There have been some amazing things happening (the Trip to Italy springs immediately to mind, along with my profession as a member of the Order of Preachers) but there have been some real hardships (all my own fault). The journey has not been easy. Just this past month alone I lost a long time dearly loved friend and alienated some family members.
It's been a tough couple of years.
When Duffy died last July my heart just broke in ways I cannot explain. It is not just the loss of a pet. He was more than just a fur baby. Duffy was the kind of friend and companion only a dog can be to a childless widow. He was, like all my dogs, something special in my life.
I knew I could not afford to get a puppy because I share a home with my mother, who is 93 and not up to having to care for a puppy while I am at work. I figured I would be pretty lonely for a couple of years and I just buckled down and expected it.
As a few things over the past couple of weeks caused more and more grief, I finally decided to put my name in for Scottie Rescue. I thought, well...maybe I can offer a forever home to an older dog that is being pushed away or whose family has to leave him or her behind.
While I contacted the local Scottish Terrier Rescue in my area I received a message from a lovely woman back east who offered me her mother's dog. I thought it was too good to be true and it was - the original breeder rejected me.
Once more, not good enough...that is how I felt. I called my mentor and told her how very, very sad I was and how extremely tired I was of being rejected. I can take responsibility for my actions (despite all accusations to the contrary) but when everything I try or want or attempt comes up a big goose egg, I get tired.
And so I gave up.
She tried to encourage me but I was not having any of it. The previous week had revealed a dear friend to be less than honorable. I had upset someone I loved terribly and caused another rift in the family. My mother's best friend is ignoring her and making her feel less than desirable. It has just been really, really sad around my house.
All I wanted, I thought, was a dog to love - a little Scottie I could name like I named my other dogs: Shaw's Angus MacDuff (Mac), Shaw's Roddy MacDuff (Roddy) and Shaw's William Wallace MacDuff (Duffy). I was sorry I had hurt my family, sad I couldn't take care of my mother, and so damn tired of being not good enough while being expected to forgive, forgive and forgive some more whenever someone stepped on my heart one more time.
So I gave up.
Last Wednesday night I received a telephone call from the woman in Scottie Rescue. There was a little stray who had been brought in to the local shelter in a city near my home. He is a little younger than I wanted - a little over a year old, she said - and he was injured (a broken hip and paw) possibly from a run in with a car. Would I be interested?
I hesitated because I am not a wealthy woman and was not sure I could take on the responsibility of an injured dog. I told her my reservations...and she reassured me that the Veterinarian School of Medicine at the prestigious University near us was going to do all the work for free if I could take him on, even for foster care.
Still, I hesitated...he was young, he was a stray...no microchip, no collar, no tags....who would let a purebred Scottish Terrier run away like that? Or worse, who would throw that kind of animal out of the car, which is what they suspected? Would he be horribly damaged and need lots of attention? I work so far away...could it be something I can really take on?
'He's such a love bug', the voice on the phone continued. 'Everyone here loves him. They have even given him a name, which they never do.'.
What's his name?
Sometimes I forget how quickly God can work if I just get out of the way.
He is beaten up and will need some tender loving care. We can give him that and much, much more.
Welcome home, Shaw's Rob Roy MacDuff (Robbie). You are safe now.
And so am I.