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Brave's Story (Personal Letter)

The following are excerpts from two email's sent to friends of Brave Ulanova.

My Deepest ThankYou's (Video Attached) - July 2nd, 2021.

Dear friends and family,

The last 24 hours was an immensely emotional experience that I cannot put into words: but I just want to say: a deepest and most sincere thank you to you. If you're receiving this email it is because you have made either mine and/or Brave's life in the past or present - at least a tiny bit better. And at the end of the day, that is what truly matters.  No one needs to move mountains to make an impact because even the tiniest, smallest action can change one person's (or two's) entire world. And you have changed ours. 

I've thought a lot about what I wanted to share about Brave to the world, about the lasting impact Brave has made on me - and that is openness and acceptance. Brave's breed (a pitbull boxer), background (a rescue), and age (9 at the time of adoption), put him in a place that was harsh, rejected, and unwanted by the world. I, myself before Brave never had any pets (nor wanted one), but he has shown me the BEST side of our humanity. So if you ever come across something scary, something new: Please open your heart to those unknown.

In this email, I attached a video that contains two clips, the second being our final moment together. I have never sung publicly alone (nor do I ever want to!), but this tune is what I titled "Brave's Song"; I want to share just how deep that 1 special moment from when we met can transcend multiple lives. 

Love and respectfully,

Elizabeth Ulanova

Celebrating Brave Ulanova (The Courageous Pitbull) - June 29th, 2021.

Dear friends of Elizabeth Ulanova and Brave Ulanova,

If you have received this email, it is because you are invited to the virtual celebration of Brave’s life. In order to join, please send me any written message, recordings, photos, or video that will help commemorate 10 special years of Brave. P.S Brave does not need to be in the photos/videos, he would love to see what all his friends look like too :) 

“Because family is what we make it” - Sweet Tooth

Brave’s story: 

Brave is a soon-to-be 10-year-old pitbull that came into my life on January 8th, 2021, this was both the day after my house experienced a robbery as well as the first time I laid eyes on Brave through FaceTime (after I saw an online posting about a rescued dog). I loved him the moment I saw him and I just remember saying “Yes.” I’ve always believed that things happen for a reason, the same way that on the same day an intruder broke into my home from the streets… 51 miles south of our house, this furry little man was brought into a house away from the streets of Murrieta, California. In the 6 months, we have experienced together, Brave has always been happily by my side for every single one of those days. He first came to me with many bruises, and scars but he had no aggression, and only the gentlest, purest, sea-blue eyes. He is the kindest, strongest, and most selfless little soul I have ever met - who in his last months even became subway trained just to make sure his mama can get through her day okay. He would never bark outside, greeted all human and dog strangers alike with kindness and curiosity, and would hold his pee for as many hours as he needed to just so his mama can get the rest she needs. Gentle, mellow, and affectionate, he loved to cuddle - and will let his mom know by just the simple gesture of putting his paw on his mom’s lap. In even the worst of his diagnosis, which makes climbing stairs very difficult for him, Brave still climbed every stair he needed with a tail wag - even has his little crippled leg flopped behind him. I remember being so surprised by his behavior when I got him, and every day he will surprise me with new tricks (such as learning he can open doors!...fantastic for all the times he went on a fun joy run). I adopted Brave in one of the hardest periods of my life, having lost my house and grandma the same week I met Brave, it was this little guy that comforted me through every night from California, to roadtripping across the U.S, to finally settling in his last, final home here in Boston. I have always believed that Brave is the best part of me and the best part of us. 


On June 15, 2021, upon a routine vet trip, Brave was diagnosed with a large tumor (lipoma) in his back right leg. Unfortunately, as he already suffers from a variety of lipomas, kidney disease, and arthritis - surgery was not an option. In the span of a few days, I got the news on June 28th (yesterday) that the tumor has grown massively, already crippling one of Brave’s legs, and invading his tissues. His vet has concluded he has very limited time left, and a continued prognosis that would also inevitably lead to the permanent loss of his leg within weeks whilst putting him in grave pain. 


I am a believer in accepting what we cannot control and being Brave enough to control what we can. In my life experience, I have realized that while passing is inevitable, how much one should suffer is not. Brave is the happiest guy I know, who has lived a tough life but nonetheless has always been strong and kind. I do not want his last weeks on Earth to be in constant pain and agony, his first days must have been hard, but I want to make sure his last days are not. Hence, before his condition continues to worsen, I want to give him one more good memory (the 10-year-old birthday celebration I had planned) before putting him to sleep forever through vet-induced euthanasia. He deserves to go whilst he still has mobility in all 4 of his legs, it's the least I can do for all the love he has given me. Since the day I met him I made a promise that I would do right by him, even if it means I have to find the courage to let go. 

Brave's Birthday & Last Day - July 1st, 2021 Thursday 

Hence, if you have anything you would like to share of Brave or to Brave for the 10-year-old birthday boy, please reply with your message to this email. I would especially love video messages (please send those to Whatsapp or text me at +18052595331 if they cannot be emailed). I plan to take Brave to all of his favorite places in Boston (his last home) to celebrate his birthday while reading to him all of your well wishes. I hope to compile all of these memories into a video, something we can cherish forever. 

If you would like to visit by the 1st (here in Somerville/Cambridge/Boston MA), please also write so in your email and I can give my address. Brave is not contagious, and can still play/run/fetch, he thinks this is a normal week and I want to keep it that way for him. 

Brave represents what we can and should be every day, and I will love him forever. After his cremation, I will send everyone the video from his birthday.

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