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Our New Rescue Dog - Lucy

Discussion in 'Community Off Topic' started by Lily Rose, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lucy is six years old and was abandoned three times. She is utterly sweet, but definitely an alpha female when it comes to other dogs. Since I want to train her as a therapy dog, this will be a challenging aspect.

    In the meantime, she is MY therapy dog.

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    with grace and much gratitude to the Fates for bringing her into our lives,
    ^_^
     
    Ellen likes this.
  2. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    She's lovely, Lily Rose. I wish you many joy-filled years together. You got her about the same time someone sent me the following story. Whether it's true or not, I am not certain but it makes for a great tale. It made me think of you and Lucy somehow. I especially like the last bit about living, laughing and forgiving, some of the themes that we see frequently on this forum. I hope you don't mind me posting the story here.

    A Father, a Daughter and a Dog- A true story by Catherine Moore

    "Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!" My father yelled at
    me. "Can't you do anything right?"

    Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the
    elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A
    lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for
    another battle.

    "I saw the car, Dad . Please don't yell at me when I'm driving.."

    My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really
    felt.

    Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left
    Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my
    thoughts..... dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of
    rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner
    turmoil. What could I do about him?

    Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon . He had enjoyed
    being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the
    forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions,
    and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with
    trophies that attested to his prowess.

    The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift
    a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him
    outside alone, straining to lift it.. He became irritable whenever
    anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do
    something he had done as a younger man.

    Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack.
    An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic
    administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing.

    At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was
    lucky; he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for
    life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders.
    Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and
    insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped
    altogether. Dad was left alone..

    My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small
    farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him
    adjust.

    Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It
    seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I
    became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out
    on Dick. We began to bicker and argue.

    Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation.
    The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the
    close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's
    troubled mind.

    But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done
    and it was up to me to do it.

    The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called
    each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I
    explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that
    answered in vain.

    Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly
    exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go
    get the article.."

    I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study
    done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment
    for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had proved dramatically
    when they were given responsibility for a dog..

    I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon.. After I filled out a
    questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor
    of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens
    Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired
    dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I
    studied each one but rejected one after the other for various
    reasons too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen
    a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet,
    walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one
    of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the
    breed.

    Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hip
    bones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that
    caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me
    unwaveringly.

    I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?" The officer
    looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny one.
    Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought
    him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was
    two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow." He
    gestured helplessly.

    As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You mean
    you're going to kill him?"

    "Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for
    every unclaimed dog."

    I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my
    decision. "I'll take him," I said. I drove home with the dog on the
    front seat beside me.. When I reached the house I honked the horn
    twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto
    the front porch... "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad !" I said
    excitedly.

    Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a
    dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better
    specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad
    waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.

    Anger rose inside me.. It squeezed together my throat muscles and
    pounded into my temples. "You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's
    staying!"

    Dad ignored me.. "Did you hear me, Dad ?" I screamed. At those
    words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his
    eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other
    like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp.
    He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly,
    carefully, he raised his paw..

    Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw confusion
    replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then
    Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.

    It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named
    the pointer Cheyenne . Together he and Cheyenne explored the
    community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They
    spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty
    trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad
    sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet.

    Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years.
    Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then
    late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne 's cold nose
    burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our
    bedroom at night.. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my
    father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit
    had left quietly sometime during the night.

    Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered
    Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed. I wrapped his still form in
    the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a
    favourite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he
    had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind.

    The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day
    looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to
    the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many
    friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church.. The pastor
    began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had
    changed his life.

    And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Do not neglect to show
    hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels
    without knowing it."

    "I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said.

    For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had
    not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right
    article... Cheyenne 's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter .
    ...his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father. . and
    the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew
    that God had answered my prayers after all.

    Life is too short for drama or petty things, so laugh hard, love
    truly and forgive quickly. Live While You Are Alive. Forgive now
    those who made you cry. You might not get a second time.
     
    Becca likes this.
  3. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Beautiful dog and a beautiful story that gave me watery eyes.
    Made me think about the book by Eckhart Tolle , 'Guardians of Being'.
    Thanks both :)
     
  4. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    YB44, I LOVE that story ... I have read it before, and enjoyed reading it again. Thank you for bringing it back onto my radar. I hope others read it, as it is so powerful. Animals are truly amazing, and they are so filled with love.

    Gigalos, I have been re-reading my Eckhart Tolle Power of Now (which resembles a pink porcupine with all the stickies jutting out of it!). I didn't know about Guardians of Being. I'll have to look into that one. I have a long wish list on amazon. Waiting till after the holidays.

    with grace and gratitude,
    ^_^
     
  5. Becca

    Becca Well known member

    What a beautiful, powerful story, YB. I think animals (dogs in particular, I think, but I imagine other animals typically used for therapy, like horses for instance, have the same effect) have this curious yet wondrous way of getting through to us emotionally, even when other people (humans) can't. For me, it's the eyes...there's something about looking into those soulful, sweet eyes that simply makes me feel much more open -- open to myself, open emotionally, just more open in general, if that makes sense.
     
    Lily Rose likes this.

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