has just arrived! While she's unpacking her bags, please read an article I wrote about her for the May issue of Beach Metro
*To be published in the
May 3, 2011 issue of Beach Metro Community News
An Angel In Our Midst
travel in packs. These gangs of good almost always have a leader too – the inspiration behind their unrelenting
acts of kindness. The head halo is often elusive by nature, fluttering just out of identifying reach. But recently,
I caught one by the wingtip and I absolutely refuse to let go. Of course, that may have been her plan all along.
If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to be the wing leader, cuddle
up next to this divine little 11-year-old beagle and have a chat. It’ll be a one-way conversation, but you’ll
still get an earful. Angel is living proof the skills required for this top dog are anything but ordinary. You don’t
have to be fierce, fearless or brilliant. You don’t have to go by the name “Angel” either but it doesn’t
Angel has been called Angel since she was
a puppy. It’s just her name. She hasn’t exactly performed any miracles in her lifetime, but it’s clear she
made an angelic impression on those who loved her. I believe this because they loved her until they no longer could.
On April 2nd, Angel’s best friend died. Before he disappeared
forever, he talked to her a lot. He took care of her too over the past decade but above all else, they were buddies. It’s
not easy explaining such loss to a dog, even one that’s always been a good listener, but the family tried their best
to make the bewildered look in her eyes go away. They promised to keep her in the family. So when her best friend died, his
son welcomed her into his home. But his son had been very sick. Less than a week later, he passed away too. Only one other
family member remains but he’s sadly battling against Multiple Sclerosis.
Indeed, they all loved Angel until they no longer could.
That’s about when
this unlikely leader formed her pack.
Angels meet in the oddest
places. In this case, it was the Upper Credit Humane Society in Erin, Ontario. It seemed as though Angel’s
wings had been clipped when she was surrendered to the shelter by a grief-stricken family, but angels work in mysterious ways.
Hers was a sad story.
Nevertheless, the staff and volunteers at the shelter have heard many sad stories by peering into the many sad eyes of animals
in their care. But when Angel came along with her sad story and her sad eyes, a miracle started to unfold. One might say the
Jody, Animal Care Coordinator
& Supervisor, was drawn to Angel right away. He could see how difficult it was for her to be in such a busy, barky place
after all those years of peaceful conversation at home with her best pal. She couldn’t stop shaking no matter how much
he tried to console her. Jody shared Angel’s sad story with his girlfriend, Sarah. Of course,
Sarah would sympathize. She’s the founder of a guinea pig rescue!
It’s strange how things happen… Sarah
just happened to know the founder of a beagle rescue called Big On Beagles (BOB) back when
I just happened to write an article about one of her charming guinea pigs. While Sarah was emailing me about Angel’s
sad story, a volunteer at the shelter just happened to trip on Angel’s halo. She fell hard. By the way, this volunteer
just happens to be named Angela. So while Jody was waiting to hear back from Sarah who was waiting to hear back from me, Angela
offered to bring Angel home. The shaking stopped almost immediately.
On April 19th, I caught an angel
by the tip of her wing. It wasn’t hard to do. She was on my couch, reclining like the Queen of Sheba or should I say
the Queen of Hearts. She’s recruited so many - from Jody to Sarah to Angela (our newest foster parent for BOB!) to me.
The only heart left to recruit is the one who adopts our Angel.
It takes something pretty
special to be a leader, to bring out the best in people, to make us all stop and listen and smile. Leaders inspire greatness
in their followers. Sometimes, it appears effortless.