I was recently asked an interview question that went something like this: If you could be any animal, which one would you be? Of all the questions I could’ve been asked, I was relieved to be ending the interview with what I believed to be an easy question.
An image of my greyhound immediately came to mind. She begins each day with a smile and no matter what horrendously stupid things I do or say during my day, she laughs off that silly stuff and helps me focus on what is ultimately important in life.
For this week’s WordPress photo challenge, the theme is story.
“Though a single image can tell a complete story, adding photos to a series can even further expand upon a narrative.”
She has a scar on her nose that reminds me of her past. When I first met her, she’d been given the name “Amy” by the Greyhound Adoption Center in El Cajon, CA. She was just barely two when she suffered a leg injury while racing on a dry track in Mexico. No longer a money-maker for her owners, she would’ve been put down had a team of volunteers not acted to rescue and rehabilitate her for entry into a loving home.
The transition into retirement went easier than I expected. Immediately, I could see that she had this amazing inquisitive spirit. She wanted to learn and be part of this strange new world that included a cat.
There was one night during the first few months of bringing her home, however, that I will never forget. I was woken up to what I can only describe as the sound of a dog screaming. It absolutely terrified me. Flicking on the lights, I flew to her side having no idea what was going on. Once everyone was calm (including me), I contacted my adoption councilor and asked about this behavior.
In some dogs, she explained, they have night terrors. They’re remembering a traumatic experience. The only thing you can do is replace the bad memories with good ones.
Ok, I thought. I can do that.
She never woke screaming again and when I look at the picture of her smiling face, I can’t help but think I was successful in replacing the bad with good.
This last year, I’ve gone through a transition of my own, and this time, I’m on the receiving end of needing to have bad memories replaced with good. She has taken on this task by reminding me what is important. Her top three are:
1. Start each day with a smile because there are a ton of amazing possibilities ahead.
2. Take walks and pause to enjoy nature. There are squirrels out there!
3. Be grateful and give thanks for shelter, food, and loved ones.
So when I look at her pictures, I not only see a story about survival, but I am reminded of the power of love to heal many types of wounds in unexpected ways.