After rescuing him from being abandoned, we strove to find the puppy a new home.
We posted on Facebook.
We put ads on 2 Israeli “for sale/for free” websites.
We offered the dog to each person that we bumped into in our community.
And, we even spoke with new potential dog owners (via new contacts in Israel thanks to some of you).
To no avail.
After 2 weeks of hard work and effort, the few leads that we had didn’t come through.
And we were left with the decision that we never wanted to face.
Sending the dog to the pound.
In other words, ending its life.
We knew we gave it our best effort.
We also knew that we couldn’t keep the dog.
So, we made the decision tonight.
And called the dog catcher this evening and told him to come first thing in morning.
As my daughter and I were on the way out the door to a “mother/daughter pre-Bat Mitzvah gathering” in a nearby community, my husband suggested we take the dog with us.
“You never know. Maybe one of the other girls there will want to take him home.”
My daughter and I deliberated over the idea, but chose just to take him anyway.
What could we lose?
And, indeed one of my daughter’s friends fell in love with the puppy and decided to take him home this evening.
And, her mom agreed.
A happy ending.
I called the dog catcher and cancelled the “appointment” for the pick-up.
All of us are thrilled.
We are relieved.
We are happy that this dog will now have a good home, a loving home, a happy home.
Yet, don’t think for one minute that over the course of this “ordeal” it didn’t cross my mind once that I was “stuck”.
Stuck on life.
Stuck on life?
Could there be such a thing?
How would anyone be anything but stuck on life?
Certainly there must have been other people who would have not shown an ounce of care for this dog’s life, so why were we so stuck on saving it?
I mean, really. It was just a dog.
And, yet, we were stuck there, fearing his loss of life and holding onto any last bit of hope for his survival.
We were stuck on what it would mean for us, as human beings, to so easily turn our heads to saving a life.
We were also stuck on pity for the dog.
He certainly couldn’t have done much harm in this world. Why should he deserve to die at such a young age?
It had me thinking.
Could I have considered a different perspective?
Could I have been not stuck on life?
Should I have been?
Even though the Torah commands us to “Choose life”?
And, what does that mean essentially?
In life, we’re not the controllers of our or others’ life destinies.
So, perhaps sometimes we should learn how to and when to just let go of a life, because essentially, it’s not in our hands.
Even though we tend to want to believe it is.
And, even though we act like we are in control.
When we really aren’t.
As in the words of the L’cha Dodi (welcoming the Sabbath prayer): סוף מעשה במחשבה תחילה (Sof ma’aseh b’machshva tchila) –
“Whatever happens has been planned ahead of time.”
(Just like the Sabbath was created on the 7th day of creation, but was planned ahead of that time).
So, perhaps, if the story had gone a different way…
If the dog hadn’t been transferred over to the home of this lovely girl….
If the dog catcher had come tomorrow morning…
Perhaps I would have realized that I shouldn’t feel defeated.
But, rather at peace.
That what was happening at that very moment was meant to happen.
And, as much as I was stuck on saving his life, perhaps I would have been more wise to simply surrender and accept.
All I know is that in this story, we chose to save a life.
And, we did.
And that’s what was meant to happen.