Photographer captures beloved dog’s last day

BLUEFIELD, VA (WOAY) – On Thursday, a local photographer’s act of kindness brought a truck driving dog owner to tears.

Brownie was a six year old pit bull with a heart of gold.

“I went on the Tazewell County Animal Shelter page and Brownie was the third picture down,” said Charles Sullivan. “I didn’t scroll any further.”

Just three and a half years ago, Brownie joined Charles on the road and has since visited 48 states, all while making friends along the way.

“If the world knew him, the entire stereotype about pit bulls would change because he never met anyone that didn’t love him by the time they were done talking to him.”

Just weeks ago, Brownie was diagnosed with cancer.

“It spread so far so fast that he was having difficulty even walking,” said Sullivan. “He could hardly climb up and down the steps. I just knew that I needed to make sure that he didn’t suffer anymore because he didn’t deserve it.”

Charles and Brownie celebrated one last day together filled with fast food and a visit to the park. At the park, they met photographer Amanda Gibson.

“Brownie just walked up to her and just leaned right up against her leg like ‘hey, I’m Brownie. Pet me.'”

Amanda was at the park to make up a few rained-out appointments.

“He came up to me and he put his head underneath my hand so I could pet him,” said Gibson.

After hearing Brownie’s story, Amanda jumped into action, capturing the last day of happy memories.

“When I asked him, Charles said ‘sure, if he’ll let you,’ and in the middle of his sentence, Brownie started posing for me.”

“People like you help me to remember that I should still have faith in humanity because that was the kindest thing someone could’ve done for me yesterday,” said Sullivan. “Thank you and God bless you for your kindness.”

Brownie died peacefully Friday morning with Charles by his side. Now, he has one message for the world.

“Get a shelter pet because they will love you unconditionally and you would make their entire world that much better.”

To help with Brownie’s medical expenses, donate to his GoFundMe. To book a session with Amanda Gibson, visit her Facebook page.

Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.