Monday, November 8, 2010
AS CLOSE TO PERFECT AS YOU CAN GET
This particular November Sunday morning began with a plate of the best Migas, some crispy fried potatoes and some of the hottest salsa ever at an authentic Mexican restaurant. You know it is authentic, when the waitresses only speak Spanish!
Following breakfast, all I wanted to do was curl up on a rock on this beautiful South Texas November morning. The temperature was about 55 degrees, rising to 70! It doesn't get much better than that.
Sadly, the day progressed with multiple errands and then more errands. You know the day. Get them all done so Monday you can work harder to accomplish more, to make more money, to spend the next weekend spending more money, doing more chores, and running more errands. It is quite simply the American way!
Not my kind of life but frequently mine nevertheless. However, for ten minutes in the chaos of it all, there was a 'moment'. An amazing moment when all seemed to be right with the world, and in that place in time I understood that if I were to capture this moment and hold on tight, I just might be able to bring it back when needed.
One of the soldiers, Kevin, in our TRAIN A DOG ~ SAVE A WARRIOR program is being placed with a black and, in places white, border collier cross named Luther. Luther was selected from the kill shelter because no one wanted him. He was rescued and taken to a ranch near San Antonio. He is being foster homed there for now, just until his soldier is able to move into his apartment and begin training for support service dog status.
After my fortifying breakfast I stopped at the local tractor supply to purchase a collar, leash and lots of toys, I went to the ranch to "work" with Luther. Hotdog tidbits in my hand and the leash in the other, Luther proved to be a quick study. He seemed to know exactly what was expected of him. He was attentive, ignoring the exquisite thoroughbred race horses, watching with some interest while munching on hay. He was eager to please. As reward Luther was given a rawhide, most likely the first treat of his life. Being unloved and unwanted doesn't yield many treats or kindness of any kind, much less a good meal.
I sat in the grass and watched Luther. At first he did not know quite what to do with the bone, but soon settled and enjoyed the beginning of what will be an amazing journey. The temperature was as close to perfect as you can get. The skies a brilliant, vibrant blue. Luther would glance occasionally in my direction. Then he left his bone, came over, and sat as close to me as he could, draping his right leg over my left leg, as if to say 'thank you. I like you.' He felt safe and probably for the first time ever, he was at peace. We both felt like dozing and closing our eyes.
Knowing that this beautiful dog was destined to be a lifesaver for one of our TADSAW warriors with PTSD, I tried an experiment. I laid down on the grass. Within seconds, Luther snuggled as close as he could to me, laid his head on my shoulder, and fell fast asleep. The horses were frisky and a hawk was gracefully soaring overhead. Luther rolled over onto his back, stretched, and for that moment, it was as close to perfect as it could get.
His body was warm against mine, and I felt comforted. As I dozed, I thought that anyone with PTSD couldn't help but be soothed, calmed, reassured, secure, and relaxed with Luther. What a gift for both of us. For in giving to others sometimes we receive an amazing gift back.
My gift this Sunday was tranquility, stillness, serenity, and calmness, if only for a few moments with a black dog named Luther. How easy this medicine is to swallow, to snuggle, and to lose yourself in. I can't wait for 'our' soldier, Kevin, to discover this for himself.
Help us help more soldiers with more dogs like Luther... with a one thousand dollar contribution to sponsor a dog/warrior team.
Please send your tax deductible donations to:
PENNY'S FROM HEAVEN FOUNDATION, INC.
13423 BLANCO ROAD
SAN ANTONIO, TX 78216