Wednesday, August 21, 2013
A BLIND DOG WHO UNLOCKED MY HEART
I adopted her at 7 weeks of age. She was born mostly blind with no hope of recovery and no hope of being bred or purchased. The breeder decided to have her euthanized immediately upon hearing the report.
From the first moment I saw her I knew she was to be mine. It was an sheer accident that I was in the veterinary office when they brought her in to be evaluated. There was no way they could get the price tag they wanted for her and could not breed her, so the only answer was to 'just go ahead and euthanize her'. I took her on the spot with the agreement I would have her spayed.
I loved Gracie with all that was in me at first glance. And she today still has my heart. She has unlocked the pain and losses of my life time and time again. She was the best bargain of my life ~ this dog nobody wanted.
The reality of the story is that she saved my life. Little Gracie burst into my home and life with a generosity of spirit and a love of life like nothing I had ever seen. At a time in my life when the bottom had been pulled out from under me for the umpteenth time, and I didn't know how to put one foot in front of the other. We learned together. She has taught me so very much...that no matter the circumstances, we can still find joy and laughter and a love that will never leave or disappoint either of us.
Gracie triumphed loud and clear. She didn't know she had a disability and nothing would stop her love of life. She was blind with her eyes, but never with her heart. I took her in and we will never be separated. She can't see the treats handed to her when she is good dog, but she can smell them. She cannot see the love in my eyes when I look at her, but she can feel it. She cannot run outside with the sun is too bright, but she lights up my days and eats up my praise. She knows and feels loved. The real kind, the non judgmental kind, the unconditional kind. The kind never questioned!
Those that said she is just 'no good' should see her now. She was impeccably trained and became a therapy dog. She has worked endlessly with wounded warriors and their wives and children. She has a spirit that instantly makes people that are severely depressed come to life again. She rolls over on her back and begs for belly rubs...no one ever resists. She has brought smiles to the faces of those struggling with the death of a loved one. She generates a sense that everything is going to be alright and if she can do it...then they can do it too.
For me, I inhale her! Both literally and figuratively. I know that most likely doesn't make sense. But when I am grooming her and have her on the counter putting eye drops in her precious eyes to ward off having to remove her eyes, I bury my face into her fur and breathe...just breathe. It is a moment of meditation, a moment of renewal, a moment of gratitude for a dog who unlocked my heart. She is blind with her eyes, but never with her heart! As Helen Keller said, "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much."
Having Gracie in my life has transformed me. It has been a life saver because she lifts my spirits and those of the lost souls she has brought back from the brink. She is the brightest light I have ever known. It is my honor to have her in my life.