This is what it’s all about

Published 3:44 pm Friday, November 25, 2011

When I arrived from a four-day trip to Georgia, visiting my soldiers, I had 11 messages on my phone, seven were for me pertaining to animals.
Two were from FHS, one was about an ongoing case I’m involved with and the remaining four were from vets. Most were about assistance on various animals in which I was to okay payout from Lennie’s fund.
Some were about the many  cases I’ve often explained that I do not write about. I made the appropriate phone calls to set up the next day’s schedule to handle affairs needing my attention.
One message though piqued my interest above all the others; a message from Landrum veterinary clinic about a dog and a family in trouble that were seeking my help.
Precious is a mottled black and white Pit who is 5 years old and has been with the family since puppy hood. She had damaged her left rear paw and had an ugly growth the size of a softball.
In early July,  Daniel (the dad in the family) took a leave of absence from his job to tend to his mother who was very ill.  His mom passed on and when he got back he no longer had a job. As a result, he lost his home also.
Daniel had spared no expense when it came to the welfare of Precious, but when he went to his vet for assistance, they refused.  So he began to shop around, seeking help until he wound up at Landrum vet.
I received the message and made the call.
“Mr. Rizzo,” Daniel said, “I’ve lost my job, my mom and my house, it would devastate my family if we lose Precious.”
“You won’t lose Precious, Daniel. Can you get her down to Landrum Vet tomorrow?”
“Yes sir,” he answered, his voice breaking up.
“Keep the faith, Daniel, just try to get your life in order and I’ll take care of Precious.”
“Can you do that sir?” he asked. “I’ll certainly try young man but from this point on it will be in Dr. Raines and God’s hands.”
“Thank  you,” he answered, his voice nearly down to a whisper.
“You’re welcome, and I’ll see you tomorrow.”
The next day I met Precious for the first time along with Daniel’s wife, Amber, and their two beautiful children, Gracie (4) and Coty (2). The children were all over Precious and she was lovingly soaking it up. My heart leapt when I saw them and I whispered a silent prayer.
“Lord, if there’s any way I can help this wonderful family, please give me the means to do so.”
Many years ago, a person who was very dear to me and instrumental in strengthening my faith asked me, “What do you think love is, Leonard?”
“I believe that love is giving yet always feeling you’re receiving more,” I answered.
She was so moved by it she made a beautiful card with that quote on it.  To this day I still hold the belief that it’s the true meaning of love.
The operation on Precious was a difficult one, Donna frantically tried to staunch the bleeding as she removed the tumor and fought to save the leg.
“She’s a tough and sweet girl,” Donna told me the next day as I checked in after work and learned of the operation.
I found out Daniel had already been there and sat with her for over an hour and brought her favorite toy and food.
“Her bandages could be removed tomorrow,” Donna went on, “and it looks like things went pretty well.”
Dr. Raines (bless her heart) takes my cases personally and I feel that somehow successful outcomes mean as much to her as it does to me.
“Let’s keep her over the weekend to give her a little more time to heal quietly,” I said.
Donna agreed and I set it up that I’d be here with Daniel on Monday at noon after my morning shift to pick up Precious and settle up. I was pleased that the family would have their dog for Thanksgiving.
I arrived at 11:30 on Monday and Daniel was already waiting.  I had two beautiful coats for Precious that my dear friend Jeanette donated for her. I also purchased a harness and a leash so she could go home in style. I knelt down to greet Precious as she was brought out and she showered me with  kisses.
“You know how I love sugar, don’t you?” I smiled as I hugged her.  Daniel was visibly shaken with gratitude.
My quote about what love is was never more true than at this moment.  Whatever I did for this family and their dog, I was receiving tenfold deep within my heart.
“May God bless you Lennie,” Daniel said as he hugged me, this time unable to control his emotions.
“Thank you,” I replied, returning his hug and I thought to myself, “Somehow I think He already has.”
Thanks for listening.

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