For those who are new to this blog, Xena is the sweetest dog in the world. A friend of ours, Yael, worked at Noah’s Ark, a no-kill shelter, which had taken in this beautiful dog who came without a name of her own. The shelter named her Xena, after the Warrior Princess, with the idea that, as a warrior princess, she would gain self-confidence, for Xena had been seriously abused. Only later did the kind people at Noah’s Ark realize how terrorized Tikva had been and they admitted, had they known how damaged she was, they would have put her to sleep. Oh, no.
Tikva had bonded with Yael and Yael’s dog Nafi, short for Napthalia, when Yael and Nafi lived at the shelter. For about four months after Yael had moved, Tikva stayed with us. Tikva really made progress. Nevertheless, she spent much of her time hiding under a couch cushion. How we wish her life could have been as 1/4 as gentle and sweet as she is.
Here are some of the blog entries about Xena whom Yael later named Tikva:
You can tell how important this angel of a dog has been in our lives.
Now this may well be the last entry about Xena/Tikva. It begins sad and ends happy. Here's the update:
Nafi, Xena/Tikva's loving companion and guide, was hit by a car and killed instantly. This is over six months ago that this happened.
Just now Yael emailed:
Here is Heschel, my beautiful new boy! He's a rescue from Melody Coulter 's DOG STAR, and is about 1 1/12 yrs old, a border collie/lab mix. He loves all dogs, and loves to chew & swim! This boy still is very frightened of people and new places outdoors... he was probably not socialized, rather than beaten, as Tikva was...
Tikva and Heschel are doing GREAT together, and jaw wrestle every morning, and seem to give each other strength. They have a very elaborate bone stealing game... Tikva is becoming super outgoing to people, now that Heschel is here! Heschel is going to be a project like Tika was, but is totally worth it! Sweet & Smart!!!!!
[I was unable to copy the photo.]
Now here's what I most wanted to tell you. Heaven Admin and I stopped by to see Tikva and meet Heschel, and here's what we saw:
Tikva, who had been so frightened and timid, came running over to Heaven Admin, and she came running over to me! She came right up and accepted treats from our hands. This was the baby who didn't know what it was to live without fear.
If you read earlier entries about Xena/Tikva, you will understand what a miracle it was for Tikva to come up to someone and how blessed we were to experience this miracle for ourselves -- and to be part of it!
Tikva is the brave big sister now, and it seems she is teaching Heschel that it's okay to trust people. Tikva has become brave because she doesn't want Heschel to be afraid.
Yael says that Tikva still has to spend time under the cushion on her couch, and yet, oh, how wonderful that she doesn't have to stay there all the time to be safe.
I have learned many lessons from Tikva, her sweetness and her courage. The biggest lessons of all are:
We don't have to stay the same.
We can be brave and grow.
How important it is to our well-being that we care about others.
How much even one angel can light up the whole world.
God bless all living Beings.