I have a very close friend who is devoted to animal rescue. I have several others who are strongly supportive of this growing movement. Funny thing about these people … can’t really put my finger on it but you can’t help but notice a certain glow about them … a zest for life, a desire to support, a willingness to go the extra mile while already dealing with busy lives and challenges of their own. They have a unique gift of understanding, and the world is better for it.
It reminds me of a touching story of a farmer, a young boy and a dog.
A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the four pups and nailed it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the eyes of a wide-eyed little boy.
“Mister,” he said, “I want to buy one of your puppies.”
“Well,” the farmer said, “these pups come from fine parents and cost a great deal of money.”
The little boy dropped his head for a moment … then, reaching deep into his pocket, pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer. “I’ve got 39 cents. Is that enough to take a look?”
“Sure,” said the farmer, and with that he let out a whistle. “Here Dolly!” he called. Out from the dog house and down the ramp ran Dolly, followed by four little balls of fur.
The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence, his eyes dancing with delight. He suddenly noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse. Slowly, another little ball of fur appeared, this one noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then, in a somewhat awkward manner, the little puppy began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up.
“I want that one,” the little boy said, pointing to the runt.
The farmer knelt down to the boy’s side and said, “Son, you don’t want that puppy. He’ll never be able to run and play with you like the other puppies would.” With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so, he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg, attaching itself to a specially made shoe.
Looking back up at the farmer, he said, “You see, sir, I don’t run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands.”
With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked up the little pup and holding it carefully, he handed it to the little boy. “How much?” the excited young man asked.
“No charge,” said the farmer. “There’s no charge for love!”
The world is full of people and animals who need someone who understands. Be that someone.