The theme of love is our focus on this second week of Advent, in which we spiritually prepare for the birth of the Christ at Christmas. This is the Season of Love and we can see its power reflected everywhere we turn.
I was thinking of the love of animals, specifically dogs, from my visit to my son Chris’ house in Santa Rosa recently. They have one dog, Henry, who is 5. I have known him since he was a puppy so I am recognized as part of his pack… his Grandma… when I visit! And on this trip Chris and family had a new 7-month-old puppy, who they are fostering until the Spring! His name is Yorba and he is a pure black Labrador with some Golden mix. He already weighs 50 pounds and has huge paws and could possibly knock me over if he jumped up on me. But oh how sweet! He spent his first 7 months as a prison dog, and now he is learning about family life. My daughter-in-law works for Animal Control and knows a great deal about dog training, and so he is learning more commands and is incredibly obedient for a puppy. He is ultimately being prepared to take care of someone who will need his service skills. A truly gentle soul!
Their dog Henry has accepted Yorba and they are doing well, and my granddaughters are in heaven. One morning Yorba climbed in the laundry basket for them… like a cat would. It was quite funny to see, since he filled the entire basket and we wondered if he would be able to even stand up!
My other son and his family have a service dog also. They purchased her from a woman who was dying of cancer since she was moving to an assisted living home. “Flomar” actually did not pass her final exam since she would still chase squirrels. But she learned many helpful tricks, such as opening the refrigerator, for example!
I read in the recent Time Magazine Special Edition, about a service dog who dialed 911: “Major pulled his owner, Terry’s phone out of his pocket and stepped on the screen for several seconds, dialing 911. Though Major could not talk, the person receiving the call knew that someone was in trouble at that address. And when the police arrived Major was waiting out in front to take them to his unconscious owner. Terry was a Marine veteran who was injured by a roadside bomb during a tour in Afghanistan. Major can sense his seizures coming on and also helps him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder.” He commented, “I probably would have been in severe trouble if he wouldn’t have called.”
There are so many stories of the way animals love us, and of the way we love them. They model unconditional love for us, which in many ways we strive for. Let us take time to truly feel the power of love in its many forms this Christmas Season!
Love & blessings,