The Season of Joy

Two winters ago, clients of mine found a man dressed in several layers of badly worn clothing wandering up and down the dog food aisles of Petsmart with a tiny, emaciated black puppy in his arms.  He was saying to himself that he could not afford dog food.

The young couple asked the man about his puppy.  He said he needed someone to take her because he did not have any money to care for her.  They asked if he would take twenty dollars for her (which they had brought with them to spend at Petsmart, but probably not quite like that), and he did.  They brought her to my hospital to be examined.  Other than her very thin body condition, I found no other physical problems.  They did not know if they were adopting or rescuing…they just saw a puppy in need and a man in distress and sort of swooped.

Two days later, Layla came home to live with us, and after much name-trying, we renamed her Joy Layla Finch.  The name Joy was suggested by the daughter of Joy King, who had been our very dear friend and had recently passed away.  We also named her in honor of our other dear friends’ newborn daughter whose twin sister had just passed away.

The conversation with Joy King’s daughter went something like this:

“Are you sure your Mom would not mind having a dog named after her?”

“This puppy is so happy, like Mom was, and has such gorgeous black hair, like Mom did…Not only would she not mind, she would be honored!”

Joy…what an odd thing to name our new puppy during what was such a sad season for so many friends we loved.  She has more than lived up to her name.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

When I first met Joy, I was so angry at the man who had almost let her starve to death that I could not see straight.  My friend Janelle said, “He did take her to where he knew she would get help.”  That statement stopped me in my tracks.

Having probably very little even for himself, the man who first owned Joy did everything he could for her, and maybe the reason he held on to her as long as he did was because he did not want to give up his puppy.

I feel as though I owe him an apology and a thank you, though I have never met him.  So I will write one here, and though he will almost certainly never see it, I hope it serves as a reminder to myself to let my first reaction be one of compassion, not one of judgment.

I also hope God blesses Joy’s original owner beyond what I can even imagine.  In what must have been such a difficult season in his own life, he looked past himself and reached out with love and compassion to care for a tiny, helpless, goofy puppy who needed him.

Tags: ,

6 Responses to “The Season of Joy”

  1. Lu says:

    Powerful words there, miss.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks Lu! ♥

  3. SuSiempre says:

    No wonder you were teary-eyed writing! I’m teary-eyed reposting! <3

  4. Amy Palmer says:

    A wonderful and often needed reminder for us all. Thank you for posting!

  5. admin says:

    Thanks Amy and Su! ♥ And thank you Su for posting it on Cumberland Valley Animal Hospital’s facebook page!

  6. Mom Finch (Joys Grandma) says:

    this is one of those “special” Christmas stories. We can pray for theman who brought Joy joy to you!! May he be Blessed this Christmas.

Leave a Reply