King Anbarkio's owner fighting for life

Norma Brooks' son: Shanti senses something is wrong

By Jessie Degollado - Reporter, Adam B. Higgins - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - This year’s King Anbarkio, the grand marshal for the annual Fiesta Pooch Parade, is expected to be there Saturday, but without his constant companion of 12 years, Norma Brooks.

Her son, Dalton Brooks, plans to be there to honor his mother, who remains in critical condition at San Antonio Military Medical Center after both were involved in a wreck Monday near Jourdanton.

Dalton Brooks said he believes a vehicle next to them lost control and sideswiped their vehicle, flipping it over again and again until it finally landed right-side up.

“I remember rolling and rolling and rolling and thinking to myself, 'Why aren’t I broken? Why didn’t anything happen to me?'" Dalton said.

Not only was it remarkable he escaped uninjured, but Dalton Brooks said a nurse, who was driving by, suddenly appeared and began performing CPR on his mother before she was airlifted to SAMMC.

“She was supposed to be somewhere completely different at the time and just so happened to be where she needed to be," Dalton Brooks said about the nurse.

He said he believes the nurse was an angel sent by God.

“Absolutely,” he said.

King Anbarkio, actually a female shepherd mix named Shanti, senses something is wrong, along with the Brooks family’s other rescue dog, Banjo.

“They’re worried where mom’s at,” Dalton Brooks said about the dogs, especially Shanti.

“She knows, if God’s willing, that mom’s going to come home and see her again,” he said.

Since Shanti is a licensed therapy dog, Dalton Brooks and his younger brother Cody said they are in the process of getting permission to bring Shanti to his mother’s side to do what she does best.

Both Shanti and Norma Brooks have been devoted volunteers with Therapy Animals of San Antonio, the nonprofit that stages the Fiesta Pooch Parade.

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Cody Brooks said he urges other animal lovers to consider doing what his mother and Shanti have done for so many.

“Does wonders for any kind of therapy, for any kind of situation you’re in,” Cody Brooks said.

He also hopes others in the community will live life much as his mother always has, making the most of every moment, every experience.

“She’s always putting others first, whatever she can do to help people," he said.

Both her sons said the overwhelming care and concern they’ve experienced since the wreck speaks volumes about their mother.

“We’ve received nothing but love and support for my mom,” Cody Brooks said.

Dalton Brooks said, “We won’t forget it. We won’t forget what they’ve done for us.”

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