Good morning! It’s another beautiful, but a little hot, day! Come chat with me a few moments. A realtor is showing my house for the first time today. I’m so excited! Oh, yeh, I’m talking about my dog today.
Littlewood’s Law states that individuals can expect a “miracle” to happen to them at the rate of about one per month.
King James Bible
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
I was unchurched after my ex left for almost twenty years. I found a new church for two years where my son was confirmed. I left because of a difference in beliefs about a social issue. I attended another with a huge singles class where I felt like I was in a meat market…and I didn’t feel like prime rib.
I gave up. That was the time when I was struggling the most with the CFS and fibromyalgia. I would come home Friday night and stay in my bed or the recliner until Monday morning when I forced myself back to work. Attending church was the last thing I felt I could do.
In March of ’05 I felt the urge to join a congregation again. I have always felt I had strong spiritual beliefs but I was never much into the trappings of religion. Then I found my present church. No trappings that I have found yet.
What does that have to do with my dog? Here’s her story.
I visited in the home of a new friend from church. She had an adorable little Sheltie who had found her. He just walked up to her one day and she took him in. When she couldn’t find his owner, she adopted him. I told her that I had had two dogs, a Sheltie and a Sheltie+jump the fence. Both lived long dog years and then died. It had been about ten years but I still somewhat missed having a dog around.
I saw her at church a couple of Sundays later. She asked if I had made up my mind about getting another Sheltie. I replied, “I’m maybe, kinda, sorta beginning to think about it.” She asked, “Do you know Chuck and his wife?” I shook my head no. “They work for the county rescue society. They’d know if there were any Shelties available.” She introduced me to them and told them what I wanted.
“Do you KNOW how RARE it is for a Sheltie to be a rescue dog?” Chuck asked. “People just don’t let their Shelties get away.”
“Yes, I know,” I replied, “but that’s OK. I’m just maybe, kinda, sorta, beginning to think about it. I know it will take a while.” That was Sunday.
On Monday evening, a bedraggled, dirty, forlorn Sheltie walked down a lonely Texas country road. She passed the house of a groomer just as he stepped outside. He called to her and she came to him. He took her in and cleaned her up. She looked as if she’d been traveling for a while. She was thin and hungry.
The groomer happened to be Chuck’s groomer. He called Chuck the next day and asked if Chuck knew of anyone who wanted a Sheltie. Chuck was astounded. That was Tuesday. Chuck emailed me about the groomer and said he was driving over the next day to take pictures of the dog and would email them to me. On Wednesday, I got two pictures of her. She looked so sad. Chuck asked if I were interested. I replied, “I was only just beginning to maybe, kinda, sorta, begin to think about getting a dog. “Yes, I know”, he replied. “We could bring her half way to your house on Sunday and you could drive down to meet her. ” I agreed.
After church I drove to the home of our mutual friend. The dog was in the front yard with Chuck’s wife. I bent down and let her smell my hand and patted her on the head. She was pretty unresponsive.
Such a sad face!
I walked inside and sat down on a couch. There was a huge coffee table in front of me. On the opposite side of the table was another couch. Chuck’s wife brought the dog inside. The next thing I knew, she had bounded across the coffee table and into my lap! Whoosh! I was flabbergasted. She’s a Sheltie but she’s large for her breed. She almost took my breath away when she pounced on me. “Well,” Chuck said, “I guess that settles that question.” “Yes, I guess it does,” I responded. I was more than mildly shocked. I don’t always immediately attract dogs and here she was sitting in my lap! She gave me no choice.
“What will you name her?” I was asked. “I’ve been calling her Rily and she comes,” said my friend’s son. “Well, that’s it then. I wouldn’t want to confuse her.”
I did change the spelling to Ri-Leigh. I explored the meaning of the name. It is a very rare Gaelic girl’s name. It means courageous. Considering what she might have been through, I think that is an appropriate name for her. She was my synchronous occurence. She was my miracle.
At first she wouldn’t go outside without me going with her. She had accidents in the house because of her fear. Gradually in a couple of weeks that began to ebb somewhat. She finally ventured in the back yard by herself. I live on a corner lot and she has the run of the whole yard. Since there is a chain length fence she is able to see all activity on both streets. She loves running from one side to the other. Even on hot days she often prefers sitting in the shade in the yard to being inside. At night some nights I give her three chances to come in. There have been several nights I have said good night, closed the door and gone to sleep with her still outside. She’s a stubborn gal.
At first I thought she was mute. She did not make a sound for at least the first month. One Saturday morning she was in the family room and she let out a single sharp YIP! It was really startling. I had no idea what was wrong. I went to the door thinking something must be bothering her. There were no windows where she was so I was at a loss as to what caused her to bark. I looked all over and saw no one. I was about to close the door when in the distance coming over the small rise in the road I saw them. There were two Jehovah’s Witnesses approaching still several houses away. “You’re a keeper, ol’ gal.” I said.
I now know that God has a sense of humor. What I had first said in the fellowship hall that Sunday was that I would like to have a companion, meaning a two legged human male. Ri-Leigh is what I got! Ha ha ha!