Part 5: Adoption Day. We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby.
Final installment of a 5-part series about life-changing gifts from my foster dog. The Universe has good hearing.
Today’s the day.
We’re in the parking lot of a Petco. Sadie waits in the car while her new adoptive dad fills out paperwork at a table in front of the store.
The group is thorough, providing her medical history, going over adoption rules including the procedure to follow if they change their minds about keeping her. I can’t imagine this will happen, though. They’re smiling so broadly, they can hardly contain themselves.
I walk to my car with Sadie’s new adoptive mom, a kind, loving retired woman who, along with her husband, have fallen in love with Sadie. It’s common to change the name of the dog when new adopters take their dogs home, but Sadie’s new parents love everything about her including her name. They’ve already purchased her collar tag engraved with “Sadie” and their phone number.
We’re all standing at the back-end of my car. I’m in tears, trying not to burst into full sobs. It’s taken six weeks, but Sadie now looks directly at me rather than staring past me into space. She wags her tail at the world. She sprawls out when she sleeps rather than staying curled in a tight ball.
They snap one last photo of me with Sadie.
I put on my brave happy face to make this easier for all of us including Sadie, and we all gently lift her out of my car, encourage her to walk the fifteen feet to their car, and lift her in. Surprisingly, she takes a hop in of her own accord. Her new adoptive mom sits in the back seat with her as her new human dad starts the car.
I’ve already loaded food and toys into their trunk, but I forgot her blanket. As he puts the car in gear, I shout for him to wait. I take her blanket from the back of my car and toss it into their back seat. Her new mom shouts out thanks, and I watch them pull out of the busy parking lot and drive away.
Choices make the world go around.
I’ve wondered for quite a while why some things seem to require asking for, while others have fallen into my lap. Maybe in times where we’re too lost to ask, the universe kicks in. But maybe the goal is to become conscious of choices. I can choose despair or I can choose love in any instant, although this requires that I remember it.
It seems like a lot of work sometimes to make this decision over and over each day, but it’s also like riding a bike. At first when we’re learning, balance is jerky and wobbly. But the further down the road we go, the easier it gets. So it is with shifting from doubt to knowing. Doubt, after all, is based on what’s happened in the past.
Knowing is based on how the universe works. It’s based on our identities as loving beings created in the image and likeness of a loving Creator as we live here and now. I can doubt my identify and feel lack, or I can remember it, choose to live with this awareness and anticipate events that reflect the truth of me.
After all is said and done, life is a matter of stripping away what we’re not to arrive at what we are.
I asked several weeks ago, “What’s in this for me? Why am I here?”
I’m here to love. It couldn’t be much simpler.
It’s said that when a door closes, a window opens.
When my window opened, a little puppy tumbled in. She’s three months old. I’ve now had her for three weeks. She’s not a foster. I adopted her. During the three weeks, she’s learned to ring a bell to get outside, she’s demonstrated herself as a master retriever of a puppy-sized frisbee, and she’s learned down, stay, come, shake and how to get a rise out of mom when she chews on my fingers with her baby shark teeth.
A few days after I brought her home, I thought I’d made a mistake. She was just so darned…perky. Energetic. Upbeat. Playful. Joyful.
How could I cope? I’ve never had a puppy. These things are constant.
Ahh, the folly of believing that there are more important things to strive for than joy.
Ask and Ye Shall Receive. Ask the same question over and over if necessary. The universe is patient.
How can I best love? How can I remember it? Why do I think other things are more important?
I don’t know, says the universe. Great questions you may want to consider. Meanwhile, this little bundle of puppyhood might help. Think of her as a sticky note reminding you of your mission to love. One that wiggles around a lot and puts her head in your lap at night.
Love. Joy. Happiness every day. Just what the universe ordered.
Sadie Jr., welcome to the world.