The Miracle of Love

The Miracle of Love

From Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul

The Miracle of Love

When there is great love, there are always miracles.

Willa Cather

If ever there was a dog in need of a miracle, it was this dog. Cast off on the side of a busy street in the spring of 2002, the older pit bull mix had lost everything important in her life, even her name. Things only got worse when she ran into the road and was hit by a car. Left with a shattered leg and eyes full of pain, she was dropped off at the local animal control facility. If a rescue volunteer from a private shelter had not noticed her, her life might have come to an end the very next day. Instead, she was welcomed at Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center in Huntington, New York, where she was given a new name: Foxy.

That summer was a season of rebirth for Foxy. After three surgeries and physical therapy, Foxy learned how to walk again, but because of her age and breed mix, the shelter staff felt that Foxy was probably unadoptable. They went out of their way to make her life at the shelter a pleasant one. The staff noticed right away that Foxy wasn’t like the other shelter dogs: she seemed to be more interested in people than in dogs. So they made her their unofficial mascot. By day, she enjoyed walks on a leash, while the other dogs wrestled and chased one another; and by night, she snuggled in a little blue bed in an office, while the others slept in cages.

Yet somehow Foxy knew that the shelter was not her forever-home. Every weekend she looked on as people walked over to the big wall with pictures of the available dogs and cats. Patiently, she waited sixteen long months. But no one ever asked to see her.

Just when it seemed that fortune had forgotten Foxy, Mrs. Maguire and her son Kevin arrived. Kevin saw the older dog limping by. He thought she might be a good match for his elderly mother. Foxy agreed. She put on the show of her life. She rolled on her back and waved her paws toward Mrs. Maguire as if to say, You’ve come for me at last! Mrs. Maguire knew that there was no need to meet any other dogs. Foxy was her girl.

Whether taking long, slow walks around the neighborhood or putting her long, black snout into the stream that ran behind the house, Foxy was home. Sitting side by side on the couch, Mrs. Maguire would stroke Foxy’s silky fur for what seemed like hours at a time. From one floppy black ear to the other, joy was written all over Foxy’s face. Mrs. Maguire would tell her, “From the moment I saw you, I thought you were beautiful.” She and Mrs. Maguire had truly become the best of friends.

Every night at eleven o’clock, Mrs. Maguire would take out her flashlight and bring Foxy outside for the last walk of the day. They would walk carefully down the steep flight of steps outside the front door, especially when the winter’s ice and snow blanketed the ground. This routine continued until a bitterly cold January night, when Mrs. Maguire slipped and went crashing down the stairs.

“Help! Oh, dear God. Please help me,” cried out Mrs. Maguire, as pain froma broken hip left her unable tomove. The frozen ground began to numb her body, and all Mrs. Maguire could do was wave her flashlight around in the darkness. As if answering her prayer, Foxy moved beside her and then pushed her body on top of Mrs. Maguire.

“Now it’s just the two of us,” the woman whispered, as Foxy tried her best to keep Mrs. Maguire warm. Before long, this otherwise quiet dog began barking frantically into the night sky.

Over an hour and a half later,Mrs. Maguire’s neighbors— after shutting off their TV—heard Foxy’s cries for help. Investigating, they immediately called for assistance. By the next day, Foxy’s face was splashed across the front page of the newspaper and TV news. The cast-off dog had become a hero!

During the months following that fateful night, Foxy received many awards and honors. The grandest one of all resulted in Foxy’s being escorted into New York City for a weekend celebration. Upon checking into her luxurious hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton, Foxy made herself right at home as she stretched out on the lounge and enjoyed the dog food that was presented by room service, complete with a silver tray and china bowl. After hermeal, Foxy was escorted down to the grand ballroom at the Ritz, which had come alive with music, flowers and 250 guests, some of whom attended with their own pets. Mrs. Maguire, Foxy and the president of Little Shelter stood side by side as the CEO of the Hartz Mountain Corporation presented themwith the 2003Heroes ofHartz Award. Mrs. Maguire’s eyes rarely left Foxy. The love in the older woman’s eyes was impossible to miss: that love had created a miracle in Foxy’s life, and now it had been repaid a thousandfold.

Valery Selzer Siegel

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