Last summer, Koda, our beloved dog of 13 years, died. In many respects, she grew up with our boys. She played in the field with them, went on long walks on the trail and loved to go to both the lake and the ocean. Koda was a wonderful companion.
Two weeks later, and after fully committing to wait awhile until we brought another dog into our family, we had another opportunity to rescue a dog. Lucy came into our lives filled with abounding joy. Happy to walk, run, sit, whatever you want to do, Lucy is all in. Her endless enthusiasm and unconditional love can bring sunshine to any day.
Last winter my mother-in-law developed some significant health challenges. I am happy to report she has improved significantly. Part of what has enabled that improvement was a move to a wonderful assisted living facility. The challenge, however, was that her beloved and constant companion Cody was not allowed to accompany her in her new home. As you might imagine, this caused some very understandable anguish for my mother-in-law. The most compassionate thing to do, of course, was to welcome Cody into our home. And after a very brief period of adjustment, we became a two rescue dog family.
Our eldest son is the owner, with his girlfriend, of two other dogs. That was, until his girlfriend decided to go to graduate school and my son decided to relocate to be near her. Well, the good news is that he was able to take his long time pooch with him. However, the other dog was now, “homeless.”
You guessed it, we rescued that dog too. The best thing for this dog, though, is a home that doesn’t already have two dogs, so family and friends are working on finding him the right home.
I know when Jesus said, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35) he was not talking about dogs. However, I must confess that over the last several months I have thought about these words a lot. Opening ourselves, our communities, our homes to “strangers” often takes a fair bit of sacrifice, to say nothing of patience. Yet, undoubtedly, one of the greatest challenges of life is experiencing homelessness.
To be able to provide a space or help find a space for another may be some of the holiest work we can do.
Did I mention we also rescued a cat? 🙂