As I helped her into the back seat of the car, I couldn't help noticing her lovely red hair. I've always been a sucker for red hair. She was trim and very agile, young, and pretty by anyone’s standards. Her eyes were friendly but seemed to show a little fear, maybe uncertainty about how our trip today would turn out. I had arrived early to pick her up, looking forward to our day together. Her name is Bailey.
Bailey and I would have plenty of time to talk on the one hour drive down to the PetSmart store in Canton Georgia. I would probably do most of the talking, which would come as no surprise to folks that know me. I talk. Some say… a lot!!
Fran and Larry Joe, the owners of Briar Cove Kennels just outside of Blue Ridge Georgia, had met me at the door this morning and introduced me to Bailey. She had been staying with them since the Humane Society of Blue Ridge had gotten her from the County Animal Control department. Animal Control has no more room and the fate of the dogs we are getting today was not looking good. We try to find Foster homes for those awaiting adoption but there is a shortage of Fosters and Briar Cove is a wonderful alternative. Larry and Fran love the dogs that we house there. They get excited when one of our little guys finds a home.
Anne and Lynn, two other Humane Society volunteers drove up to pick up other dogs for their trip to another PetSmart location where a similar adoption event was to take place. Our Humane Society group, along with other local rescue groups, hopeful of finding loving homes for these wonderful pets goes to various adoption sites to show our available dogs.
As we drove towards our destination I spoke to Bailey about being homeless. She listened and seemed to understand when I told her how much she was loved. I explained that sometimes things happen that make us feel “homeless”, unloved, unwanted. Sometimes people pass us by, and we are hurt, not understanding or just plain forgetting that we are God’s cherished ideas, for eternity!!
As we talked she calmed down and I showed her that she wasn’t homeless. Yes, she had been at Animal Control, but those folks all love dogs. Then, that Divine Love that motivates all good acts led our rescue group to take her to Briar Cove. That may not have been her forever home, but she was being taken care of, fed, sheltered and loved there. Now other caring people were working hard to find that one special family that would give her a real home.
I’m not sure how much Bailey understood about logic and I doubt that she read the Bible, maybe didn’t even know much about spirituality, but I pressed on.
“Bailey”, I said, “there’s a verse in the Bible, in Psalms, written thousands of years ago by David, who experienced life’s bumps and bruises, and that verse reassures us that “God sets the solitary in families” (Psalms 68:6) He knew that God was active in our lives. Even back then people sometimes felt alone and sought comfort, the poor, downtrodden, widows and homeless, living solitary lives, many of them finally discovering that home was really not about a roof and walls, but it was is about living in someone’s heart."
“You see Bailey, home is not a house, not a fenced yard, not a "place" at all, home is the warmth of a loving hug, a gentle hand smoothing your beautiful red coat, home is having someone actually appreciate you and your enthusiasm, your loyalty, and your friendliness demonstrated by that tail that wags incessantly. “
“As a matter of fact, girl, that love that is home is with you right now. I am here with you and I love you. The people at the Humane Society love you, that’s why they spend countless hours on behalf of all abused and abandoned animals. The people at Briar Cove love you, that is why they are helping, the people at Animal Control love you, that is why they picked you up in the first place and wanted us to help you further. And Bailey, when you were abandoned and wandering before you were picked up, even then, God who created you, and all of us, loved you. We are all God’s guests on earth, each one of us.
Bailey didn't say much but she listened. She was much more relaxed and already maybe feeling a little "home thought" coming from me... I love all dogs, and I REALLY wanted this lovely girl!! But I was under strict orders from my very patient wife not to bring "still another" doggie home.
I had to leave the adoption event early and later in the evening I received a call from Larry at Briar Cove. Bailey had not come back with the other dogs that had not yet been adopted and Larry was inquiring. I just KNEW she had found her home. And she had.
I love you Bailey and know that you are loved and happy in your new home. Thanks for a wonderful conversation and for sharing with me your love and enthusiasm and the conviction that there is no such thing as “homeless”... It helped me.