Having Faith


From the day my girl, Faith, arrived, she claimed this spot in the corner of the kitchen. Her spot, next to sink in front of the drawers that hold silverware, towels, and measuring spoons. (You know, the drawers that one opens all the time.)

I cannot count the number of times I said, “Excuse the momma.”  She would push herself up, move for a moment, and return to her spot.

Today, after breakfast, her sissy, Princess leaned against me in Faith’s spot. I sunk to floor. I fell into her spot. I felt the coolness of the slate floor. And, I felt the warmth of Faith.

Faith moved into our home and my heart almost eight years ago. At eight months, this big ball of fluff and love came home.

In eight years, she changed the world. She made it better.

Unlike her litter mates, she did not win ribbons in the ring; she won hearts.

Sherry told me, “When I wrapped my arms around her, I could feel my blood pressure go down.”

Faith let people cry into her fur, listened to their stories, and healed hearts.

Over and over, Faith healed mine. My heart was never broken for long with my big girl snuggled next to me.

A few months after Faith arrived, Gus came home. Gus started in puppy mill and landed at the local rescue. When I picked him up, his entire body went rigid in my arms. The shelter director said, “He may never be a real dog.”

But, Faith took him under her paw. She gave him a safe place. She made a safe space in her heart.

Wherever they went, they were in it together.

Now, because of Faith, Gus barks, runs, plays and smiles. He is “a real dog.”

Faith is generous. She is generous with her time, her talents, and her treasure.  Faith shares.

While not the most senior dog in our home, Faith was our pack leader. The size of her heart was mirrored in the size of her body.

On Wednesday morning, Faith’s back legs gave out. Walking on the yoga mats, her back paws slid out.

She made her way to her spot in the kitchen.

I gave her medicine, said a prayer, and worried all day long.

After school, Faith did not greet me at the door. She was still in her spot.

She tried. She tried to get up to come to me. But, she couldn’t.

Somehow, we made it to the garage and into the car. The vet techs carried her into a room.

With tears in his eyes, Dr. Prior told us, “Her ACL ruptured.”

My sweet Faith was in pain.

For months, Faith was slowing down. She panted all the time, even when she was in her cool spot on the slate floor. On walks, she struggled.

Faith is my heart walking around outside my body.

Now, she has my heart, on the other side.

About Julie Hooker

I'm a teacher, writer, and editor. In addition, I'm an animal rescuer, yogi, and friend.
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