About 3 months ago I met and adopted one of the sweetest little doggies you could ever meet. She was loving, kind and joyful right from the start. She greets everyone who comes into my home with confidence and acts as if she has been waiting to meet them for forever. If you were to meet her you would assume that she had never lived anywhere but in a loving home where she was trained, adored and cared for but nothing could be further from the truth.
The wonderful rescue that I adopted her from got her about a month before I did. She had been picked up as a stray but from the condition she was in, it was clear that she had been used and dumped by a puppy mill. She is a mostly black dog but her hair was so dirty she looked yellow (see pic above). She is the kind of dog that needs to be groomed but I doubt she had ever had a bath much less a hair cut or her nails trimmed. Her nails were so overgrown I don’t know how she managed to stand and walk; one of her nails was crossed over the one next to it. It must have been so painful. If she had been just a stray dog, walking on the ground would have kept her nails shorter. The length of them indicated that she had been kept in a cage all the time, not let out for anything, lying in her own filth, popping out puppies as often as she could.
Safe in the care of the rescue, she was given the love and attention she needed and then eventually we got to meet her. As I reflect on her life, I feel amazed by her spirit. The vet estimated that she is 4 years old. That means that she spent the first third of her life in that horrible place. Look at it this way, if we were to live 75 years, it would be like us spending 25 years locked up in a very small room being neglected, abused, used, just kept alive, never having a hair cut or a bath or our nails cut, never loved. I don’t think I would be like her right now. My heart would be closed, whereas, hers is open to everyone she meets. I would approach everything with fear and she is so loving and confident. She is so happy and she has been, right from the start when the rescue got her. I also think about how she has benefited from the way she has approached her hardships. If she had allowed her abuse to make her bitter, fearful, aggressive and hard, she would not have been able to settle herself into her new loving home so quickly. She would have missed out on so many blessings.
How often do we allow the difficulties that come into our lives to get in the way of us being able to accept the blessings God has coming our way? How much do we miss out on because of how we have responded to life? I hope I can be more like Zoey in the future.
One more thing…..Here is what she looks like now.
The author, Janice, lives in Illinois and is a friend of my daughter, Greta, who also lives there. In Greta’s words, “Janice is a stay at home wife/mother/step-mother to three amazing girls and one wonderful husband. Before becoming a mom she taught kindergarten. She is a small group leader in her church and also serves on the vocal team. Janice loves Jesus with all her heart.”
© 2014 Cat Brennan