Before we became homeless we adopted Faith from Metro Animal Control. She was four weeks old and weighed in at 3.4 lbs. This itty bitty fur ball curled up on a pillow in a cage stole my heart right away without even realizing the impact she would have on my life. I’ve had pets before — from rabbits to cats to birds — but this little one, white with patches of golden yellow hair mixed in, has been the most special one in my life. She inspires me with her unconditional love. I can step up into the RV and she greets me with kisses and tail wagging each time — unless she’s pouting about being out of treats! I can come back in a bad mood and there she is so happy to see me it makes me forget what I was mad about.
I see through online posts and people’s comments that it’s awful to put an animal through the dreaded heat of summer and the bitter cold of winter. Our pets — service animals and emotional support animals — are our family. To get rid of them would be like cutting off our arm or leg. We’d be disabled without them. Even before we were homeless we loved them and considered them family. Pets are also our way of feeling loved and missed. Some people have even said that we’d have it so much easier without pets, and I respond with, “No, I wouldn’t.”
When we lived in a hotel we were being charged $10 a day extra for having a pet. It was suggested to me to have her registered as a service animal, but with her exuberance for attention she’s still more puppy than ever and she’d have to go through training and that costs money we didn’t have. With a heavy heart I tried to find her a good home, but I found something much greater.
Dezarhea, a Facebook friend, suggested that she be registered as an Emotional Support Animal, a pet that comforts their human owners. Well, in a nutshell, that described what Faith already did do for all of us. I started looking into it and decided that we couldn’t afford both the extra $10 a day and the fees. Dezarhea suggested that she provide a foster home for Faith while we wait for the paperwork to come in. Six weeks without Faith. How could I ever do that? Dezarhea said she could bring Faith over for visits. But I was skeptical. We’d had someone foster our cat, TJ, and he was given away without our knowledge.
I met with Dezaraha in the parking lot of the hotel and Faith just started loving on her, easing my mind about letting Faith go. Off they went with me in tears and Faith’s head staring out the back window. I think I cried for two hours and texted Dezarhea a million times before I finally went to sleep that night. I stayed busy and worked selling the paper a lot to keep my mind off Faith being gone. The six weeks seemed to go by so slowly, but when Dezarhea brought Faith by for a visit the entire hotel seemed so pleased as well as me. The visits were short, but I was so thankful for them.
I’ll never forget that day when Paul went up to the office and came running back with the much awaited envelope with Faith’s papers in his hand, yelling, “Make the call and get her back here!”
Faith was having so much fun with Dezarhea. She had a fenced yard to play in and a friend named Henry to play with. Pictures sent weekly were so much fun to receive and see she was happy. You see many times I’ve thought about giving Faith up to give her a better life until I realized that she was happy with us. It wasn’t 20 minutes after I made the call and in pulled Dezaraha with Faith in the passenger seat tail wagging. She was home for good this time. Out she jumped and started running around and jumping on me. What a gift we were given not only in Faith but the gift of a home for her until she could be with us all the time. I see Dezarhea from time to time in her FedEx truck driving to a destination and I thank her every time for the gift that I could never repay.
That’s how much our pets mean to us and add to our lives. Instead of a “Beware of Dog” sign on the door of the camper I’d like to have a “Must Love Dogs” sign! Faith isn’t just a dog; she’s family — never forgotten and never left behind. Some ask me why I’m not hooking up with a guy and I simply respond with, “Why should I? Faith gives me all the love I could possibly want or need.” She doesn’t leave her dirty clothes lying around, she never says an unkind word and she greets me everyday!
Oct 17 2019
Oct 16 2019
Oct 16 2019