Monday, September 01, 2014

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: Life lessons from a rescue dog

By AMY NEWMARK, Chicken Soup for the Soul | 6/2/2014

It is sad and beautiful that we watch our pets’ entire lives. Lil Blosfield watched her dog Bojangles, or BJ, grow from a puppy into a mother and, finally, into an old dog who slowly faded away, as she wrote in her story “Bojangles’ Teachings,” published in our book on lessons from our dogs.

Lil’s stepdaughter Amanda found BJ abandoned in the street and begged to keep her. Lil and her husband relented once they held the tiny puppy in the palms of their hands, so BJ became the baby of the family.

It is sad and beautiful that we watch our pets’ entire lives. Lil Blosfield watched her dog Bojangles, or BJ, grow from a puppy into a mother and, finally, into an old dog who slowly faded away, as she wrote in her story “Bojangles’ Teachings,” published in our book on lessons from our dogs.

Lil’s stepdaughter Amanda found BJ abandoned in the street and begged to keep her. Lil and her husband relented once they held the tiny puppy in the palms of their hands, so BJ became the baby of the family.

Two years later, when Lil was expecting a new daughter, she worried that BJ might be jealous of the baby, or even aggressive. But when Lil brought Elizabeth home, BJ didn’t treat her like a rival sibling, but as one of her own. She became attached to the baby, sleeping under her crib and notifying Lil whenever Elizabeth seemed distressed. Watching BJ, Lil learned something about the innateness of motherhood. “This was pure instinct,” she wrote.

Through the years, as BJ got older, the roles gradually reversed until eventually Amanda and Elizabeth were caring for the pet who had once looked out for them.

In 17 years, Lil had watched the full cycle of a life, from needing care to giving it and finally to receiving it again from loved ones. Today when Lil passes the stepping stone dedicated to BJ in the backyard, she thinks of what she learned from her dog about instinct and unconditional love.

Syndicated by Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, online at www.chickensoup.com

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