We walked down the streets of the gated community, some of its residents came forward to say hello, others stood back, fearful and shaking not knowing what to make of the newcomers in their midst. But there was one he neither hung back nor came forward, he just looked up, straight at you, his eyes sad, he knew the drill we were nothing new to him, it may be a different neighborhood, but the people were the all same, everyone came to look but no one came to buy at least not where he was concerned, and if they did, it wasn’t long before they would take him back to where he came from, the gated community where it was loud and noisy, he had gotten used to the chain link fence and cement floor as his home.
Why couldn’t he catch a break? He loved his first home but one day they took him to the gated community and never came back. That is when another family came and brought him to live at their home, it was ok there but they were gone a lot and he was lonely, that is when his nervous tummy started, what went down didn’t always stay down and sometimes they hit him when he would make a mess on the floor, that is why they took him back to the gated community. No one wanted to take him home there, so he was taken to another gated community, by this time he was used to cold and sterile floors where people rarely pet him, and he loved to be pet, he resolved that this is what his life was going to be.
Until that day, lots of people came to see him, the first woman had a big black lab and there was no way he was going home with them, he would take a cement floor any day over having to live with that dog, so he howled and growled in protest and it was finally decided that would not be the best home for him. Then the elderly man and his wife came, they seemed nice enough but when they found out about his tender tummy they never came back. Then came those women, the older one talked to him in funny voices and the younger one kept trying to stick her fingers through the holes in the fence, there was no way they were going to take him home, not after they found out that was he was Bailey, the broken Basset Hound with a tender tummy, they were probably going to take the guy next door home, the one that looked like a shag carpet, they stopped and visited with him too, but nope they kept coming back to Bailey, even took him out for a bit, the older woman kept talking to him in funny voices and rubbing his ears, and the younger one sat on the floor, tickling his belly and giving him treats. So Bailey waited, certain they were going to come back and get him, but it was getting late, where were they, why weren’t they coming to get him? We’re losing daylight here where are they? They really seemed to like him. It was the tender tummy thing wasn’t it? That is why they didn’t want him, but he couldn’t help it sometimes it just came up without warning.
It was dark outside now, the shelter workers were closing up shop for the day and Bailey settled in for another night in that cold dank place, maybe tomorrow he thought, another family will come to take him home.
Daylight broke and it was time to go outside, and he prolonged those field trips as long as he could, he loved being outside but he only got out a few times a day so he tried to make it last as long he could, raising his head towards the sky he loved the feel of the sun on his face. Then it was feeding time, it looked like it was going to be just another day, wondering when he was going to be moved again, he never stayed in one place very long, it was only a matter of time, and he was right, the truck had been called to come pick him up and take him to another shelter in Minnesota. But Bailey didn’t know the women who talked to him in funny voices called the shelter just a few minutes before closing time the night before, she decided she wanted to take Bailey home, the transport truck was canceled, and the women and her daughter sat in the office completing the paperwork while Bailey nestled into a corner of his tiny cement floor home resolving that is was going to be just another day. But then one of the nice girls that took care of him came to get him, it wasn’t time to go outside yet, and he was being led to another part of the shelter, one he had never been to before, what was going on? And that is when he saw the lady with the funny voices standing to greet him.
Bailey was going home.
In the months since Bailey came home, he has settled in quite nicely, he threw up a lot in the beginning but the nice lady would rub his back and tell him it was ok, she never hit him, with a lot of love, a special dog food and spoonful of yogurt before each meal (yogurt, who woulda thunk it?) Bailey’s tender tummy is tender no more, the nice lady takes him for car rides almost every day, lets him rest his head in her lap, plays hide and seek with him, takes him for walks for what seems like 10 times a day, but Bailey isn’t complaining he loves to take walks and sniff the trees and she lets him lay outside in the sun for as long as he wants, and sometimes she takes him to the girls house, the one that would stick her fingers through the holes in the cage, to run around and play in her backyard.
And Bailey is home
Moral of the story:
Maybe you too feel like the truck is just hours or minutes away from coming to carry you off into the abyss never to be heard from again. God is never late, but he sure likes to cut it close sometimes.
What may look like another ordinary day to you could just be the hang time until the paperwork is complete so God can deliver you.
What may look like a missed opportunity could be God working out the details to bring you the best opportunity.
Can’t catch a break? It will probably come when things look to be at their worst and when you aren’t looking.
Broken just means that a better a version of you is waiting to be put back together.
And the best part of Bailey coming home, a family on verge of extinction is being slowly being restored through the mutual love of a broken ole Basset Hound with a tender tummy.
Bailey taking a a nap on my couch during a day of dogsitting