I spend lots of time every day in front of the computer writing. Doggy bios, Facebook posts, website and event content, and grants are all a part of my role in rescuing and homing dogs.

Some days writing is hard. Too much screen time with traumatic brain injury results in headaches and delayed healing. After my wreck, I never thought I would be able to sing in a choral group again. The headaches and other injuries from the wreck made singing torture rather than a joy. I took a break but came back because music has always been a part of my life. No matter what I was going through music was always there for me.

Years ago, I saw the movie version of Les Misérables with Liam Neeson and fell in love with the story. Later I saw a touring show of Les Mis and while I knew the story nothing prepared me for the emotions that came when setting the meaningful dialogue to music.

When I choose my writing music I often find myself listening to the soundtrack from Les Misérables. It’s a magnificent score and the performances are astounding, not the movie, that was dreadful, but I love even more the message of love and forgiveness.

“You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.

I can’t imagine a world where anyone can love a dog without giving. I don’t mean giving food and shelter. Dogs need love, they need to be close to us, to play and to walk and to chew and to feel loved. They need to love and show us that love in only the way a dog can do. 

The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness.

This sums up the love we share with our dogs. The small acts of kindness after seeking them out and bringing them into our homes become a truly great act of love. It’s a holy experience to think about how something as small as a belly rub or buying healthy food or driving to a different town just to buy your dog’s favorite toy or treat can become a great act of love. Layer by layer, kindness by kindness is all it takes.

We pardon to the extent that we love.”

When Coconut came to live with us there was a steep learning curve for me. I made so many mistakes. He loved me passionately long before I loved him. I liked him, I felt responsible, I provided for his every need. But it took a while before one day I knew that no matter what he did I could forgive him for all the damage he did when he was simply trying to express himself. The larger my love the easier it was to forgive.

These are not new concepts. I’ve learned them in church and through life, and books, and movies. Somehow, however, learning them through loving Coconut has made them come alive.

I am a better person because of Coconut. I’ve learned to love more deeply and to forgive more quickly.