Logan on Instagram.

See extra of Joseph Gianetti Jr.’s images at PhotographingStrength.com


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