“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, and filling an emptiness we didn’t even know we had.” 

Meet Kota, she is an Alaskan Malamute mix from the local shelter. She came from a home I know very little about. I just couldn’t keep my eyes off her…she looked so out-of-place, so beautiful..and sad. “She’s only 2 years old”, they said, “the only problem is, she is afraid of men.” The home she came from either consisted of just females, or of a male that was abusive, and so she was afraid. My husband and I visited her, giving her treats.. but she only felt safe around me. I was losing hope. I prayed to God, “Lord, if she is meant to be with us, please help her overcome her fear.” The last time we visited…she LOVED Aaron, it was a prayer come true.

Having a big dog (she’s 90 pounds), is quite the new experience for me, as well as adopting. She needed re-potty trained, and she has fears and uncertainties that we are still discovering and working through. Completely different than bringing home a puppy, who has never felt fear, pain, or abandonment by previous owners. But it is so worth it. Having Kota brings joy to our lives….in fact her name means happiness. And everyday I am discovering what parenting will be like. True a baby is far more work and responsibility than caring for a dog, but after three years without a pet (besides guinea pigs) I feel myself sliding back into my motherly nurturing self. I had a dog when I was growing up and quite honestly loved him like a child. I know there may be parents reading this who will disagree with me, and that’s okay, I haven’t had a child myself yet…I know that my love for them will be tenfold…but for a lonely teen girl with no siblings and growing up feeling misunderstood…my dog filled all those voids in my heart.

Hence the reason behind the quote above, God seemed to know that there would be those who would need the unfailing love of a dog, the loyalty and friendship that never changes through time or circumstance. They simply live to please and bring joy to people. Maybe that’s why I am so drawn to animals, I have been hurt by many people in this life, but never have I been hurt by an animal. Sure, my cat might have scratched me from time to time, but emotionally I have always felt accepted. I remember the many times I cried and my cat or dog was right there by my side to comfort me. The fact is, I believe that God can be found in all shapes and sizes. When we don’t reflect him well, someone or something else must. Why? because of who He is. God is just so great and so good that we can’t possibly cover Him up. The truth always comes through, we can deny its existence but the truth remains. The Bible even touches on this fact in regards to worship, “…if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:40) Creation will always speak the truth and reflect the creator, even when we fail to.

I firmly believe that every pet deserves a loving home, and volunteering at the shelter I get to see the very human emotions that they go through upon abandonment. Bringing Kota home, she was overjoyed!..after getting her settled in we decided to take her for a ride and get her used to the car. The joy of leaving the shelter the first time she hopped in our car was replaced with the fear of going back. It took a few minutes of reassuring her to finally get her in the car, but after a fun ride to the pet store and to get ice cream, I am proud to say that even this fear has been squashed.

So what’s it like adopting a dog?

It is fun and exciting…and heartening to see the transformations take place within them as they experience the love of a family again. It is where they belong after all…just as God intended.

Kota is home to stay…