Our Lady's Little Scribe seeks to use the internet for sharing the Catholic faith and Franciscan spirituality, going from Gospel to life and life to the Gospel.

The silk painting, shown above, is by Ty Mam Duw, Poor Clare Colettines, Hawarden, WALES GB. Their website is here. Ty Mam Duw is Welsh and means The House of the Mother of God. Our Lady of the Pearl cherishes their friendship and is grateful for their many kindnesses and prayers. The image is used with permission.

Entertaining Angels

Entertaining Angels
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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pal and Gypsy

Gypsy left; Pal right
6th day of Rescue

I bent over.
They walked towards me.
So slowly. So sick.
I reached out, touched them.
They licked my fingers.

I picked them up.
They were trembling.
Their eyes were full of questions
but not without hope.

I gave them all the love I had.
They trembled more at this new thing.
So unsure. So afraid. So sick.

In time - they no longer trembled.
In time - love made them whole.
They gratefully surrendered to my touch
and forgave the human race.

God does the same for us.
He bends over,
picks us up, gives us love
and makes us whole.

But it is he who does the forgiving
and we who do the surrendering.

Gypsy top, Pal bottom,
two months after rescue.
In these pictures, Gypsy is well.
Pal is still very sick.

I'm a foster mom for Northcentral Maltese Rescue. From time to time, I will write about those sweet Maltese that I have fostered as well as our own dogs who have brought so much love into our home. (See What Is A Maltese.)This is a short story about Pal and Gypsy, my first rescues. It is a story of rebirth, for them and for me.

* * *

Pal and Gypsy were rescued from an abuse and neglect situation on September 11, 2003, by Northcentral Maltese Rescue, Inc. They were very frightened and very sick. Gypsy had been used for breeding purposes for years, and both had been made to live outside. They did not know what it meant to be loved and to be touched and held with kindness.

Their medical conditions were serious. Both had eye and skin infections and were covered with fleas, parasites and open, bleeding sores. Their hair was shaved to the skin to remove the filth and matted hair. Neither had ever had any medical or dental attention nor any flea or heart worm prevention. Pal was diagnosed with heart worms. (He was sick for months, had treatments and recovered.) Their teeth were in horrible condition, and the smell was worse. Gypsy especially was very thin and frail. When she was spayed, her uterus was found to be infected. There is no doubt that both would have died within the year if they had not been rescued.

In spite of their conditions on September 11, 2003, that sweet Maltese spirit remained. When I first greeted them as their foster mom, they came to me and licked my fingers. I shall not forget driving them to the animal hospital that day. I cried all the way. They climbed into my lap and went to sleep, occasionally looking up as if to ask, "Are we safe now? Are we going to be o.k.? Who are you? We are so tired."

They stayed several days in the hospital and then came home. The work began. Both were on medications for a long time and had frequent baths with antiseptic shampoo to assist in the healing of sores on the body. I scheduled follow-up visits to the doctor, and they went back to the hospital for a few days. Gypsy had her dental work and was spayed. Pal began his treatments for heartworms. The treatments continued for months and are very hard on a dog. Some do not survive. All their medical expenses were paid by Northcentral Maltese Rescue.

Along with their medical problems, they both were emotional wrecks. Gypsy had no socialization and would attack the other dogs in the household. I could tell that someone had loved Pal at one time, but he was deeply wounded. I spent hours sitting with them, talking to them and holding them, which was difficult with Gypsy. She did not know how to be held and stiffened like a board.

I saw emotional improvement every day in both of them. It was so gratifying. Finally after two months in rescue, Gypsy wanted to be in my lap all the time and would fall asleep in my arms. Their personalities began to emerge. Both were more and more affectionate. I found that Gypsy was a real party girl and loved attention. She had a flair about herself. She was a live wire with an upbeat spirit. Pal liked to play fetch and was the sweetest little guy. Gypsy was well and full of energy, but Pal rested and slept lots because of the heartworm treatments which often made him sick. He still had a ways to go.

Then a miracle occurred. On November 22, 2003, Gypsy was adopted and picked up by her forever mom. Her new mom had seen Gypsy's photo on the rescue's website, made application for her and was approved. She lived in Illinois but previously had planned to be in my area on the Mississippi coast in November. It was a story-book ending, although it was tough on Gypsy for a few days and a long time for me. Gypsy is now a beautiful, spoiled princess, loved and adored by her mom and grandparents.

Gypsy, April 2004

And Pal? Today Pal is a happy, energetic, and healthy boy. He is a very good boy. He is affectionate, smart and devoted. He loves to play fetch. In fact, he could play fetch for hours. He likes sleeping next to me at night, snuggling close, and playing with his friends and his dad. He's an easy-going fellow and a survivor as well. He's my Pal. My husband and I adopted him in the spring of 2004. Have you ever seen a sweeter face?

The website of Northcentral Maltese Rescue, Inc.: Please visit their site. They would greatly appreciate donations (which are tax deductible). All funds go to the care of the dogs and their medical expenses. Board members are all volunteer. Adoption is made by application and careful screening for the perfect home for each dog. Those ready for adoption are posted on the website. There is a great need for foster parents to care for these little ones until they are adopted. An application for fostering is also on the website.

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