Sometimes you get what you need.

grief hopes pets rescue dogs resiliency Jan 15, 2020

If you've been reading along in this blog or receiving my weekly Monday Morning Manna know the the last months of 2019 were challenging for me. One of the very hardest challenges was going from a two dog household to a dog-less household in four short months.

Suddenly, my house seemed much too big and much too quiet. I was surrounded by the kind of support every grieving pet owner should have, but still, it was hard.

I told myself that it would make sense to get another dog In the spring.

You know how that goes.

I saw Bear's picture, following along with rapt attention while a little girl read to him. I talked with the owner of the rescue that had pulled him from the shelter. His short two years of life had been filled with the pain of abuse and the suffering of heart worm treatment.

And yet,, Bear just loves everyone. From the cashiers in the pet store to the children who live across the street, Bear approaches everyone with the same question: Can I love you? 

In these contentious times, it's a grand gift to be greeted with such pure love each day. Can I love you? (And sleep on the sofa?)

I thought that maybe I'd get a Labrador Retriever this time around. Or another dog the size of Ralphie's 45 pounds. Instead here I was with a 65 pound Boxer mix.

Because he was the dog I needed. He's chill when I need to be chill and ready to go full steam when I'm ready to go. He only barks if he needs to give me a warning of possible danger, and quits as soon as I reassure him that the people he's suspicious of are actually on the approved list. Bless him, he even survived his first bout of fireworks on New Years Eve with just a bit of anxiety that faded when I reassured him.

Impossibly, given his history, this dog trusts me. 

Sometimes the gifts we get look nothing like we thought they would. Especially when we hit midlife and not all things have turned out like we thought. Or maybe nothing has turned out like we thought. But somehow, if we let go of our expectation of how it should be and how it's supposed to be, we find a totally unexpected gift that is so unexpectedly right. 

In this fresh new year, if you cannot get all you want, may you indeed (in the words of the Rolling Stones) get what you need.

Several new opportunities are coming in the first half of 2020, beginning with the publication of my Monday Morning Manna book this month. You can order it and other books from my new online bookstore. Check it out!