Friday, February 24, 2012

A Prayer for Shelter Dogs

Tonight I say a prayer for all of the dogs sleeping (or not sleeping) in shelters near and far.

May a person with realism, vision and acceptance walk past your gate.

May they see that the jumping dog in front of them is desperate to say hello.

May they realize that with a bit of training, you can learn polite greeting manners.

May they understand that you are not perfect, but that you can be trained to be a good dog.

May they understand if you are shy and overwhelmed, and see that with love, encouragement and confidence you will come out of your shell. May they understand this may take quite a few months.

May they see that the thunder and bluff is just that; and with training that teaches you in a peaceful way to get the distance you want from whatever “monster” that scares you, you will learn to resolve your conflicts with the world constructively and gain confidence.

May they understand you are curious and inquisitive and need to explore the world, but also you will need clear boundaries and kind but constant guidance.

And may they decide to make a life commitment to you. For who you are. The brilliant, the challenging, the aloof, the goofy, the exuberant, the serious, the silly, the reserved, the obnoxious, the funny, the athletic, the laid back, the complex and beautiful; the real dog that makes you the completely unique you.

Divorce is not an option in adopting. This is not fast food or Disneyland. This is real dog, real relationship and real commitment.

May you feel the touch of a kind hand and hear a gentle word.

May you take a car ride to your forever home.

When you mess up, may you be forgiven.

May your new family understand that it can take months and sometimes years of training, guidance and learning to help you be the best you can become. May they make that commitment to you.

May they accept you for the dog that you are in spite of all of the training. And may they smile at your imperfections as much as your achievements.

May they protect you, nurture you, give you exercise and adventures together.

And may you someday fall asleep on the bed, sighing in deep contentment, peace and security, spooned against your forever friend.

This I pray for you my friend, and for all dogs. This I pray.

Sleep in peace and we will both dream and pray for your forever home.