Other than Lucky's disappearance there were many other tough things going on. I think my parents must have seen the pain in my eyes because this weekend they agreed to rescue 3 dogs from our local shelter. To say that these dogs have brought me a wealth of joy is an understatement. We rescued a 13 year old Peek-A-Poo who was abandoned by her owner and needing quite a bit of medical attention. It was not in the plan to get her, it was a complete in the moment decision, but my parents could not leave her there. They both have giant hearts, and graciously rescued this little cutie pie from the tough conditions she was in. She needs lots of medical care still, but boy has she already stolen our hearts. Her name is Dixie (name given at birth), and she is such a precious little ball of fur.
We also got 2 other dogs who are just as amazingly cute and lovable. When Lucky went missing he left our dog Hilton all alone. We knew that Hilton needed companionship so the original plan was to rescue one dog as a new playmate. Well, somehow I managed to sweet talk my parents into turning that into 2 dogs (they must have realllllly felt sorry for me). My parents went to the shelter and they immediately bonded with two mixed beagle pups. These dogs just looked into their hearts and my parents instantly became putty in their hands (or paws). One is a little girl (Gracie), and one is a little boy (Chase). Gracie is very shy, sweet, meek, and fragile, her name fits her perfectly. Chase is a ball of fire, so hyper and active, his name also fits him perfectly! They are both about a year old and full of puppy spirit. They are quirky, mischievous, and as ornery as can be.
At my very core I am an animal lover. I can not possibly be any happier with the new additions to our family. These puppies bring a kind of joy and energy into my heart that was missing for a long time. They can never replace the void of Lucky, but they did lift my heart up off the floor and began repair to heal it. Loss of any kind is hard, be it an animal, a person, or the loss of someones friendship. They all hurt just the same. Sometimes you need something to remind you of the good in the world, and the joy in the world. These dogs remind me to just be happy. No matter how much life is beating me down, there is so much simple joy to be had and so many things to be thankful for.
I am most thankful for my parents for agreeing to take this challenge on. Adopting a dog (especially an elderly dog) is time consuming, it's expensive, and it's a huge life investment. Now take the 1 dog and multiply it by 3. There is something to be said for parents who would do anything to make their children happy. I'm sure their lives would be much less complicated without all these animals, but they didn't do this for themselves, they did it for myself & my brother. They did it so that we wouldn't be sad that Hilton was all alone, they did to bring us joy, they did it to help save those dogs lives. It's such unconditional love that they both give me, I can't believe how blessed I am. While I'm not giving up hope that Lucky will return, I know that regardless we have a new fresh beginning for our family.
Having a chronic illness and finding happiness can be hard sometimes. I know what it's like to be beaten down physically and then have that much of a harder time handling any emotional hurdles too. Sometimes it doesn't seem like there is any good left in the world. I wrestle with that a lot, with trying to find the good in people, with holding out hope that there is still goodness left out there. But one thing that I found to be true is that life doesn't ever stay bad. At some point it has to come back around, things have to get better. Although I am still actively struggling through things, I know they won't be this way forever. I have faith that God will heal my heart and make me whole again. This moment in my life is so small in comparison to the big picture. I think you have to remind yourself of that, that bad times are just a blip in the road. Whether its physical pain, emotional pain, or both, it will always get better.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit.