Courage is found in unlikely places.
- J. R. R. Tolkien
Dogs are therapeutic, as we all know. Some are trained to work in hospitals, or to read with kids. Others have such a spark in them that they aren’t trained to do anything…merely existing can bring hope and courage to others.
That was the story of Faith, a Lab/Chow cross who was born deformed, without her front legs. Whisked away by a caring human just as she was about to be smothered by her mother, she wasn’t expected to live very long. Thank God the veterinarians were all wrong.
Faith did live. And she thrived. She inspired others to do the same. She learned to walk on two legs and not only survive with her disability, but give courage and hope to humans who may be struggling accepting their disability. She gave me hope as well. I personally have no disabilities, but like all other humans in the world, I can get depressed, overwhelmed or just tired. I’ll never forget the first time I saw her: trying to process the creature in front of me – a dog walking on two legs. At first it was disturbing, as my mind tried to categorize this creature in my head. It’s a dog. That walks on two legs. It doesn’t pace as dogs do, it was bi-pedal. And ecstatic about life. For some reason she brought tears to my eyes. Just the way she would keep on keepin’ on .
We lost Faith this past week. She lived to be almost 12 years old. This saddens me deeply. She was a true role model and a hero for many who themselves were faced with a sudden disability, as she frequently visited our returning soldiers. She was also a hero for those who lead “normal” everyday lives. She was a hero to me. Her story may end, as all stories do, but the pages are filled with inspiration. Goodbye Faith. Thank you for the 12 years you gave to make this planet a better place.