A different kind of valentine.

February 14, 2013

I think, as a society, we can get very caught up in celebrating Valentine's Day in over-the-top ways and only with significant others.  I've always known it was important to be grateful for every type of love I have in my life, but never, more than now, have I realized how crucial it is to relish in it.

This year, I am celebrating the love I have found in a little beagle mix, named George.  How I stumbled upon George is a complete Godwink (my friend Kristin's term).  I could not explain why I was drawn to him at the time it happened, but now it's completely clear.

It was the Saturday before Thanksgiving and Richard and I were at his apartment.  He was cleaning and I was just hanging out, watching some TV.  I flipped to a channel that was showing a local adoption show from one of our animal shelters, here in Huntsville.  (Mistake #1, I know).  I just watched and smiled as the dogs were brought out, one-by-one, remarking that they all looked so happy.  Then.  Then they carried out George (formerly known as Snoodles...).  My eyes immediately watered and my mouth dropped and I am sure I let out an "aw!"  Richard saw my face and said, you know it helps if you turn the channel, babe.  I just looked at him with my mouth still open.  He went into the bathroom, came back out, saw my face again and said, oh man, are we going to have to take a trip to the shelter?  Yes, Richard...yes we are.

Later that afternoon he drove me out to the shelter (he was just as excited as I was).  We went in and requested to see George/Snoodles and we both instantly fell in love.  We went back every Saturday for 3 weeks to see George.  He was not adoptable right away because they were still getting him all checked out.  They had found him tied up to a sign post, completely dehydrated and did not think he would live.  But little George was a fighter!  On the third Saturday, Richard and I went to Petsmart to prepare for our new friend, then went to the shelter and drove him away.  I've never looked back since.

At the time, I could never explain why I was so drawn to George and why I almost cried when I saw him.  I just knew that I needed him.  But now it all makes sense.  I really believe God was quietly pushing me toward him because He knew I would need a loyal companion and comforter.  Total God moment.

George has really been the best dog.  He loves to snuggle and knows exactly how to cheer me up.  He's actually cuddled up to me as I type this now.  His biggest flaw is thinking that my cat's litter box is a delicacy (sick).  It is so special to me that Richard was with me when I got him.  Rich was just as crazy about him as I am.  He was also a little better at disciplining than I am (oops), so we'll see how George turns out when he gets older.  I am so grateful that I have him.

So, today, I am choosing to be thankful for all of the love in my life.  I started my day off eating breakfast with Richard's sister.  She showed up at my house with goodies from her and her mom.  I felt so loved, so early!  Tonight I will be with two of my greatest friends.  I have been sent numerous cards and care packages and showered with phone calls and text messages.  It's been wonderful.

I can't help but think about what Richard and I would be doing tonight if he were still here.  My guess is that we (he) would make pizzas and we would watch a movie or two, just enjoying one another's company.  Neither of us being very lavish people.  Mainly because neither of us made a ton of money. ;)

I miss him every single hour of every single day, but I am so grateful for all of the sincere love, support and encouragement I have in my life.  And though I do not feel like I deserve all of the love people have shown me, I know Richard would be delighted to know that I am being taken care of.

Happy Valentine's Day, friends.  <3

George and his Valentine from Richard's mom and sister. :)

George and his Valentine from Richard's mom and sister. :)