Six years ago, a smelly mess sat on my lap while I snipped away the yuck. This frail, worn down, elderly dog gratefully looked up at me as I pulled his matted fur up for a snip. Six weeks this sweet soul and I bonded during this routine at the animal shelter.
My heart broke when I watched this painful process. He patiently laid there and allowed me to snip away the pain, abuse, and neglect he had suffered to get into this condition. The day we could finally shave away the remaining fur we came to the realization that probably no one would adopt this old man. In the real world, older dogs live out their days in the no kill shelters in a cage. Don’t get me wrong….. the shelter staff love them and care for them as their own pets. But a forever home rarely happens.
He had been through so much since his rescue from a hoarder home. Flies were his only companion outside of me. The smell was so sickening, but I couldn’t let him suffer. So I suffered. Happily. Now the thought of him leaving one cage (hoarder) and living in another cage (shelter) for the rest of his life, made my heart hurt especially since the vet had stated that with a dog in his condition would probably only live for 2 months.
I went home and convinced Mark to allow this dog to learn what it was like to have a family. I told Mark we would be his hospice care. Love him until God takes him from this earth. I mean two months was all he had.
Ahem….. six years ago.
We brought this dog home. Since I had bonded with him, he and I had a special connection. He thrived. His whole demeanor changed. He was happy. You could read on his little face “I’m living the dream!”
And then, bless his heart he became “Grumpy Fred.” He didn’t enjoy my hugs. He snapped at me more than loved on me. He wasn’t happy. Then one day, I came home and his eye was literally coming out of the socket. I freaked. I called my vet friend in a panic. I rushed him to the shelter and I heard the news……”It is either a tumor, an infection, or a blood clot. All of which were serious.
My heart sank. I just knew it was over for my “Happy Fred.”
Well, as it turned out, it was an infection. Hours it took to clean away the infection from his eye sockets and all of his teeth were removed. See in extreme cases like Fred’s, infections form inside the mouth. Eventually, he lost both eyes , 15 teeth, and most of his jaw bone.
It is heartbreaking. His story. But, Grumpy Fred became Happy Fred again. We hug. We snuggle. We are tight….. I say often, “There is just something about this old dog that makes me love him to death!!”
He really doesn’t have a care in the world. Most often than not, he will literally smile with pure joy! He loves life. He is the definition of Philippians 4:8……
Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable–if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise–dwell on these things.
Fred has been though more than most. But, you could never tell it. He does dwell on what is true–my momma loves me. Whatever is honorable–my family is going to take care of me. Whatever is pure–I am loved. Whatever is lovely– I have a recliner, nope a couch and a recliner….. ummmm who am I kidding I have every soft surface in this house to claim as mine!! Whatever is commendable–my family didn’t give up on me. Excellence– ummmm have you seen how plump I am?? Praise—- I have the nickname Happy Fred!!