A late evening text on Sunday, June 18 altered our lives. It was Father’s Day, which is an empty holiday for us, celebration constrained because our dads are gone from this life and we don’t have biological progeny. Each of us sustains a mutually agreed-upon relationship so that I have a daughter and he has a son. Our hearts have an abundance of unconditional love to give. And receive.

You got the dog!

The dog was a rescue, a rehome situation brokered, sans fees, by one of my husband’s friends. The story of how it all came to be – in a 50-hour time fame – is another of my ‘Life as a Miracle’ tales. It’s an honest-to-God story, by every measure you can conjure.

Our friend has a fabled golden doodle named Alice, which my husband has long admired. Alice re-kindled my husband’s interest in owning a pet, which he’d avowed we couldn’t own because we traveled too much. That’s been true throughout our years together: adventure via travel is our thing. Now it’s our intention to be homebodies because of my hobbled knees.

It’s time to get a dog!

On Friday, June 16 our friend was in his condominium’s dog park, watching Alice frolic with her friends, when a woman approached with a woeful tale. She’d been ordered to take the dog to the local shelter for euthanasia. She was the caretaker for a woman who’d rapidly declined due to Alzheimer’s and required transfer to a memory facility. The dog was collateral damage.

“Will you help me rehome this dog?”

“Yes,” he replied. Soon he had temporary custody of the dog, along with his bed, chew toys, food, and leashes. The dog knew a few tricks, not the least of which was how to snuggle into people’s hearts. One look at his picture – with his noble carriage and fur the color of my freckles – and we were in.

We had much to gain and much to lose. First of all, we had a new someone to love: Sparky. He’d help us increase our daily exercise so we could lose the needed 5-10 pounds we carried in our mid-sections. We’d help him to gain the 5-10 pounds he needed. Further, he’d become our garden guard dog, shooing away the bunnies and squirrels who were sizing up our tomatoes.

Sparky loves our home, yard, and pool – and having two forever owners who love him more than words can say. Our new pet is aptly named: he sparks joy and our rejuvenation!