His Life Was Saved On The Beach


He was picked up on the streets of Miami. Alone, hungry, and afraid, I could only imagine what he had been through. Without the skills to process what had happened to him, the daily hardships must have been terrifying.  And yet, he kept going.

Enduring one change after another, each more frightening and new and completely foreign, he hung in there. Maybe it was an inherent resilience. Maybe tenacity. Maybe he knew, just like I did, that there was something out there for him, someplace that he could call his own, that in spite of it all, life could be good again.

We found each other one Sunday afternoon. And after spending a few hours together, I invited him to come live with me.

His adjustment was relatively easy. Grateful for a warm bed, a roof over his head, and the love of a good woman, he was eager to please. We each taught the other about our lives. He taught me about patience and second chances. I taught him about trust and the beach.

The first time I took him out there, he was hesitant but willing to be in this place he had obviously never seen before. We walked down the sea grape lined path, the sand beneath his feet a foreign experience, until we reached the end where the sky and sand and sea extended for as far as his eyes could see.

 
Sea grape lined path to the ocean in Delray Beach, Florida

I truly believed his reaction would be joy. Instead what I heard was a long, deep sigh and he tucked his head into the crook of my neck. It was as if he was saying, “Please don’t make me do this.”

Every night we’d walk together down at the beach. Fifteen minutes on the sidewalk and fifteen minutes down by the sea. That was the agreement. He balked but was a good sport about it. He was willing to try new things. Eventually the time at the water’s edge grew. We’d sit there and meditate. Or talk. Well, I talked, he listened.

Those first few weeks, he was excited to leave the beach and get back home but after a while he grew to like it. He sat and looked at the sea. He explored the wrack line. We stayed longer each night. Maybe he got used to it. Maybe he was just eager to please me. Either way our time on the beach grew until one day a few weeks ago we switched roles.

After a long and productive day, I felt compelled to honor our nightly ritual but when I was ready to leave the beach, my pal didn’t want to go. After only a few months, he had grown to love the beach. He had taken a chance, tried something new, and grown to love it.

Now I ask you, if a 10 pound toy poodle can change, don’t you think you can too?

 
My pal Buddy. Top photo: Delray Beach, Florida. Bottom photo: Mousam Pond, Maine.

I invite you to look at the things in your life you’d like to change. If you think you don’t have the courage, willingness, or stamina to make those changes, think of my pal Buddy. If he can change his life so dramatically, shifting his outlook from fear to fun, you can too.

<*(((><{

Copyright 2011 Diana Taylor, Pug At The Beach
Photo credit: Diana Taylor Delray Beach, Florida, my pal Buddy, Diana Taylor, Mousam Pond, Maine.


I adopted Buddy from Animal Aide in Boca Raton, Florida. He's been a joy. When adopting, patience, understanding, and information are the key.

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