The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Patti Dobson
Religion columnist 

Faith: A lot of lessons we can learn from rescues


Last updated 11/3/2020 at 5:52pm


All around me, snores are punctuated by little yips and growls.

When I try to move my right arm so that I can type a little easier, I’m met with grunts and a giant paw for my trouble. I’ve had my share of black eyes thanks to monster paws.

We have a retirement home for old dogs. We didn’t choose them so much as they chose us; we were the halfway house to foster them until they went on to rescue. As the dog biscuit crumbles, the furballs who reside here weren’t able to go to rescue. Whether they were too sick, too old or grumpy or just this side of feral, they are permanent residents.

Much of the time, I fool myself into thinking we’re running a hospital for the old and feeble; the true story is the four-legged angels are running a halfway house for two-legged misfits.

No matter how difficult a day I’ve had, no matter the stress or the ugliness, there is peace (mostly) at Head Acres. The dogs know the sound of my jeep; and as the story goes, the minute they hear me coming up the road, the choir of barkers tune up. I’m sure the five semi-feral cats in the storage building next door appreciate their efforts.

Every dog has a story.

We’ve had Bear, the behemoth with paws the size of my head. He had his muzzle taped shut. When he arrived here, we had to remove bits and pieces of tape. Even when the tape plucked bits of hair, he never made a sound, never growled. He just looked at me with his big eyes; and when he was tape-free, he climbed into my lap, all 120 pounds of him.

We’ve had Logan, the sweet senior citizen. He’d been abandoned out by Ute Lake; when he was found, he weighed half of what a dog his size should weigh. We didn’t think he’d survive the night. He surprised us. The vet figured he was 14 or 15 years old; it took almost six months to get him back to health. He lived with us for a little over a year before passing on to doggie heaven. Like all the Head Acres’ misfits, he was a lap dog.

There’s Jack, a chocolate lab who isn’t allowed on the furniture, yet given a nanosecond will swoop in and steal a warm spot on the couch. Currently, his head is on my shoulder as I’m typing because he doesn’t understand the concept of personal space. Same dog will head-butt you for a piece of apple, and nose you until he gets a million and one pets.

There’s Bandit, who was first spotted by my dad out at Cook’s Truck Stop. He had “chased” her for a couple of weeks. We finally caught her thanks to a tennis ball.

We’ve had mama dogs with hours-old puppies, who were rescued from the dumpster. We’ve had dogs in casts, dogs with attitude, scared dogs, dogs with all sorts of problems. Yet, despite what humans did to them, they all had such beautiful spirits and resilient hearts.

There are lessons we can learn from them. Forgiveness. Resilience. Love. I think there is truth in the saying that angels are always around us, that they’re in disguise and we can find them if we look carefully. We may believe we’re the rescuers, but in truth, we’re the rescued. If we’re lucky.

Patti Dobson writes about faith for The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact her at:

[email protected]


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