One of my dogs is a Great Pyrenees. I was on our local shelter’s call list for several large breeds, and I was one of several people they called when she arrived. I wasn’t supposed to be in town, I was originally scheduled to leave for post-season basketball but flight plans had changed, so there I was at home, having just dropped Sophia off for boarding, when the call came in.
When I got to the shelter to see her, they brought me to the back area of the shelter and brought out a wet and scared 5-6 month-old Pyr. As I dropped to my knees, she immediately buried her head against my chest and trembled as I held her and stroked her ears and chest. They assured me that there was no way she would be euthanized, there were several people coming to see her and they were extremely low-kill, trying to get to no-kill status – they would spend whatever time necessary to find her the right home.
I filled out the paperwork for her, and reiterated to the shelter that if a good home came up for her I would bow out – I would check with them when I got back in a week, and if she were still there I would be thrilled to provide a home for her, but the important thing was for her to be loved and cared for.
As I walked into my house 20 minutes later, the phone rang. The shelter wanted me to know that they had checked my veterinary reference and were still laughing. The vet’s office had, without hesitation, blurted out “Give her all the puppies she wants!”
After I quit laughing, I reminded them when I would be back and that they should not hold her for me if another home materialized for her.
She was on my mind a lot that weekend, and the day we would be leaving for home after the game, I mentioned to a friend that there might be a dog waiting for me when I got back and that I thought I had a name chosen for her.
He gave me an odd look and pulled something out of his pocket, holding it in his closed hand. He asked what the name was.
I told him, “Faith.”
“She’ll be there,” he said, and handed me the stone he had been holding, polished and engraved with the word Faith. He didn’t know why he had picked up that particular stone that morning, from the dozen or so he had brought. “But I do, now,” he told me.
He was right.
When I got home and called the shelter, they said that while there was other interest in her, she was mine. She came home the next day.
For the past seven years she has kept my yard safe from all manner of trucks, buses, birds and airplanes – she does always manage to make them go away! She and Sophia were wonderful friends, taking care of each other and of me.
When she was about three, I kept a friend’s dog while that friend was on a well-earned vacation. The poor boy made the mistake of jumping onto my bed, which, in Faith’s view, was Sophia’s domain. Faith went ballistic and gave that boy a piece of her mind. He got off the bed with all possible haste and gave her a wide berth the rest of his stay with us.
She has been my rock. She has an old soul, and one full of grace. She is stoic, yet happily receives affection and aid when something hurts. She just won’t let on that anything *does* hurt until it is almost unbearable.
Her body is aging, though her attitude is not. She will put the puppy in his place with barely more than a glance, but she will play with the other dogs with a sort of clumsy puppy bounce that belies her age and station.
I don’t know what wonderful coincidence or grace brought her into my life, but I am thankful every day for my sweet Faith.