It was 11 A.M. on a Saturday morning and I was parked outside a local animal shelter waiting for it to open. It had been several months since my beloved Beagle Snoopy had passed away and I finally felt ready to bring a new dog into my home. On Friday afternoon my daughter had showed me a picture in the rescue’s website of a new puppy that had just been dropped off there. Her markings and face reminded me so much of my very first dog, Dukey, that I felt a little flutter in my heart. I decided then and there to try and rescue her if I could. Here I was then trying to be the first one there to take this little girl home.
A kind man arrived to open the doors and let me in. I asked about the puppy and he showed me the pen she was in. As soon as I opened the door all the dogs in the place started to bark at once. The noise frightened her and she tried to hide under a dog bed in her pen. I kneeled down and gently picked her up. I could feel her heart pounding from fear in her tiny, five pound body. I held her close and spoke gently to her while I petted her. I took her back to the office and sat on a bench while the kind man filled out the paperwork. After a minute I could feel her body stop shaking and her heartbeat slow down. Then I felt a tiny, wet tongue kiss my cheek. I smiled and let her snuggle into my neck. It felt so good saving a life. It felt so good sharing my love again with another of God’s creatures.
We took her home and the whole family both human and furry fell in love with her. Her personality was so sweet and gentle that her new name came naturally: Sweetie. Right now she is napping contentedly in her crate and I feel a tingle of joy just looking at her. I know she will be a wonderful part of our family for a long time to come.
Love is so sweet. It saves our lives. It conquers our fears. It fills us with joy. It is a gift from God that we should strive every day to share with as many people and creatures as we can. May you always choose sweet love then. May you share it, delight in it, and rejoice in it. May you make it your own gift to God today, tomorrow, and forever.
Joseph J. Mazzella