Walking by Faith Alone

Lessons from Mama Dog…

with 3 comments

Her brown eyes blink slowly up at me as I lean over to pet her and scratch her belly protruding with nature’s puppy formula. She sighs ever so slightly and nestles her head against my knee, prompting me to find a spot on the ground next to her. Her name to us is “Mama Dog” and with each passing day I realize, I am not her blessing – she is mine.

When my husband first found her, her ribs displayed her struggles but her apprehension of people, her timidity, spoke of abuse. There was no trust and yet there was no fight left in her either. She lay at Rolando’s feet, humbly, waiting for him to beat her; instead, he offered her Pork Rinds. As he poured the bag on the ground and she took one in her mouth, the crunching of her own jaw frightened her. What kind of life had she endured?

At first we simply wanted to rescue her, fatten her up, and find a family for her; but the challenges of her past caused more than we had bargained for. On 12-12-12, Mama Dog delivered 9 of the prettiest puppies I’ve ever seen and through it all, this is what I’ve learned from “Mama Dog.”

1. See People With Fresh Eyes. I don’t know what she has been through. From her scars, I can only imagine; but Mama Dog didn’t view us as she did the human’s of her past. She saw us with new eyes and gave us a chance to love her and care for her.

2. Trust Again. When people who are supposed to love you betray you, it is difficult to ever let anyone near your heart again. But if you don’t let down the metal walls that guard you, you will never know the joy of true love. Mama Dog trusted us even though she had every right not to do so.

3. Stop and Breathe in life. The other morning she and I took a brief walk to give her a break from the puppies. As we approached the end of the driveway, she looked up at me, took a deep breath, and sat down. In the cold, we snuggled up close to each other and silently listened to all of nature’s sounds around us. Her cold wet nose touched my cheek as if to say, “Isn’t life beautiful?”

4. Play. As I waited for Mama to do her business outside, I sat on the steps of my back porch, watching the sun rise. To my surprise, out of nowhere, she lept on my back and ran in circles around me. I hadn’t seen her play before. She wrestled me to the wet, muddy ground. Something I hadn’t done since I was a child. Playing is not just for puppies.

5. Greet those you love. When she hears our voices or sees us, she and her puppies with tails wagging run to greet us. Why don’t we do the same for our loved ones?

6. Recognize the gifts. Last night, as her puppies fell asleep around her, warm and snug, she looked up at me. Her eyes said it all. Her belly was full. She was warm and clean. She was loved.

7. Live in the moment. It is about now; the people who are around you now; the tasks you have to do now. Mama Dog isn’t worried if I will dump her on the road next week or from where her food will come. She is with us today and that is enough for her. Enjoy what you are doing right now and the people you are with.

I went to bed thinking of my own life and all that I had been through. If we spend all our time dwelling on where we’ve been and what we’ve done or what has been done to us, we just might miss what is around us today. I wonder if God sent Mama Dog so that I could help her or she could help me. Maybe a little bit of both.

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

January 12, 2013 at 2:58 pm

3 Responses

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  1. This is beautiful! Thanks!

    Joan Zeigler

    January 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm

  2. LOVE THIS!!!


    January 12, 2013 at 8:40 pm

  3. Wonderful story, Nora. I read both “A Dog’s Purpose” and “A Dog’s Journey” and loved them. Your story about you and Mama Dog were equally enjoyable.

    Dot Hardy

    January 13, 2013 at 1:17 am

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