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A Story about Foster and Rescue

September 21st, 2008, 06:41 PM
This was posted on another board I belong to, and I wanted to post it for those who foster and rescue:

Little Pieces
by Grace Saalsaa (Written for those who foster)

Melissa sat on the floor, unable to sit straight and tall like her
mother had always admonished her to do when she was a child. Today,
it would be impossible. And tomorrow... it probably wouldn't be
possible then either. Her mind was too busy thinking about the dog
that lay across her lap.

When he came to be with her, he had no name. She remembered that day
very well. The first sight of him was enough to break her heart into
little pieces.

The woman, who had taken this dog from the rough streets where he had
lived, had tried to save him because she was unable to watch this
young dog find his own food in a dumpster outside the crack house
where he lived. Nobody cared that he was gone.

His fur was very thick; so thick that she had to wiggle her fingers
down to feel his bony body. And as she pulled her fingers away again,
they were coated in old dirt. Black and white, he was supposed to be.
But on that day he was beige and dust.

He sat in the back of her car panting continuously, ears laid outward
for he had lost his courage and couldn't keep them proud and tall. He
sat motionless, waiting and limp.

But the thing that was the most disturbing was the look in his eyes.
They were quiet eyes, sunken into his head - and they watched her.
They were alive with thought. He was waiting for her to do
something 'to' him.

Little did he know at the time that, instead, she would 'give'
something to him. She gave him one of the little broken pieces of her

She reached out to stroke his head and he instinctively squinched his
eyes shut and dropped his head, waiting for the heavy hand. With that
little bit of movement she gave him another one of the broken pieces
of her heart.

She took him home and gave him a bath. She toweled him dry and
brushed some order back into his coat. For that, he was grateful and
even though his own heart was loaded with worms, he accepted yet
another piece of her heart, for it would help to heal his own.

'Would you like some water, big boy?' She whispered to him as she set
down a large bowl of cold well water. He drank it up happily. He had
been dehydrated for a long time and she knew it would take him most
of the week to re-hydrate.

He wanted more water - but it was gone. Ah... that's how it is, he
thought to himself. But he was grateful for what he had been able to
get. 'Would you like some more?' and she gave him another bowl along
with another little piece of her heart.

'I know that you are hungry. You don't have to find your own food
anymore. Here's a big bowl of good food for you. I've added some warm
water and a little piece of my heart.'

Over the four months that he stayed with her, his health improved.
The heart full of worms was replaced piece by piece with little bits
of her loving heart. And each little piece worked a very special kind
of magic.

When the warmth of love and gentle caresses are added, the little
broken pieces knit together again and heal the container it resides
in. That container becomes whole again.

She watched each little broken piece fill a gap in the gentle dog
until his quiet eyes radiated the light from the little pieces. You
see, kind words gently spoken turn the little pieces into
illumination for the spirit that resides within.

He rested beside her, happy to be with her always. Never had he known
such kindness, such gentle caresses; such love. His health had
returned, his spirit was playful as a young dog's should be and he
had learned about love.

Now his heart was full. The healing was complete. It was time to go.
There was another person who had another heart that was meant to be
shared with him.

So she sat shapeless on the floor because all the broken pieces of
her heart were with the dog. It is difficult to sit tall when your
heart is not with you. She wrapped her arms around the dog that sat
with tall, proud ears for her. Lean on me, he said.

And she gave him one last thing that would keep him strong; that
would keep the pieces of her heart together long after he had gone on
to live his new life. She gave him her tears and bound them to the
pieces with a simple statement made from the ribbons of her heart.

'I love you, Joe.'

And Joe lived happily ever after.

Melissa sat on the floor, straight and tall like her mother had
always admonished her to do when she was a child. Today, it would be
possible. And tomorrow... it probably would be possible too. Because
her mind was busy thinking about this, the next dog that lay across
her lap.

Where did she get the heart to help yet another dog, you ask?

Ahhh... it came with the dog. They always bring a little bit of heart
with them. And when the rescuer breathes in that little bit of heart,
it quickly grows and fills the void left by the last dog.

You remain responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.
-Antoine de Saint Exupery

September 21st, 2008, 06:50 PM
That was very moving, goldengal. Thank you for sharing it :grouphug:.

September 21st, 2008, 07:49 PM

September 21st, 2008, 09:14 PM
Got me going. Thanks for sharing. And thank all of the rescuers and fosters once again for the huge job they do!!!! :thumbs up

September 22nd, 2008, 12:51 AM

What a wonderful story.

September 22nd, 2008, 01:08 AM
Beautiful story. :thumbs up My heart goes out to everyone that fosters and rescues. :angel: :grouphug:

September 22nd, 2008, 06:40 AM
Thank you for sharing, goldengal. Fostering is hard on the heart, but rewarding to the soul.

September 22nd, 2008, 11:49 AM
I read it yesterday but wasn't able to comment :cry: :o

It's a beautiful text.

September 22nd, 2008, 01:09 PM

September 22nd, 2008, 02:50 PM
I enjoyed the reading. Thank you.