Recently I decided to take up fostering dogs. I started interacting with this organization called Pacific Pups started by 2 girls who had a heart for pets in Los Angeles, CA. The first dog placed in my care was a black lab mix. I still remember seeing him for the first time. My home was the 3rd home he had seen that day. He was visibly shivering, scared. I held him for a little bit, trying to soothe him. I gave him a shower that evening and I could see that his body was shaking out of nervousness, not sure who I was was, will I hurt him? Will he be moved around again?
I held him close to me for a while. My heart broke a bit because it reminded me of me. How I shake when I’m nervous and scared to have those conversations that break my heart, how I shake when I’m placed in a situation over which I have no control. How nervous I get when placed in unfamiliar surroundings.
I held him for a while. Eventually he toned down a bit. I kept him for 2 whole weeks before giving him back. During those two weeks, I saw him go from that scared puppy to really seeing his fun energetic always ready to go out personality.
He stole my heart. He was so sweet, so calm, so mellow. I miss him today.
This experience taught me something. CONSISTENT (sometimes tough) love can change anybody. It really can. Gods’ consistent love and grace towards me makes me love Him more, makes me want to please Him more, changes me from the inside out. Any behavioral change requires a heart change first.
Moral of this story – Show CONSISTENT love even when its tough, even when people disappoint you. Sometimes love requires discipline & drawing boundaries. Show people grace. We all make mistakes. Be there. Be patient. Be humble. Love the unloved.
You will leave a mark on every person(& dog) you meet. Make it a positive one.
Here’s to my first foster puppy – Dallas.