I didn’t choose her.
It’s true, we chose to have a dog. A service dog. I read about various benefits and various agencies. I learned what these dogs could do and what they could provide that we, the adults in his world, could not. I chose to apply and to fundraise and to rally to J’s cause.
But I did not choose her.
The process is long. When you engage 4 Paws for Ability and have finished your fundraising, you begin the match process. This involves videos of your life and your child alongside intensive questions so that the trainers can get the most complete view of what your family needs in a dog. It will help them understand the dog’s tasks, if the child will be able to command the dog at all, if the household is a busy and chaotic one or a more low-key one… Everything that might make a perfect fit. It feels like a dating profile. You’re putting yourself out there laid bare – yourself and your family of course – and you’re hoping that these trusted at that point strangers can sift through it and add the piece you’re missing.
They can, and they do.
Brooklyn was sassy from the start. She was a confident, silly puppy from what I am told. She has known herself better than I know my human self, to the point where she may have seemed overconfident. She had her early struggles. Whoever her prisoners were, God bless them deeply. They took her in hand and gave her the tools to be great. They had a rough stone and set to creating something shining and unique from it. When it was ready for finishing, they handed it to the loving hands of the 4 Paws training staff.
They shined her up into a diamond.
We did not choose Brooklyn. She was chosen for us, by the trainers and by fate. Her body could have been any shape, size or color but her heart; her spirit are exactly what we needed. She compliments J in ways we could not have anticipated until we met her. She slotted into our lives like she had never not been there. She minds all of us along with everyone she comes to know. We are her people, and she loves us openly and completely. There is never a waver or falter, only forgiveness and love.
It’s amazing. She is amazing.
Right now, Brooklyn is sick. We aren’t sure what besides these awful recurrent bladder infections. We’re hoping it turns out to be just those, because then we can move forward and get her healed. Whatever it is, whatever it turns out to be, we will carry her through. I did not choose her, we were blessed by having her chosen for us and we will not let her down or let her suffer. She has only been with us 6 months. It is our job as her caretakers and family to make sure she has so, so, so many more months and years of good life left with us all, no matter what it takes.