i brought a dog home last sunday. a tiny, skinny ball of fur with a wagging tail and a pink tongue, and a constantly sniffing nose. his feet pitter-patter behind me frantically as he follows me from room to room throughout the condo. it’s hardest to leave him behind as i go to work, or to train him to sleep on his own. even now, i am sitting next to him as he is curled up inside his bed. tonight, i put him to sleep.

he was rescued by a wonderful veterinary technician named sonia, who graciously pulled the strings at her clinic and brought him up-to-date on vaccinations and had him neutered before i brought him home. reading his immunization notes, it seems his leg was fractured and his “carpus” swollen, and he was “depressed” and “drooling slightly” when he was picked up. luckily, he is healthy now with tons of energy and mischief, love and affection.

he resembles my old dog, “Lady”, who was also some sort of miniature doberman pinscher mix. i had “Lady” from sixth grade through freshman year of high school. i still remember vividly the day my dad brought her home, a tiny puppy with big, wistful eyes, who licked milk off of my index finger. i was the one who found her frozen and dead the day before i had to register for sophomore year. there were bite wounds in her neck, and we theorized that a wild animal, perhaps a coyote, had attacked her while she was in the backyard. my parents said she was screaming and yelping in pain and agony for several seconds as they frantically called out her name the evening before. i remember crying for three days straight, and my brother and i buried her in her blanket, in the backyard.

now Ernie has come into my life, and in just one short week, my life has changed forever. there is something to be said about how dogs offer unconditional love, how they are always waiting for you to come home, how they can read your emotions and know when you are sad or angry or happy. i am always conscious of where he is or what he is doing when he leaves my sight for even a few short seconds. i feel like God is preparing me to have a family, because i know these feelings will be amplified a thousand times for my own children, if and when such a moment should ever take place.

the weather was excruciatingly hot last week, and this week it is gradually returning to more autumn-like weather. october looks to be a long month, and work continues to be draining. but at least now i have a warm personality to come home to, who does not care whether my day was awesome or crappy. he just loves me the way i am. he’s a tiny example of the ENORMOUS way that God loves me… unconditionally.