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Open Doors - Winter 2011

Changing Lives—Building A Relationship

We changed each other's lives really…

This is the story of a Labrador retriever whose owner had died and who had “kind of” been left on her own. No one wanted her. She was overweight, alone, sad and ill. There was a person out there who was underweight, alone, sad, and also ill. Because of a stroke of fate, for which they both always would be grateful, these two ended up together.

At first, there was trouble. Being dragged by leash all over the place, bad habits picked up from neglect, and lots and lots of hair and spitcicles. But one day after many hours of hard work, the dog started to pay attention and the person found love, safety, and companionship. A true relationship began to develop.

One day, the person found herself inexplicably looking at the room upside down. She realized that she was on the floor wondering why a smelly walrus with prickly whiskers was licking her face!  The realization finally dawned that she had passed out and that the walrus was her dog who was trying to wake her up!  The dog went and got the telephone and sat, patiently waiting for the world to right itself again.

It was the beginning of a team. The person, who had become quite reclusive, began to go to the grocery store, the mall, movies, and even an occasional restaurant again with the companionship of the dog by her side. The dog even got the chance, to her great joy, to find out that she was a water dog, and a retrieving one at that, when shown her first lake at the age of five!  They had a reason to get up in the morning and a reason to love again. Their lives were changed profoundly.

In one of life's moments that seem to make no sense at all, the dog became very ill suddenly and passed away within only one week. I have been told that the bed that she sleeps in now is a cloud turned inside out by God that she turned round and round in until it was just right, in a place with many friends to play with in forever green fields. I can live with that; however, I will never forget one of the greatest gifts that I have ever received.

Rest in peace, beautiful girl. You changed my life forever.

~In memory of SSD Lynsey

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