We adopted a feral dog. She has been with us for just over 6 months. What a wonderful journey of faith and learning it has been. For all of us.
She spent the first 6 years of her life running loose, foraging for food and fighting for survival on the island of Phuket, Thailand. She was captured and put into a cage and taken to a meat market. The Soi Dog Foundation rescued her from there, and all of the horrors that that end would have meant. (“Soi” dog is Thai for “street” dog) They took her to a shelter and gave her medical treatment. A kind donor paid to fly her and 7 others to the U.S. for adoption. She lived in another shelter for a year. And then she came home to us.
She is sweet and loving by nature, yet aloof–she has no clue how to be a pet, how to be part of a family.
She is strong and healthy. She is also self-willed, self-reliant, totally self-centered, and very stubborn. She longs to run free again, and has a strong urge to chase (or worse) after chickens and small animals. She loves to roam, to explore endlessly. She doesn’t respond to spoken words much at all. She has no concept of obedience.
We are asking her to give up all of the freedom and independence that she has known, and to be a friend and companion now. We ask her to love, to trust, to allow herself to be dependent and to rely on us for her needs. We ask her to accept our will and our judgement over own wants and decisions. We ask her to share food and toys with others. She will be cared for, she will have enough. We ask her to open her heart and to ask us for comfort and for meeting her needs.
We want her to love–to allow herself to be loved and to return it to us. We want her to trust in our love, to trust in our care for her. We want her to submit her will to ours, and to obey us.
As I think about this, I realize what a role model she is for us. What we ask of her, Our Heavenly Father is asking of us as Christians. She is a little messenger of the right way to be. Every day we watch her transformation, the blossoming of peace and contentment in her heart. I hope that we can do the same in our life journey.