My dog Jewel is a 3 year old Border collie, Boxer, and Whippet mix. She is a bundle of energy who is absolutely obsessed with soccer balls. Not only a little obsessed, I mean she eats, breaths, and sleeps with her soccer ball. She will bring you her ball and set it right at your feet, step back and wait while giving you the cutest puppy look. Once you kick the ball she runs after it as fast as she can until she once again has it in her grasp. She then turns around and prances the ball right back so the process can begin again. Needless to say in a family of 8 people she can almost always find a soccer partner. Which makes her a very happy puppy. But she wasn’t always this way.
To begin this story I need to bring you back to an early spring day 3 years ago with snow still on the ground. I had just lost my other dog and knew I wanted to get another one, but did not know when I would be ready. It was one of those days where a friend and I had nothing to do but go for a drive, and on this day that drive took us to a Tractor Supply store where there happened to be a pet adoption going on inside. There were several dogs of every age, breed, and color available. I walked past all the cages, pet all the puppies eagerly awaiting someone to pick them up, fall in love, and bring them home; stared into the eyes of the older dogs who were once those puppies but now were too big and sent back. None of these dogs stood out to me. I was about to give up when my friend spotted a dog that I hadn’t seen.
He said “What about that one?” What I saw made me gasp out loud. She was huddled under a chair with her tail tucked so far between her legs that her butt hunched under her. She was the definition of skin and bone, and the fear in her eyes touched me. I knew she needed my help. We had to lift up the chair because she would not come out from under it. She would not even walk on her own, I had to carry her. She would not stand up, she stayed as low to the ground as she could and just shook.
Her previous owners had not abused her, they had simply ran out of money to feed her and failed to give her up right away. She was so scared because she was only 6 months old and did not understand what was happening to her. She was in a new place with new people and didn’t know who to trust. For a dog to go from where she was to where she is now is truly a transformation that most people could not make in a life time. The strength in her shines everyday when she wakes me up with her kisses. When I see the strength and forgiveness of the animals in my life I get inspired by their stories. Hopefully they can inspire you as well.