Monday, February 25, 2013

Make Room at the Inn

This was never published I wrote this for Border Collie rescue many years ago. I took this dog in and the next day a family was looking for a dog for their young children It was a match made in heaven.
Make Room at the Inn
By Diane Pagel - 1997
The sad eyes drilled into my heart and soul and clutched at my deepest emotions. “Won’t you take me home and love me, even for just a few weeks.”  I turn away; I have no space at home. I am working long hours and don’t have time for my own dogs let alone a foster. I walked away briskly, feeling that in my mind I had justified that I could not take on any more dogs, let alone a foster. I never looked back, even as the door closed behind me and I could smell his smell of despair and loneliness.
I got in my car, breathed deeply of my dog’s scent and brushed off the dog hair that was on passenger seat. Not that I mind there is dog hair but it gave me something to do. I turned on the car and let it warm up and found a station I could relax in the music until I was ready to go. Closing my eyes, and resting my head, the guilt then washed away. Why, did I have this feeling to stop at the local humane society on the way home, knowing that I couldn’t take another dog. The car just seemed to have a mind of its own and drove it and then next thing I knew I was in the shelter looking at a black and white bundle of fur. He had been there for a bit, his time was almost up. A bit gray around the muzzle, a little stiff in the hips and eyes turning cloudy. Slow to get up and greet you but his love poured out of his soul to you. Reading his card it said his owner died in a nursing home and the children then turned the dog into the shelter. He was 12. He gave 12 years of his life to his dad. His dad had asked the children to take care of him when he passed away but the effort of caring for an old dog was too much. Therefore, in the days before Christmas he was sent on his last and final journey.
Not much else was written down. The children had brought him and told the shelter worker to find him a new home. The children who were adults with children of their own had no time or energy for the old dog. Surely, you will find him a good home they asked. The worker told them the chances of placing an old Border Collie was pretty slim. Not when puppies could be had. They left him anyways. They had more important thing to do. Christmas shopping and celebrating the holidays.
His name was Rex.  Somewhere in my faded memory I thought that Rex meant King. Yes, he was a King. He was regal and royal and had a presence about him. I sighed and thought, “Yes, he will find a home.” Besides I have not time nor a place.

I adjusted my seatbelt to go and put the car in reverse. It was cold and I turned my heater on full blast. I shivered. It would be a long ride home and I was late.
I walked into the house with all the Christmas decorations up and the husband waiting at the door to help me carry my gifts inside. I walked in with a gift in my arms. His eyes got wide and he said “Yes, there is room at the Inn
We placed Rex on his Christmas blanket, He came home to stay.  We made room at the Inn, can you?

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