A year ago I went to the pound to add an outdoor dog to my little family. I wasn't prepared for the number of animals needing a home and the horrible smell. I went into several kennels and could not decide. I asked the lady which dogs were next to be put to sleep and she showed me. I couldn't look them in the eye.
I turned the corner and there was this beautiful lab mix spotted pup about a year old. It's vain, but I instantly wanted her because she matched the cocker spaniels (SUCH cute Christmas cards!!). I asked the lady what her name was.
"Yeah, Shine, like sunshine."
Put. Her. In. My. Car.
I told the lady I would take her and she looked at me like I was crazy. "She isn't housebroken. She was badly neglected and abused. She has a torn meniscus in her knee from the abuse. She's never been loved-by anyone."
Put. Her. In. My. Car.
I drove her the 20 minutes to my house, put her on the back porch and left to go to a meeting. When I came back she was sound asleep with her face plastered against the patio door. She still goes outside some, but I wouldn't exactly call her an outside dog :)
The lady at the pound was right-she knew nothing. I tried to take her for a walk, but she had never been on a leash. We spent hours walking up and down the driveway, then to the end of the block and now 3 miles a day next to her 2 best friends.
Last week I came home and she had tipped the garbage can over. Papers were EVERYWHERE. I was a little bit irritated, but I'm the human that left the lid off so there ya go. I couldn't find her anywhere. Finally I heard her shaking in the guest bedroom under a chair. I tried to talk to her, but she refused to come out.
Finally with the coaxing of a pup-corn I eased her out from under the chair and pulled all 60 pounds of her onto my lap. I took her sweet little face in my hands and said, "Listen. I know humans hurt you and to you we're all human. But I think you should know that you are on my watch now. Nothing is going to happen to you again. You will be fed. You will have water. You will have treats and toys and a comfy bed to sleep in. You will be loved unconditionally. If it takes you awhile to heal emotionally-take your time, but just know you're safe now right here with me. Okay?"
She licked my face, I gave her a Dingo bone and she ran off with the other two. I sat there in the guest bedroom and couldn't help but hear the voice of God in that whole scenario. "You should know you're on My watch now. Nothing is going to happen to you that I don't allow. You will be loved unconditionally. You're safe right here, right now, under the shadow of my wing both now and for eternity."