The Mysteries of Faith: Saving Chauncey The Shelter Dog

Chauncey the pound pup

Chauncey the pound pup

That “the Lord moves in mysterious ways” thing? So true. Magical ways, more like.

Only a few weeks ago, I posted a Lenten lament about a beautiful little Cairn terrier puppy who had taught me what “sacrifice” was all about. To recap, I stood in line for three hours to be first to meet and adopt that bouncing ball of fur, only to realize that a deserving and equally adorable little boy would be a lot more fun for an energetic 10-week-old puppy.

I was bereft for days, afterwards. I wanted to turn back time. Tell the little boy’s mother that I was sorry, but I’d driven across town in the wee hours to be first on the adoption list.

But deep down, I knew I’d done the right thing. I could actually see that little puppy chasing his new best friend around the house. They were meant for each other.

As I continued to grieve, there was a tiny little six-year-old terrier wandering the streets of Northwest Tucson. Abandoned, one eye wounded beyond repair, fending for himself probably for the first time in his life.

And I was still checking all the pet adoption sites. Applying for this one and that. Discovering that it’s harder, and more expensive, to adopt than those heart-wrenching TV commercials tell you.

Finally, one shelter owner urged me to check out a little fella she just knew would be a perfect fit. I applied, agreed to a home inspection, and couldn’t wait to meet him.

Two weeks later, I was still waiting, IM-ing the shelter owner via Facebook. Apparently, the foster pup parent wasn’t returning her calls.

I went back to the sites, this time adding the one run by our local “pound,” the Pima Animal Care Center. I’d been urged to try it before. But they seemed to only have big dogs–pit bulls, predominant. Too dominant, I feared, for me.

This time, I found little lost Chauncey on their site–the abandoned terrier I’ve mentioned. He had been picked up by Animal Control only a few days before.

When I called to find out more about him, the volunteer was thrilled. She asked me to hold while she checked his notes. And her voice grew cautious as she explained that he was going to have to lose an eye.

“But we’ll do that,” she assured me. “You’d just have to cover the follow up care. And he gets a free vet exam, so…”

I was in a daze for most of that morning, trying to decide whether to head on over just for a quick look. I worried that no one would want him. And that the Center would put him down.

I’d turned down a request to volunteer there a couple of years ago, because I couldn’t bear the thought of knowing dogs I had cared for had been euthanized. How could I possibly not give this little guy a chance?

I had to go.

I found him in a cage with a bunch of itty bitties. All quiet; wary but watchful. Chauncey was most watchful of all. And once he did approach, he hunched over as if he expected to be punished, not petted.

When that one good eye finally looked up at me, the gaze wasn’t hopeful. He’d clearly given up. Probably content to be fed regularly and have a clean, quiet place to live.

The slightly nervous volunteer urged me to walk the cages, give the others a look, too. She didn’t know I’d already made my decision. Or God had.

I didn’t get the others because this one was out there fighting for his life. Fighting his way into my life, with a little nudge from “unseen hands.”

The Center asked for only $12 because he was over 5-years-old and had that injured eye, too. I promptly went to the nearest Petco and spent what it would’ve cost me to adopt one of the other pups I’d considered.

He’ll have everything he needs when I bring him home tomorrow, neutered and minus that eye.

We “see” better with our hearts, I think. And God sees much more clearly than we do, too. He saw Chauncey out there alone on the street. And me looking for puppy love, day after day.

Match made in Heaven. Hallelujah!