Life As You Know It Can Change In a Heartbeat.
Yesterday we lost one of our puppies. We were out on an off-leash walk in a large rural area that we’ve walked off-leash many times before, when the 2 dogs took off after a large group of deer. It took seconds before I could barely see them. We began to call; we began to search. Within 30 minutes we had found one of the pups. The rest of the day and night was spent searching for the other one.
For those who like to know the end of the story before you can pay attention to the details, we got her back safe and sound this morning. Luckily, she was found by some wonderful people who did all they could to connect with us overnight.
But back to the story…
The dogs ran at around 10:45am. The kids and I went home exhausted at 8:30pm with my husband back out at until after 11. Others continued to search several times in the night. She was spotted periodically but was obviously so scared that she kept running. Unfortunately, the people who ultimately found her called everyone they could think of to try to find us, to no avail, until this morning when I received that amazing call from dog control that she had been found.
From the moment the dogs ran, I experienced fear, confusion, frustration, anger and sadness. That was to be expected.
What wasn’t so expected…I experienced compassion, connection and support. From my friend who I was walking with, who stuck with me to the end, to the couple we saw who had “spotted her” last and who stayed out looking for hours, enlisting other friends to help (did I mention I had never met those folks before), to friends who were out walking at midnight and early in the morning to see if they could find her, to friends and strangers on Facebook and Instagram who helped in countless ways, I was amazed and grateful. In a really awful time, I felt loved and supported.
As I am not historically a dog person (as you likely know if you’ve been reading my blogs for a while), I didn’t understand that I am now part of a new community. And I really didn’t understand what being part of that community actually means. But it is amazing to realize that whether you know it or not, when you are part of a community, that community will step up in a time of need.
As I see her sleeping happily on the couch with my husband, here are:
Five life lessons I’ve learned:
1) People are amazing.
2) Community pulls together in a time of need.
3) You don’t always know who your community is. Doesn’t mean they won’t still be there for you.
4) When someone needs something, do your best to give. Then give more.
5) Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. You can “return the favour” through #4 when someone else is in need.
If you’ve gone through this kind of thing, what were the lessons you’ve learned?
Please share in the comments below.