I adopted Katie Lynn seven weeks after I said goodbye to Rocky. She was a special friend sent to show that life may be tough but with great courage you can make it.
Katie was severely hurt in a tornado a year before Rocky passed away. Katie became lost when strong, brutal winds, and hailstorms raced through the skies over her Oklahoma home. She became a victim of the devastation.
While emergency and rescue workers combed through the rubble searching for victims, Katie was left hurt and wandering helplessly for weeks before being rescued.
While searching for food and water, Katie was shot in the abdomen for simply looking for a safe place to rest. Eventually, she was picked up and placed in an animal shelter. Katie lost her hearing and was totally deaf. Her left ear, pelvis, and several ribs were broken. There was a bullet embedded in the right side of her body and she had a mouth full of broken teeth that were infected.
The state of Oklahoma required that animals left homeless from the tornado be placed in a shelter for a four-month period of time before they could be adopted. However, money was not provided for the care of these animals.
Katie remained in the animal shelter for four months with minimal treatment. Her teeth continued to get worse, the bullet remained in her body, and no one claimed her. It seemed like she was waiting out her four-month death sentence.
Because of an act of kindness, life turned around for Katie. After completing her stay in the shelter, Katie was released to the All Border Collie Rescue and placed in one of their foster homes in Oklahoma. The rescue immediately began to provide the medical attention she desperately needed.
As with most foster homes, children or animals are not part of the permanent family and they are often moved from home to home. So within the rescue, Katie went to a foster home located in Texas. Her new foster mom, Shirley, provided emotional healing, unconditional love, and care for Katie on a daily basis. Because of Shirley’s compassion and purpose, over time the efforts paid off and Katie became a healthy dog.
Katie learned to communicate with her eyes so Shirley taught her sign language for come and stay. Katie and Shirley proved to each other that unconditional love does make a difference.
It was the right time and the right place for me to find Katie and to open my home to her permanently. I made the same promise to her as I made to Rocky and the others. “I promise to love you and to see that you are never hungry or thirsty. I promise to take care of you and provide you the best home I possibly can. Your new home will be forever and you will never have to worry about being sent away, mistreated, or hurt. We will love each other, walk through the pasture together, go places and just have fun,” I looked deep into Katie Lynn’s eyes and added, “When the day comes that you can no longer continue with a good quality of life, I promise I will hug and kiss you and stand by you to say goodbye. I will not ever let you suffer.”
Katie Lynn has a story to tell and she will be an encouragement for overcoming struggles and obstacles. Just like each of us, Katie’s life has been a journey itself. She will never walk in Rocky’s paw prints, or wear his bandana, and she can never take Rocky’s place, but she will leave her own story in the hearts of the friends that she meets.
As I continue to work on my writing and my journey, Katie is sleeping in Rocky’s bed. She has a special place in my heart as I see a dog that is thankful for unconditional love and security.
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