Something hit me hard one morning last October, and it has to do with my dog, Myrtle.
Myrtle is the most exasperating canine trotting the earth, for a variety of reasons, but mostly because she wants to run away. In October 2015, within a week of my birthday, Myrtle did just that. Again.
The shelter workers were angels. Myrtle’s vet, whose rabies tag allowed Myrtle to be identified so she could come home, is an angel, too. And so is the vet technician, who called me to let me know where Myrtle was. The above photo made Myrtle rather Facebook famous, as it generated hundreds of likes. It is a happy ending.
But the story has ugly roots, illustrating something about me, and about the rest of humanity, if I’m honest. And I’m not talking about animal rights. I’m talking about deeper things.
Myrtle’s age is something I’ve tried to pinpoint for a long time. And what hit me that morning last October was a series of connections that showed me exactly how old she is (15), and that she is my Miracle Dog. I don’t know why I didn’t see it before.
Here is the story:
In the year 2000, something happened to me that I call my Miracle. That miracle happened on walks I began to take at Myrtle Cemetery, which was near to my home at that time. It’s beautiful there.
One crisp day in that year, on one of those walks, I saw a puppy huddling near the door of the cemetery chapel. She was a wee, yellow fur-ball, cold and hungry. But she would not let me come near, and she growled at me.
Her nose bore the marks of blows of some type. For years, you could still see the scars, if you looked.
It took me two weeks of first tossing, then wagging treats in front of her to get her to allow me any proximity. Finally, I could lightly pet her. Then, I could actually touch her. I spoke with the cemetery manager about her, who told me that people drop dogs there, that he already adopted three cemetery dogs, and that his wife threatened to leave if he brought home another one.
“She’s going to be a good dog, Stephanie,” he prodded. “She will be a hunting dog for your guys. Please take her.”
So, I called my husband to see if I could bring her home, and he said yes.
Now, that was the beginning, but I must stop there, because I don’t like long blogs, and this one is at my limit. Also, time-sensitive work calls to me. But I will continue this story, soon. So, if you will, check back later?
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