How many times have we’ve been afraid to show love because of the hostility of others? Here’s my story about the meanest dog I’ve ever seen and how love changed him.
One day, a dog came into the shelter that was one of the meanest dogs I had seen. When you would look at him, he would lock eyes, growl and his hair would bristle up. The people that were relinquishing him said that they just couldn’t handle him anymore and needed to give him up. We took the dog and I found a place for him in the kennels. Day after day, when I would clean, I would come to the dog’s kennel, stop and say “hello Sammy”; he would growl every time and bristle up. Day after day, this kept up and I knew that this would keep him from being adopted. I looked at his history that the owners filled out and saw what he had been through. While the people didn’t fill out all the details, I could fill in the blanks myself, as I’ve seen this type of history before. The dog had been neglected and when attention was given, it was in the form of fists and kicks. I made a decision, a choice that no matter what, I would show this dog what love, in the form of human touch, was supposed to be. The next day, I came to his kennel and slowly opened the cage. Sammy began to stiffen up and give a low and continual growl. I stayed still, waiting for him to get accustomed to me being in the kennel. I slowly crouched down, making myself as small as possible so as to alleviate his fear. I put out my hand, below his nose, all the while he was still growling. I knew that there was a possibility that he would bite me, causing serious injury to myself, but I put my faith in God as I felt He moved me towards this moment. Sammy slowly started to relax and I gently moved my hand to his side. He began to cry, as if in pain. He did this because all he had known of a human hand was hurt. He cried and howled, all the while I was stroking him, saying “Sammy’s a good dog, he’s a good boy” in the most gentle voice I could muster. The howl turned into a whimper, then silence as his sweet eyes turned and met mine. From that point on, Sammy knew that a human touch could mean love instead of pain.
How many times has bad things happened to good people? Every day, we meet lost souls that have known nothing but hate and evil. It takes faith in God to have the courage to approach those souls with a hand and a heart of love and patience. When we, as Christians, reach out and offer our love, we may be the turning point in a person’s life that will lead people to Jesus with our gentle voice and hands to guide them towards the light of God.