And they call it puppy love

After a couple months of deeply feeling the loss of our dear pug Dodi, we have adopted a rescue puppy from Arkansas, an adorable 3 pound, 3 month old toy fox terrier/chihuahua mix. I hadn’t realized how much my heart was still hurting from the loss of Dodi until I experienced the huge outpouring of love that came when I put precious little Sofia in my arms. She is named after Princess Sofia, the first Disney princess who was a commoner and became royalty (as opposed to the previous princesses who were royalty and had to regain their status.) We felt it a perfect name for a rescue puppy who went from an abandoned litter to becoming our princess, although now that she’s been with us a few days perhaps Dora the Explorer would have been more appropriate!

The power of love. It is real and miraculous. Whether parent to child, person to pet, pet to person, among relatives, with true friends, through acts of lovingkindness to others, it is the healing balm for this world.

Do you know families who are without much material wealth, perhaps even struggle to make ends meet, or worse, can’t quite make it? Yet the bond they have of love often makes their lives more rich than many who seemingly have more. Do you know people who feel alone, unloved, isolated? We all feel that way to some extent at times in varying degrees. Yet those who engage others in their lives with whom they share – give and receive – love have found the cure for these ailments, these attacks on our well being. Some are not able to have children which of course is unfortunate for those who want them. Yet HaShem has given us an amazing capacity to love and often finding other recipients of that powerful, yet gentle, force through fostering, volunteering at children’s hospitals, babysitting, adopting, helps to fill that seemingly bottomless capacity we have to love others. And I think it’s been said as we love others, so we will be loved too (though that should never be the motivation, just an observation.) Ellen helping the children (and adults) in Haiti, Stacele ringing the Salvation Army bell, the Joiners bringing prayer to strangers, so many examples of love, just plain old, wonderful, love.

Those deprived of a loving childhood may find it hard to love others, or conversely, may feel the need to love others even moreso to make up for the lack of it they experienced. The dynamics can be complicated. But the bottom line is the same for all – we were created by Yeshua in love, to love, and are loved beyond measure by our Abba.

The rescue agency from which we adopted Sofia is called Unconditional Love Rescue. Watching the videos on YouTube of the work they do shows me why they picked that name. For such sacrificial love to save others, and the circle of love with our Abba that we enter when we live a life of love may be that which brings us the closest to Him.

Shabbat shalom.

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  1. Stacey Stevens

    Thanks for the mention. It’s been several years since I’ve rung the bell for the Salvation Army (wasn’t that how we first met?). In more recent years I worked with firesetting juveniles, but unfortunately had to stop when I began working at CBD, as my shift does not afford me the availabilty during after-school hours (I miss it so much and would return to it in a heartbeat if I could).

    I am also reminded several others in our community: Having lost her own mother while she was quite young, Kristie Edelman is a special friend and mentor to a motherless preteen girl. Hilda Levine works tirelessly to support orphans, underprivileged and special needs children, both in this country and other countries. Annette Salinger goes without so that she can support Rabbi Michael Schiffman’s ministry to Russian Jews. Using their puppets, Bob and Marla Evans (accompanied by Cara Ruth) have sung in the streets of Guatemala to raise money for orphans. Ken Teresa Sabella does special work in Nicaragua each year. Teresa Alvazez-Diaz founded ‘Samara’s Hope’ to help orphanages and also assists with organizing support on behalf of ‘Stuck’ children. Debbie Hannon, who rescued and raised her five granddaughters. Julie LeDoux holds concerts to raise awareness and funds for human trafficking. Joelle Chateauneuf has gone on a number of overseas missions trips, bringing her caring heart and medical expertise to aid others. In recent years, Kevin Awrach, a cancer survivor himself, served as the luminaria chairperson in his local ‘Relay for Life’. Evan Labell has put his very life on the line, serving with the military in Iraq. I recall the time when you went to Israel in order to provide special ministry and education to unwed mothers. And let’s not forget your own two sons, Jeremy and Joel, and their wonderful ‘Playing for Change’ project! There are many more whose names and ways of giving escape my memory at the moment.

    Not to mention those in our community who give of themselves regularly, leading, services, playing worship music, improving liturgy, teaching, taking care of the children, setting up/cleaning up the sanctuary and Oneg Shabbat, cleaning the building, maintaining the website, participating in prayer and healing ministries, planning events, serving on on executive board and in our administrative and financial office, hosting homegroups and Shabbat and other dinners, preparing meals for the sick,providing rides to others, as well as those who give and serve quietly in ways known only to HaShem…the list goes on and on.

    Thanks for yet another encouraging Shabbat message and Mazel Tov on your newly-rescued dog, Princess Sofia! With Purim just around the corner, I would say that it sounds as if she has come along ‘for such a time as this’!

    Hugz in HaShem –


  2. Stacey Stevens

    Oops! I had totally meant to mention Sid and Rabbi Nathan, as well as everyone who helps outwith Camp Or L’Dor, too!

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