On Saturday we got an email from a rescue shelter that was looking for foster families who were able to bring dogs out of boarding and into their homes to provide love, affection and help to rehabilitate them to family living.
There was something in me that knew I had to do this, and even though my husband was unsure whether it would be a good fit for us or for our loved, family Maltipoodle, Ted, I just knew there was a little dog out there that was scared, alone and hurt that needed some love, safety and companionship and that we could provide all these things together.
We drove to the shelter to meet the foster dog that had been matched for us, a little black Chihuahua/Terrier mix called Midnight. At first he was so fragile and scared that he cowered, shaking and hid in the corner. He even peed himself when the man from the rescue shelter picked him up. He was terrified of the world and was too afraid to come near us. He had been severely abused, neglected and had sores all under his fur.
When we got him home he was so scared he hid under a chair trembling and wouldn't come out for the rest of the evening. I sat near to him, respecting his space, and inched a little closer as he adjusted to me being beside him. He would flinch when I went to gently stroke under his chin, or even to sniff my hand, so I backed off and again, sat close enough for him to know I was there to give him company and love, but far enough away that he was still in control. I even tried to give him a couple of treats, but he had no appetite for food. When I took him out for the evening walk he jumped at every noise from a neighbor putting the trash out to a car garage opening. He was shaking so hard he became paralyzed to move.
Within 24 hours I am happy to say that the patience and trust building had paid off. He was following me around the kitchen, right at my heels! He followed me into every room and already a faithful bond has formed. His appetite has returned and his tail even started wagging. The following day, he was happily playing with Ted and running around the house with his tail high in the air, he even came up onto my lap to watch tv for the evening, snuggling with me and Ted. It's amazing that in one weekend he has gone from being scared of a frightening world that abused and neglected him, to being in a safe, loving world, where he knows he is comfortable and protected. But also, how he has been able to really let go of the past and TRUST that this new life is a new beginning for him.
It made me think of life in general and apply this to my own healing journey. Like Midnight was familiar with abuse and danger, I have been used to sickness and feeling unwell. I have been in an unsafe world where food, thoughts, activities and illnesses would abuse, attack and worry me. I am sure that Midnight never imagined that one day he would be taken out of that scary world into a world that where he would experience compassion, love, healing and safety. I too have had a hard time imagining that world, but I know it is possible, and it happened for Midnight, so I trust that it can happen for me, that I can experience a world of health, wellness, comfort and safety, to feel good and be free from worry. And TRUST that the new, positive experience will be there to stay for good.
It is this BELIEF that is the catalyst for change. Somewhere Midnight must have believed that there was love in the world and he ended up finding our family, and we will do everything to ensure that he is adopted into a safe, loving, happy, forever home. But as we try to heal ourselves, we must also believe in a positive world, that the Universe has our back, that there is love, there is health, there is happiness, there is prosperity, there is fulfillment, there is safety. If you honestly believe it to be there, that is all you shall see. You have the power to create your experience and shape your life.