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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Living with Hope, Part 1

Our esteemed colleague Jim Mueller recently blogged about "hope-whispering," approaching life and work with optimism especially in these challenging times. I particularly loved that phrase because I have a really inspiring three-legged Husky named Hope. With your indulgence, I'm going to post a few thoughts about her over the next few days. There are so many ways her courage and how she embraces life can be an important touchstone for us as we continue our hard and sometimes discouraging work to make the world a better place.

Today I'll share her history. Hope was found on the streets of Miami where she had somehow survived over what appears to have been a significant period of time. She was about a year old, alone, dirty, skinny, in heat, petrified and missing a left front leg. She was rescued and named by the all-volunteer nonprofit group South Florida Siberian Husky Rescue (SFSHR) .

I had just applied to the group and been accepted as an approved adopter, and Hope ended up coming to me. I don't know who was more nervous about this turn of events. I hadn't had a pet for many years and certainly had no experience with abused and physically challenged un-housebroken dogs in heat! My most pressing concerns were how to walk her on a leash in a way that she could find a comfortable gate and how to get her diaper on and off (necessary until her heat ended and she could be spayed). It also quickly became clear that she was petrified of men, was insecure about being touched and had huge trust issues in general.

While the people at SFSHR were really helpful and supportive, of course ultimately it was up to Hope and me to create our life together. As we both began to put one foot in front of the other to fashion that life, I had no way of knowing how profoundly Hope would affect me (and everyone who met her) and change my life. Stay tuned for the rest of the story.

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