I had grand plans last night to big-A-accomplish things. I was going to cook dinner. Bake some lime-glazed, gluten-free, vegan banana bread. Write a blog post. Finish this week's laundry, maybe iron a little.
Instead, I spent the evening propped up by pillows in my bed, with a 5-pound, 9-year-old chihuahua curled up on my lap.
I watched her breathe.
I felt her warm body under my fingers.
I listened to her oh-so-soft snore.
I even tried to read, but my eyes kept coming back to her tiny, tiny figure.
The little pup in my lap is my second foster from the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR). I'm not new to volunteering for this organization — I spent almost seven years either walking dogs or helping out in the marketing department — but I am new to the foster program.
The first foster I received this fall, a 3-month-old shepherd mix puppy named Tilly, came to me with a cast on one of her back legs to help her heal broken toes, and a cone of shame on her head (to keep her from messing with said cast).
This pup, named Martha, is with me while she heals a broken jaw — the result of a large amount of dental work she had to have in her itty-bitty mouth when she arrived as a stray at HSPPR. She has a wire poking out of the bottom of her chin, to help everything set properly.
Now, if I had a wire poking out the bottom of my chin (or a cone around my head and a cast on my leg for weeks on end), I would be grumpier than all get out.
But Martha takes one look at me and her tail begins to wag, her butt begins to wiggle and she just grins. She doesn't care how she looks or why her tongue now hangs out of her mouth most of the time. Or that I've dressed her in a worn, slightly awkward-fitting, kind of ugly fleece sweatshirt because it's dang cold this week. Or that she's been shipped from who-knows-where to shelter, to vet, back to shelter, and now to my home.
Her resilience is a beautiful thing to experience.
And it reminds me that, with just a little bit of love, we can all survive so much more than we think we can.