That is the face of love, appreciation, intelligence, devotion, wisdom, peace, and purpose. That is the face of my baby pug, Licorice. She’s the reason I started this blog, and she’s the reason I get up and take a stab at writing something that I hope inspires compassion and love for animals.
I love that little face.
This is Licorice’s story and it’s one I love to tell…
It all started one day when my partner and I were walking back from lunch. We lived in a very small town — and when I say very small, I mean very, very small. Like population 308 small. The restaurant where we had lunch that day was across the street from our home in a tiny fishing town on the coast of northern California. I was home from work that day. I had called in to say I was staying home. I wasn’t sick and I wasn’t sick of work, I just felt that urge that we sometimes have that feels more like guidance and less like ego. I learned later that that feeling was me being directed to exactly where and when I needed to be.
We were headed home from lunch when I heard the beep.
It was faint, but it called my attention as it was odd and out of place. It was an electronic noise amid the sounds of the ocean waves, the seals barking and the seabirds crying. Beeeeeeep. I cocked my ear to the wind. What is that? As we walked, the sound got stronger until I realized it was coming from the neighbor’s house. I cautiously approached their front door. The beep was louder. It was definitely coming from inside. I put my ear to the door and that’s when I smelled smoke. I knocked on the door. Once. Twice. I turned to my partner. “That noise is a fire alarm. I smell smoke and they’re not answering.”
Panic set in.
The kids! Our neighbors had two small children and two small dogs. What if they were inside? I knocked louder again while my partner ran around to the back of the house. Shortly after, I heard the sound of breaking glass. The front door swung open and thick clouds of smoke billowed out. “Come on. No one’s home. Help me get the animals out.”
It turned out our neighbors and their kids were in town – the “big” one, 20 miles away – and had left a brisket on the stove and had forgotten to turn it off. The 100-year old, all wood house had suffered severe smoke damage, but didn’t burn down. Everyone was safe, including their pet rabbit, kitty, and two pugs, one of whom was pregnant.
Three weeks later,
a litter of puppies was born to Moose and Millie (the pugs, not the neighbors), and little Licorice was given to us as a token of our neighbors’ appreciation. Yes, Licorice and I were destined to be together. I am so grateful for her presence in my life and I know she feels the same.
Take some time today to reflect on what you are grateful for, who and what you love, and who and what loves you.
Thanks for reading.