My mother passed on in February of this year. She lived in a specialty care at Autumn Cove, an assisted living residence here in Anniston. For years I had visited my mother almost everyday of the week, and taken care of many things for her. With his consent, my father had allowed me to make decisions regarding my mother's health care. She had always needed me, and now in February she was suddenly gone. The emptiness in my life was very great.
A few weeks after her death, a friend from church found a bedraggled and shivering dog in the road. She posted the dog's picture on Facebook to try to locate the owner. The moment I saw the picture of that little schnauzer my heart was drawn to her. I couldn't stop thinking about her. I already had two little dogs, and I lived on a street with a strict covenant. We could have no more than two little pets. Besides my husband was the president of the homeowners association, and I couldn't put him in that position. I took a picture of this lost dog to my groomer Kathy. The dog had a damaged ear, so she immediately recognized the dog as one she had groomed a few days earlier. Kathy said that someone had found the dog. She had been all mangled and obviously a stray for a long time. Kathy couldn't say who the dog's rescuer was. But it it was obvious that the person who had rescued the dogs had also lost her. And my friend, Donna, had rescued her again.
When I first saw this little dog in Donna's living room, my heart filled to overflowing. My mama came to mind, and then this little dog just looked at me and I knew in my heart that she was a gift for this time in my life. There was nothing pretty about her condition. Her skin was just a bunch of sores. She had bitten herself raw. Her damaged ear was mangled and infected. Donna couldn't keep her because of her large dogs. Mama was gone, and now here was this little dog needing love and care. According to our covenant, we couldn't have another pet, but I took her, knowing that one day I might have to give her up.
We named her Molly, and took her to our vet. After treatments for her skin condition, and ear, Molly began to feel better, and fit into our lives with our other two dogs just perfectly. It had always bothered me that we had broken the covenant when we brought her home, but no one had ever said anything. I knew if anyone ever did, I would have to let her go. That thought was devastating, but I understood.
Loving and gentle she lays by my side watching me as I write this. Her paw rests on my leg as if to say, “it's alright. It's time for me to move on.” And it is time.... for that is what has happened. Her presence was questioned two weeks ago. We were asked if we were not aware of the covenant. For these past months she has been my companion and my friend during a time when I desperately needed someone to love and take care of. God had sent Molly to fill a time of great loneliness in my life.. And she has been my healing balm. She has been right beside me as I right devotionals each morning. Often after praying I open my eyes to see her totally concentrated on me as if to say, “I'm here for you.” She has been God's gift during one of the most difficult times of my life. The pain at the thought of separation has been devastating, but I have found through all the tears, that it is time.
Molly has been my gift to help me through grief, and now it is time for her to love and help someone else. I had Mama for awhile, and then had to let her go. It is as if I hear Mama saying, “It's OK to move on now, Lynn. It's OK.” So with Molly's incredible love and help over these last months, I can now move on. I pray that the sweet family who receives her is blessed as much as I have been by her sweet presence. And that they discover the wonderful gift that Molly has just for them.