On the front of her dog run door I found something extra. Something in addition to the info card with name (Egypt), breed (pit bull terrior), color (silver), birthday, and the pouch containing collar and harness. That extra something, hanging on top of the info sheet and collar pouch was a laminated card that read: “I’m going home!” As in, adopted. Going home. In volunteer speak, Egypt had found her furever home.
Not for her, of course. For me. My awesome friend was about to leave me. Fundamentally I know that, as a volunteer at Main Line Animal Rescue, our passion, work and dedication to these dogs is rewarded with these little laminated “I’m going home!” cards. That a family discovered how much joy she could bring to their lives is why we do what we do. And I am thrilled for Egypt. Really.
But damn. The lessons this lady has taught me since my first tentative entry into her living space have made a lasting impression. Egypt, if I were a dog, is exactly who I’d wanna be. A seriously bad-ass canine that in no way is cute, submissive, cuddly or yippy. Instead, she is everything I have aspired to be as a woman:
1. Her Strength and Athleticism. I loved admiring the ripples down her strong silver back in a full-on sprint. I loved feeling her strength from behind the leash – even with her harness on, I had to get in a full-on squat, both hands on leash, to get her down the hill without face-planting.
2. Her Patience. My first few timid steps into her doggy run weren’t pretty. Like EVERY energetic dog living in a rescue environment, when a human approaches the individual dog run and stops, some degree of temporary chaos ensues. (If ever anyone doubted an excited dog’s ability to perform Cirque du Soleil-like aerials and wall-climbing ascents, I am here to tell you…I see it every day.) Hence my initial apprehension of entering and locking myself in to calm her down and get her harness on. But after a couple of excited leaps she always settled down, shined her grateful eyes up toward me, and waited for as long as it took to get her harness and leash on.
3. Her Bass-assness. Robbie. Mason. Just of few of Egypt’s four-legged fellas who loved to run around the field with her and – as male dogs do – mount her. Each attempt to do so was a colossal failure. Not a shred of fear or submissiveness exists in this powerful lady. My fellow volunteers and I loved watching her play and wrestle with the strongest of the strong.
So, my sweet Egypt. I love you and will think of you every time I face fear, judgment, concern for looking good, or any other self-defeating thought I know you’d simply power your way through.