In March 2014, I logged on to Facebook and starring me in the face was a dog whose sad eyes told the story of immense pain he was in. This wasn’t the first time I had seen this pain, nor the first time I have helped Paws in the City relieve some of the painful situations their dogs are faced with. However, this was the SECOND time I said out loud, “this is a Marino dog. This guy goes BEYOND. I will save him.” It was his eyes that spoke to me and connected me to his soul.


Hello, my name is Brandi Marino and I am addicted to helping dogs in need.


I learned quickly that the condition of this dog was not good. He was rushed to the vet to find out his tibia was shattered in the mid shaft and needed a lengthy surgery with repair using an external fixture, which requires special attention so he will had to stay a week at the vet until the external fixture was no longer required. We also learned that the dog was Heartworm positive and required treatment as well. This required crate-rest, which would be a challenge since he is a strong determined dog that pushed himself to the limits.


Four months later, after I got the green light, I went to meet Hendrix for the first time.


I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know if my other pit mixes would accept him into our household. I was faced with tremendous stress of opening a new business and finalizing franchise plans for my business, so I also wasn’t sure if I honestly had time for this new dog. Once I walked through the door and saw those eyes with the guyliner accent, nothing else mattered but HENDRIX––my new boy. At that moment, life lesson number… (who’s keeping track) hit me in the face: positive attitude, determination, and BELIEF.


“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”


I am truly inspired by this dog and the attitude and energy he brings to life.


The reality of adopting Hendrix and the commitment it required set in very fast. At home waiting for Hendrix was a 14-year-old female Staffordshire terrier mix who I rescued off the streets in LA (another amazing story). Additionally waiting at home, was a three-year-old pit mix breed, Cadence, rescued from Paws in the City who also had a horrific situation.


At the time I wasn’t worried about socializing Hendrix with Cadence because both were very social with lots of dogs. Lilli was another story. She’s old, doesn’t love other dogs, and has been my angel for the past eight years going through very rough times together. I had to make sure she was protected and safe.


To our surprise, it wasn’t Lilli that had an issue; it was Cadence and Hendrix who had little to no manners inside our home. You can imagine the strength of these dogs and fear I had during this time. If it weren’t for my good friend Katie Anderson and Dog Fit Dallas dog trainer Art Ortiz, Hendrix wouldn’t be with me today and maybe even Lilli or Cadence. There were some very scary moments and close calls. Paws in the City did an incredible job following through on every commitment they made in trying to assist with the introduction of Hendrix to our home.


I am not ignorant. I realize there are many more people out there who rescue, donate, and dedicate their time to these animals way more than me. The reason I have chosen to become more publically active is that I’m hoping to spread the word through my networks and fitness brand to bring more “PAWSitive” rescue stories to life.


–Brandi Marino,

The Assassin