It’s the time of year when people say what they are thankful for. Here’s one of mine.
Sometimes in life the smallest things make a huge impact. Sometimes a kind word can make you smile when your day has otherwise been unmemorable, or a funny story can bring a chuckle when worry had previously creased your brow, or sometimes the gentlest of souls can find their way to walk alongside you and their presence can change you profoundly, unexpectedly, forever. That has happened to me.
Three years ago I came across an ad seeking a home for an 8 year old female long-haired dachshund. She was recently rescued from a puppy mill. She was a mommy, having litter after litter of pups and left to live her life behind bars. Listening to bits and pieces of her story when I called to inquire, I felt my heart breaking for this little dog before I’d even met her. She had health issues, fearfulness issues, potty training issues, and no one to help her through any of them. So, Michael and I decided to take her in, get her healthy, and give her a good home.
She was silent for 2 months when we brought her home, not a bark, a whine or a whimper. She was more of a shadow than a dog - nearly soundless as she walked, peeking around corners before she entered a room, and watching from afar when treats were handed out. She was a tiny black dog with less than 10 teeth, a few scars here and there, and a dirty, matted coat holding a lifetime of horrible memories.
It took her two years to trust us as kind hands, and another year for her to lick my cheek for the first time. And now, three years later she is here, happy, healthy, lying in front of the fireplace on a warm clean blanket sleeping soundly as I write this. And when I scoop her up and press my face to hers, I whisper to her how very thankful I am that she came to live with us. That she needed a good home and she moved into ours.
She is so gentle and brings a joy to this house that I never expected to find in her frail little body. She is a small being who has made a big impact on my soul. She’s teaching me patience, compassion, and to never overlook the beauty in the world around me. She runs freely through the grass in our back yard, barks loudly when something piques her interest, and never passes up a chance for cuddle.