Tuesday, June 19, 2012
For the past several years, I have been really struggling to develop an attitude of gratitude. On this journey, I have become so much more attuned to the blessings that surround me, though I am often derailed by what doesn't surround me. It is easy to worry about the bills and how they will get paid, the repairs and improvements that I'd like to make here but can't, and wish that I could spend less time working and more time with Dan and the dogs. But the blessings are so very abundant, and sometimes I get a nudge to remind me that I am very fortunate. This weekend, Dan and I were guided into accepting a little three-legged senior girl into our pack. Dan named her Pearl, precious and rare. Pearl came from a breeder who never treated a painful and serious injury to her rear leg, and when she reached rescue and freedom it was determined that she would be better without that leg. And, they were right! Pearl came into our lives less than two weeks after her amputation, and less than a month after a kind rescuer bought her freedom. She has every right to be frightened, suspicious, and cranky. But she's none of those things. Our Pearl is loving and happy, wagging her tail and moving about as if she never lost her leg. She greets each day and person with soft eyes and ears, a bowed but not frightened head, and a gentle pose that begs for a scritch under the chin or a stroke down her velvety back. Today, on a whim (or so I thought), I brought Pearl along with Baci and me to a speaking engagement for two groups of young children. Pearl acted like she had been an Ambassa-dog for her whole life, working the room and greeting each child like an old pro. Her whole carriage changed when we got home, and she spent the rest of the day prancing around with her tail held high. She had found her purpose for being. Olive had always been my Ambassa-dog, and when Baci came along, she taught him to accompany her. Without her by my side, it has been difficult to keep up our enthusiastic presentations and lobbying on behalf of senior dog adoption and the Haven. But now, I believe that Olive played matchmaker from her side of the Rainbow Bridge. She knew that Pearl needed a purpose, and that Baci needed a partner, so she nudged me with her tiny cold little nose and told me to ignore my better judgement in bringing a newly rescued, recently amputated, undersocialized senior puppy mill survivor to meet a group of children just days after joining our pack. As I smiled and tucked the dogs back into their carseats after our engagement, a single yellow butterfly flew around us and up into the sky. Yes, Olive, I listened to you. Thank you, my baby girl. Your life and love was an undeserved and precious gift, and you continue to gift me even beyond this life.