Love at first sight. Do you believe in it?
I want to share a story about love at first sight.
I know what many might be thinking as you roll your eyes, but trust me, it exists. I’ve felt it before, and I’ve had many people share their experiences with it, as well. It’s undeniable. That first glance. That tilt of the head. That curious spirit to the progressive walk towards each other. These are all telltale signs of an unbreakable, unconditional love at first sight.
I first experienced it about ten years ago. I walked into the room, and when my eyes landed on the beauty, my life’s never been the same again. Something in the eyes pulled me forward, tugging at my heartstrings and rendering me incapable of walking away untouched. The love that swirled in that room, in those first few moments, has changed me forever. Never again will I question love at first sight.
He was a cute little furry ball, not more than eight inches in length and pink as ever. He resembled a pork-belly pig (which is likely why I can’t bring myself to eat pork anymore). My sweet little Sunshine, in all of his two weeks, snorted his way around the little puppy pen, sniffing no doubt for his milk. He looked at me, and I at him, and the room blurred. No other being mattered in those few moments when we connected for the first time. The way he stumbled his way over his other seven siblings to get to me told me he felt the same way. I only had to lift him up, and the love blossomed. He had found his momma, and I found my baby.
Yup. Love at First Sight.
Fellow animal lover friends, Jenny Lee and Amanda, shared their love at first sight story with me, too. I asked their permission to share it with you because it is that endearing and moving. I feel especially moved because they informed me that it was my novel, A New Leash on Life, that brought them to meet their beautiful furbaby, Shelby.
You see, Jenny and Amanda had just lost their precious dog right around the same time Jenny read A New Leash on Life. After learning about no-kill animal shelters and the need for good homes for all these beautiful dogs, they decided the time was right to open their hearts and home to another dog looking to be loved and be made a part of someone’s family.
I asked them more about their experience, and here is what Jenny had to say…
“Before Shelby, we lost our last fur baby suddenly to cancer. I was shattered. I’d raised her from a pup. She was my baby. I cried for weeks. It was also the first time in nearly twenty years we didn’t have a dog in the house. We felt lost. But I just couldn’t go out straight away and ‘replace’ the un-replaceable.
We talked long and hard about breeds and breeders until we read A New Leash on Life. Then, there was only one choice – we had to get a rescue.
It was also important to us to find a shelter or organisation that shared our ethics. Like in A New Leash on Life, the organisation we went through had strict guidelines for adoption. We often laughed saying it would have probably been easier adopting a human child! The result though, was a perfect match!! The organisation matched our needs with those of who would become our golden girl Shelby.
But how has Shelby impacted on our lives?
There is not a day we don’t laugh together (dogs do have a sense of humour)
We share a sense of wonder in everything in this world
And if we’re having a really bad day… She totally understands. She has also known loss without losing her ability to love.
I just started reading A New Leash on Life again (it’s been a while), since you’ve been talking of it with your new audiobook version just released on Audible. It’s interesting reminiscing now on how we got Shelby.
Was it love at first sight?
The dedication of the people running the organisation we got Shelby through is amazing. The most interesting part was the match making process… We didn’t go out of our way to get a Golden Retriever, it’s just that we took a liking to a particular golden girl called Maggie. We contacted the organisation and after talking with them, they said… No Maggie was not the dog for us! A few weeks later there was another dog and again, they said, no that dog was not for us!! This really intrigued us as most shelters are just happy to find the animal a home (any home).
A colleague of ours started calling them the Golden Retriever Nazis and our friends just couldn’t believe they hadn’t given us a dog. But all along, they said that they really wanted to find us the RIGHT dog. And then Shelby came along! And as we said, it was a perfect match!! (Yay! Sounds enough to me like love at first sight!)
Being a rescue, she did come with challenges. There are still times when she reacts a certain way to something new and we realise it is due to a bad experience that we will never fully understand. But it was only tonight when I was thinking about the difference between a rescue and a fur child raised from a pup, that it dawned on me…. A dog (or cat I guess) that you have had practically all its life would know nothing but absolute trust and the love that we provide. A rescue would have had to have gone through the trauma of abandonment and heaven knows what else. They teach us resilience.
Shelby lost her first family, but fills our lives with light and love every day. A heart can heal. That is something we can all learn from.”
So there you have it friends, that is proof enough for me that love at first sight sure does exist.
If you’d like to learn more about no-kill animals shelters, and the wonderful work the people who run them do, visit hua.org. Thanks to my readers (and listeners), I am able to donate a portion of my book proceeds to them each month to help them care for these precious beings waiting on a family to love them.