Based in Frederick, Maryland, Digital Ink & Parchment is a blog by Alexandria Pallat. Her posts explore the integration of faith in every day life.

Year 3

Year 3

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It was a Saturday afternoon. I was volunteering at a local shelter, and I decided to go in to a kennel and play with the two puppies that were newly up for adoption. The flat coat was boisterous already, at 10 weeks old, but it was the small, fluffy one that caught my attention. She wanted love, and she wanted to be in my lap, but her sister insisted on the attention. So I picked her up and placed her in my lap, giving her most of my attention. I took a photo and sent it to my husband. I'd been playfully trying to convince him to adopt a dog for a while, but the timing wasn't right. But having this pup in my lap, I knew I had to convince him this time.

"I'm off at 2."

My heart pounded. The shelter didn't put puppies on hold, and I needed that little one. I rushed to his work. The convincing and conversation is a bit of a blur, but I remember saying "Is this really happening?"

"We'll go see her as soon as I'm off."

I was ecstatic.

When he got off work, we rushed over to the shelter. It's a good thing we did. While we were in the room getting to know her, making sure she was a right fit, we heard another family ask, "Is the fluffy black puppy still available?" And the receptionist respond, "Actually, she's getting adopted."

We walked out of that shelter with a fluffy black puppy in my arms. And on the car ride to the pet store, I named her Belle.

. . . . . .

January 16th was Belle's third adoptiversary.

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I wanted that pup, but my husband saw what I really needed before I did--I needed a companion. And Belle has fulfilled that on more levels than I ever could have imagined.

My mom gets teary-eyed when I say things like "I don't know where I would be without Belle." Because that statement is one of the truest I've ever spoken. I don't know what this season would look like for me if I didn't have her constant presence. I don't know if I would have managed to move out of my massive depressive episode without her by my side.

Belle made sure I got up on the mornings when simply existing felt like the most difficult thing in the world. She made sure I got fresh air when all I wanted to do was stay in bed. She encouraged me to meet new people when I didn't think I could. She helped me find my faith in the simple moments.

Over the past 3 years--and especially the past 2 that we have been focused on training--she has turned into such a smart and energetic dog who is eager to learn and eager to please. She picks things up quick, and she's eager to show off her skills. I love her more than words can express, and I hope she knows that somehow.

As I celebrated her three years of life, I realized she has been on a bigger journey with me than I could ever have anticipated. She's been on a journey with me that I never wanted, but she has never once complained. She has looked to me for guidance, protection, and love, and, even on my worst days, I gave her what I could. And she was always thankful.

And maybe that's how we need approach faith. We need to look to God for our strength, hope, and guidance and give Him what we can, even if we don't feel like it's a lot. Because even on our worst days, He proves His goodness, and we should simply focus our energy on being thankful to Him. It won't be easy. We will complain, we will drag our feet, we will try to take our battle back. But, just like I've trained Belle to see that our training is for her, we can see that His plans are for us.

. . . . . .

Do you celebrate your pets' adoptiversaries?

What have your pets taught you?

When It Shouldn't Look Like This

When It Shouldn't Look Like This

It Shouldn't Look Like This

It Shouldn't Look Like This