The power of prayer worked for one Army reservist, whose faith was rewarded with a very special, four-legged miracle. This is Renee’s story, in her own words, following her honorable adoption of a shelter dog named Lucy.
Dear Pets for Patriots,
Please forgive me for taking so long getting back to you. Things are a bit hectic on this end. I would like to share with you my story about my new special companion, Lucy.
Last July I learned that Sidney, my Miniature American Eskimo of 15 years, blind since birth, was now filled with cancer. There are no words to describe my pain and grief. I didn’t realize how powerful his spirit was until it was gone. I no longer felt like I was going home, rather I went to a building that I called home. Friends felt the void of his spirit as well.
Initially I said I would never have another dog again. It was not possible to have another canine companion I loved and trusted so much. As time went on, the silence in my home was too much. I began looking for a new canine friend. The problem is I was looking for another Sidney. Knowing that was not a possibility, I had to rethink what I was looking for and how to find it.
I learned of Pets for Patriots and Canines With a Cause from my doctor at the Veterans Administration hospital. Once I qualified with both of these programs I was ready to start looking at the local animal shelters. It was very important for me to find my new dog. Somehow I knew there was a specific spirit waiting for me to find her. I said a very heartfelt prayer that I will find this special spirit. I also asked for a confirmation by having the dog choose me as well. I had no idea how that was going to look. I took my nine year-old grandson with me. I instructed him that the most important thing about choosing our new dog was that it be with our heart, not our head.
After three animal shelters and many dogs, we were unsuccessful. We called it a day and headed home. I took different route home than usual. We saw the Utah Animal Adoption Shelter. Tired, close to closing time, we made one last stop.
We looked at many dogs in kennels. Nothing really jumped out at me or my grandson. As we turned to leave, one kennel had four smaller dogs barking and jumping at the cage and one dog towards the back, sitting quietly and making eye contact with me. We looked at each other for a few moments before I asked more about her. We took her outside to get to know her a bit.
As my grandson began walking her, he said this dog felt different than the rest. He said he felt she may be “the one.” I too felt a special connection to her. We walked, ran and interacted with her for about ten minutes when we both agreed she was the spirit we were meant to take home.
I reminded my grandson that I had asked the Lord for a conformation. She had to pick us as well. Puzzled, my grandson asked how would we know. I thought for a moment, looked at the dog who was sitting about twelve feet from us and said to her, “Okay little girl, if you want to be a part of our family, you need to walk over and let us know.” She went from a sitting position, maintained eye contact with me, and walked straight to me and sat purposefully in front of me. I was stunned. It couldn’t be more clear. My grandson said he had just seen a miracle. I had to agree.
She is now my “Lucy.” Once we arrived home I took her from the garage to the doggie door. She expressed great excitement with her new, big back yard. She made herself right at home. This included jumping on the bed and claiming the highest pillow. Needless to say, she had a few rules to learn. My grandson said “Nana, it feels like she’s been here her whole life.” No other words could be more true.
We are now enrolled with Canines With a Cause. Lucy will be trained as my service dog. She loves to play and she is eager to please. She learns quickly too. I will keep you updated on her progress training as a service dog.
I have a great deal of gratitude to those of you that dedicate your time, share your love of these animals and extend your compassion to our nation’s veterans. Lucy has become like my fellow combat veterans: nothing needs to be said, we just get each other.
It doesn’t take a uniform to be a hero. Thank you for being ours. I salute you.
Utah, ARMY National Guard & Reserves
How did you know your pet was “the one?”