Scruffy and I found each other one day in late January 1992 when I visited the pound on a Saturday afternoon. I knew I wanted a terrier and that I wanted to name it "Scruffy". Scruffy was in a cage in the first room right off the lobby. She seemed a bit timid, yet sweet and friendly all at once. I stuck my finger in her cage and she licked it and barely wagged the end of her tail. The people who worked there let her out so I could see her. As I was stooped down petting her we looked each other right in the eye, she looked deeply into mine and instantly I knew she was about to do something. Suddenly she lunged at my face and gave me the biggest doggie kiss right on the lips. I instinctively jumped back but I loved it!
I went home without her that evening to think and pray about it, I didn't want to go into it hastily. The next morning I went to church and wasn't paying attention to the sermon, I was praying about the scruffy dog I saw at the pound the day before. As I was flipping through the bible I opened to Isaiah 58:7 - "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen, to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter..." Right then and there I knew I had to get down to the pound and get that dog as soon as possible. I ran home and changed, grabbed a sandwich on the way at McDonald's, and then rushed to the pound. I went in and petted Scruffy through the bars of her cage, then walked around the rest of the pound just to make sure... When I got back to the front another woman had her out, I had to hurry! Fortunately they were not busy and they pulled her file for me and we started the adoption process. Right about the time we were almost done the woman who had been looking at her came up and said, "I guess I want to adopt that dog..." and it was obvious she wasn't sure. The workers had been trying to talk her into it and she was hesitant. I know why they were trying to convince her, all the workers we had talked to LOVED Scruffy, they said she never messed in her cage and anytime they let her out to clean her cage she'd run all around the room and they thought it was so funny. The clerk informed the woman that Scruffy was already being adopted. I said I was sorry, but I wasn't. She said she had a dog like her growing up but now she worked full-time and wasn't sure about adopting her anyway. She seemed a tad disappointed but somewhat relieved too. Whew, that was a close one! Those precious 5 minutes determined the next 15 1/2 years for both our lives.
Scruffy was such an adaptable dog, she loved everyone and every trip outside or in the car was an adventure. She was always so happy, even if she got in trouble she got past it quickly and was happy again. She always had plenty of doggie kisses for everyone, and she had the longest tongue so she could always get to you. And she could be quite persistent at it too. Scruffy's adaptability was such an example to me, no matter what changes came along to her environment she adapted without missing a beat and was happy. All that mattered was that she was with those she loved, and that's as it should be for all of us. Through all the changes she remained content, and when something would get me bent out of shape I'd look at her and see her contentedness and that somehow made things so much easier for me. Situations I thought were awful were just passing things to her. People I thought unworthy of her love she loved anyways.
She was a constant in my life through over 15 years of changes, she was always there with me when the world was upside down. When everything around us changed she didn't and I came to rely on that. When I was upset she comforted me, when I was alone she stood by me, when I was unloveable she loved me. She saw my best and my worst and knew me better than any living creature. Her example of love and acceptance of both people and situations is something I strive to emulate. God knew exactly what I needed when He brought Scruffy into my life, she truly was an example of His unconditional love and grace. It may seem like I rescued her, but the honest truth is she rescued me, she was my saving grace. I needed her grace to remind me to find my own. It may seem like I was this independent woman who didn't need anything or anyone but I wasn't, I had the most loving, loyal companion with me the entire time. And I know for a fact that I never could've done it without her. I was never alone or lonely because of her.
Scruffy has been gone almost 5 months now and the pain is just as fresh
as it was the day she went home. There hasn't been a day since that I
haven't cried, and some days I don't know how I can go on without her.
Her presence still lingers in the house, yet it seems so emtpy without
her. I never realized how quiet the house was, I never had to because
of her, she brought life and joy to this place. She made this house a
home. I've never been afraid of dying because I rely on God's amazing grace,
but now I eagerly look forward to the day when I can see my sweet
Scruffy again. She will be right there to greet me when I finally come
home, and we'll never have to part again. That will be a happy day for
me, so the only sadness there will be is if there's anyone left on this
earth to miss me.
Even though it's difficult to go through
even good changes without her, I know I am with those I love and have
learned from her that that is what really matters. I just wanted to
post a tribute to her so that everyone would know how much she
contributed to my life. If it's possible to have a doggie soulmate then
she was mine and I will always feel like she is a part of me. Any good
in me was only made better by her. I love her and I always will. Thank
you Scruffy for everything you've given me, I look forward to seeing
you again. I can't wait to come through the gates of Heaven and say,
"Scruffy, Mommy's home!" I love you always and forever.
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