I remember seeing her for the first time. Standing in the too-empty living room, she was bouncing at the back door, quivering as she begged for attention. We stepped outside and I crouched down, she immediately snuggled into me. I gazed down into her deep brown eyes and instantly made a promise from my heart to hers – she would be loved and she would be taken care of for always.
She came home and stuck to me like glue. In the kitchen, she would curl up directly behind my feet. On the couch, her bony hips would press into mine leaving an ache that never quite would go away. In the bathroom, she would always try to follow me in and would sit and cry by the door if I didn’t let her. I had to sit with her while she was eating, even hand feeding her at times just to get her to eat. Nothing was too much for my beloved rescue.
Turkey was not an easy place for me. Which is a nice way to say that Turkey was the darkest period of my life. Turkey was home to too many deaths. Turkey was home to a deep anguish that pervaded my very being and left me with a lead weight in my chest instead of my heart. Turkey was home to not knowing how I would keep going.
I was lost. Worse, I wasn’t sure how to find myself. Until she rescued me. She gave me purpose, I made a promise and I had to keep it. I had to get out and walk her. I had someone who sensed my every mood and would put her head on my lap to tell me it was okay because I wasn’t alone. As she gained strength and confidence, I recovered little pieces of my broken heart and soul. As she blossomed into herself, she knit me back together again.
I promised to keep her happy, whole, and safe. I just didn’t know that she would do the same for me. Today, we’re both much better. Today, the only thing threatening to tear me apart is keeping my promise to her.
She isn’t doing well here. There are lots of factors to it, but the reality is that she’s failing to thrive here. My in-laws have offered to give her a good home. They’re excited to have her join them and will spoil her absolutely rotten. But it’s breaking my heart to do right by her. I do know it’s best for her to go live with them. And I will keep my promise to her, but my own heart and soul feel incredibly fragile right now.
I thought I had rescued her, but the truth is that she rescued me.