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Jack the Dog

Jack has been a part of our family for about 10 years. He is a dog that followed Michelle home from the bus stop when we were living in Charlotte, North Carolina. We took all the appropriate steps to find Jack’s home, but nobody stepped forward to claim him. Eventually we adopted him as a member of our family.

We took him to the vet to make sure he was healthy. The vet said that he was a little malnourish, but beyond that, he was in good physical health. There were signs, however, that things were not right with Jack emotionally. He was a very sad puppy.

We sensed that Jack had been mistreated in his prior home, and that, most likely, the culprit had been a man. Jack warmed up to Michelle and Jeana very easily, and Michael was just a toddler at the time and Jack was always very affectionate when Michael was in the room.

Jack’s problem was with me. He seemed fearful whenever I was in the room. If I moved, he ran away. If I stood up, he cried and trembled in fear. It was as though he expected to be kicked. Jack has obviously known little but heartache in his life. He had been abuse and deserted – never loved, never cared for, and never accepted.

It took years of patient effort to assure Jack that he was a part of the family – and that our home was different from his former home. It took special efforts on my part to make certain Jack knew that I was not like his former master. I had to speak in soft tones. I had to get down on the floor and gently play with him. When I moved, it had to be slowly and deliberately. Anything too sudden or unexpected would send Jack into a panic.

Jack is a completely different animal today then he was ten years ago. He is a very playful. We imagine that he missed the joys of being a puppy, so he is making up for it now. One of Jack’s greatest joys is taking Michael for a walk. At bedtime, Jack jumps, bounces, and performs all sorts of tricks for Michelle. At bedtime, you see, Jack always gets a special treat.

Jack is very protective of Jeana. If an electrician or plumber, or some other laborer is in the house, Jack will stand between that person and Jeana. If he feels Jeana is in any way threatened, he can prove to be very intimating force. Jack is also very good about warning us if anyone unexpected comes to the door. We feel safer having Jack in the house.

The real difference in Jack’s life is how he reacts around me. Jack now knows that he is my friend and I am his friend. He comes up to me almost every day, laying his head on my knee, looking for affection – which he always receives. When Jack is ill, he always comes looking for me to find comfort. It has taken a great deal of time and intentional effort to build this relationship, but Jack now knows he is accepted. If it is not too much of a stretch, Jack has found grace in our home – and by that grace, he has been healed.

That’s what love can do if we let it. It can change the heart of the one who is loved.

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