The Animal Rescue Gene

Something happens every time my mother sees a stray animal. She’s compelled to rescue it. She says she has the animal rescue gene. I love animals–I really do, but I don’t have the gene.

Two weeks ago my brother, Jeremy, who also has the ARG, climbed a tree and rescued a five-week-old kitten. He brought her to Mother who already had three rescued animals–two cats and a dog.

Mother’s husband gave her an ultimatum. “Me or the cat.”

You can probably guess what happened. 🙂

Jamie, my daughter, has the ARG, and so does my son’s fiance Brittany. After Sunshine got settled in, Brittany and I went to meet her.

Brittany spoke softly, moved slowly, and Sunshine seemed mesmerized.

People with the ARG are gifted this way. 

Didn’t take them long to bond.

Brittany took these pictures.

She has the incredible ability to capture the hearts of animals–

And people born with the ARG.

My all-time favorite picture of Mother. 

Such little girl joy!

If you can’t see the video below, click here.

If you have the ARG, you’ll love these.

If you can’t see video below, click here.

One more.

Sunshine finally notices me in this one. 🙂

If you can’t see it, click here.

Then Mother took us to the Athens Humane Society, a no-kill shelter, where she volunteers

She spends one-on-one time with Precious.

Brittany went straight to a puppy named Squishy.

Squishy came to the shelter with twine wrapped around her foot, requiring surgery.

“Julie, I’m in animal heaven.”

Click here for Squishy’s rescue story.

Watching Brittany love on Squishy, something dawned on me about the ARG.

 Maybe it’s sort of like the way God feels about us.

When there’s one lost sheep, He’s moved with great compassion.

He leaves the ninety-nine others and rescues the one.  (from Luke 15:4)

Do you have the ARG? 

P.S. Sunshine’s brother, Moonshine, and lots more of God’s creatures are available for adoption at The Athens Humane Society.

P.S.S. Another link about rescuing animals. 🙂

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

A Skinny Cow… and Love Somehow

To me, there’s nothing more fascinating than people. What makes them laugh and cry? The other night our son’s girlfriend Brittany and I had a good time talking. She’s an animal lover and told me all about her cows. Toward the end of our conversation, we had quite a moment. When Brittany was younger, she went to cow auctions with her daddy and brother. “We’d look at all the cows for sale, probably a hundred of them, and I could only choose one. I’d always pick the skinniest most pitiful looking cow.” “Why?” “Because I knew what she could become. Like with Strawberry. When I saw her, I told Daddy, ‘That’s the one I want.’ He just laughed. ‘What for, Brittany? Look at her.'” “Her coat was dull and she was skinny, but I fell in love with her. I wanted to rescue her. Same thing with Texas.”   “And Colorado.” “And Gypsy.” “When you brought them home what happened?” I leaned forward, could hardly wait to hear. It took her a few second to speak. Her eyes brimmed with happy tears. “They became the beautiful cows I knew they could be.” Her words stirred my heart. I thought about hurting people, friends and family, myself–my faults. “What’s your secret with cows?” “We put them out in the pasture to graze. I gave them sweet feed and loved on them. Before long, they’d get fat and pretty and happy. And they’d have babies.” Strawberry a few months later… And Texas. And Gypsy. And Colorado. Seeing the miraculous change in Brittany’s cows, holy goose bumps covered me. “The same thing happens to people,” I said. “God sees us as we are and rescues us.” She nodded, her brown eyes shining. “He knows who we can become.” If you and I were  sitting at my kitchen table, what would we talk about? What stirs your heart? Love, Julie

To Love Again

Since our daughter Jamie’s been a little girl, she’s been a cat person. But for the past few months, she’s been thinking about getting a dog. Maybe a German shepherd or a Siberian husky, she said.

Peel back a layer of Jamie’s heart and soul…

She’s been hurt. She’s afraid to love again.

Maybe you’ve been there too.

Jamie and I don’t talk about it a lot. It’s one of those things a mother ponders in her heart.

Back to the story.

Last week, Jamie went to an animal shelter with Brittany, our son’s girlfriend. Remember, Brittany took those amazing pictures of Kitty Thelma?

When Jamie saw Jax sitting in his cage, something happened. An electric shock zapped her heart.

Powerful.

Unexpected.

Jamie fell in love.

 

She called me from the shelter. “Mom, there’s something about this dog. I can’t forget his eyes.”

They volunteers said Jax didn’t bark nonstop like the other dogs. He was quiet. Gentle. Submissive.

Maybe he’d given up hope.

Jax didn’t have many days left…

He wasn’t a purebred.

Others had overlooked him.

But Jamie knew Jax was her dog.

Friday morning, Jamie and Brittany got him out of jail and took him to Petsmart. Bought him a leash and collar–everything a fine dog needs.

Guess what else? Brittany trains dogs. She kept him over the weekend and worked with him. Saturday night, my husband and I met our granddog.

Brittany, Jax, and me…

I have a feeling Jax wasn’t the only one rescued.

When God nudges you to take the risk and love again, two hearts are set free.

Jamie and Jax.

Love,

Julie

 

Lessons From My Cat Thelma

Have you ever had someone spot beauty you’d overlooked, and it was right there beside you? My husband rescued Kitty Thelma several years ago. She was a few weeks old when he found her hiding underneath a car. This past weekend before the ice and snow, our son’s girlfriend Brittany took  pictures of her.

She captured Thelma’s everyday moments, but there’s nothing everyday about Brittany’s pictures

They are Divine.

Brittany showed them to me Sunday night.

It was as though I’d never really seen my cat until I saw these photos.

Every picture held a message for me.

Talk about having a moment.

I sensed God tapping my heart.

Pay attention, He seemed to say.

“Look at her,” I said. “She’s so happy on our front porch.”

“Rescued animals are always grateful,” Brittany said. “Thelma’s secure. And confident. And fearless.”

“Oh, look. When she’s tired, she rests.”

“This expression,” I said.  “She’s doing exactly what God created her to do. Watch birds.”

“She’s not posing. She’s just being herself,” Brittany said.

“Her beautiful self. I bet she didn’t stress about the photo-shoot.”

“No way. Thelma’s not a people pleaser,” Brittany said.

“You mean, she wasn’t trying to impress you?”

Brittany laughed. “She’s too smart for that.”

“This one’s priceless. She never gets tired of the little things.”

“She’s sitting in my wicker chair–content wherever she lands.”

Then Brittany showed me the last one.

My very favorite.

“How did you get this picture? The sun streaming over her shoulder…”

Brittany just smiled.

“Pure contentment. Like she’s in heaven. Right on her own front porch.”

Lord, I don’t want to miss the Splendor of any moment. Just like Thelma.

Which one of Brittany’s pictures is your favorite and why?

* If you’d like to contact her about a photo-shoot for your pet, you can find her on Facebook, Brittany Lynn Brooks.

Love,

Julie