Monday, November 10, 2008

Challenges - Who's really in charge here?

In this life there is always going to be challenges. Many times we wonder who is in control. God, nature, our children, our mother? And today, it was the question that Isaiah and Meghan asked themselves. Who's the boss of me? Meghan threw out some definite body signals. Some said, " I will listen if you'll feed me" and some said, "Food or no food I'll do my own thing. Thank you very much." This was to be expected for sure. Sometimes it was comical. So much information thrown to Isaiah and a fellow wounded warrior that it was hard to remember all the right words. The dogs were patient through it all. Listening to several commands at once from two different men. I'm sure their minds were buzzing with confusion. But when they listened, they were a team.

The study time around the table inevitably brought about conversation and sharing. The stories that went back and forth from the Marine to the soldier were funny and sad. The stories brought animation to their faces and a shake to their hands and legs. And sometimes the vacancy in their eyes showed that they had left their current post at the training table and had ventured into the past. Looking backward with a rawness reserved only for those who had seen, firsthand, the horrors of war. If you were quiet enough during the retelling of their journey, you could feel the hunger from too many days with no food. You could feel the walls of the underground tunnels close in too tightly. And you could see the light in their friends eyes dim as they left the battleground. Then before you knew it, they returned to this world. Shaken and drymouthed. Ready to refocus on the task at hand and the life that now lay before them.

Bonding with their new working partners will require patience, a firm voice, lots of love and tons of food. These dogs will never know what their new owners have seen or felt. But with an uncanny ability to sense the damage it has caused, these helpful canines will give their bodies in service to those who have served.


  1. Deb, your words are eloquent and I swear, you could (should/will/definitely) write a heck of a book someday AND be a storyteller AND I will sell tickets at the door for you! =)
    Thanks so much for your willingness to share your heart and for Isaiah to put his trust in us as you share your journey. I know it must be killing you not to hug that beautiful dog!

  2. Your words are an encouragement Janet. As far as not being able to hug the dog.........indeed it is killing me! I absolutely make moves to hug, pet, kiss or praise the dog but catch myself at the last minute and manage to restrain myself. I am currently watching Isaiah throw the ball with Meghan in the room here and can't throw it too. I'll survive...I guess.