Angels travel in packs. These gangs of good almost always have a leader too – the inspiration behind their unrelenting acts of kindness. The head halo is often elusive by nature, fluttering just out of identifying reach. But recently, I caught one by the wingtip and I absolutely refuse to let go. Of course, that may have been her plan all along.
If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to be the wing-leader, cuddle up next to this divine little 11-year-old beagle and have a chat. It’ll be a one-way conversation, but you’ll still get an earful. Angel is living proof the skills required for this top dog are anything but ordinary. You don’t have to be fierce, fearless or brilliant. You don’t have to go by the name ‘Angel’ either, but it doesn’t hurt.
Angel has been called Angel since she was a puppy. It’s just her name. She hasn’t exactly performed any miracles in her lifetime, but it’s clear she made an angelic impression on those who loved her. I believe this because they loved her until they no longer could.
On April 2, Angel’s best friend died. Before he disappeared forever, he talked to her a lot. He took care of her too over the past decade but above all else, they were buddies. It’s not easy explaining such loss to a dog, even one that’s always been a good listener, but the family tried their best to make the bewildered look in her eyes go away. They promised to keep her in the family. So when her best friend died, his son welcomed her into his home. But his son had been very sick. Less than a week later, he passed away too. Only one other family member remains but he’s sadly battling against Multiple Sclerosis. Indeed, they all loved Angel until they no longer could.
That’s about when this unlikely leader formed her pack.
Angels meet in the oddest places. In this case, it was the Upper Credit Humane Society in Erin, Ontario. It seemed as though Angel’s wings had been clipped when she was surrendered to the shelter by a grief-stricken family, but angels work in mysterious ways.
Hers was a sad story. Nevertheless, the staff and volunteers at the shelter have heard many sad stories by peering into the many sad eyes of animals in their care. But when Angel came along with her sad story and her sad eyes, a miracle started to unfold. One might say the stars aligned.
Jody, Animal Care Coordinator and Supervisor, was drawn to Angel right away. He could see how difficult it was for her to be in such a busy, barky place after all those years of peaceful conversation at home with her best pal. She couldn’t stop shaking no matter how much he tried to console her.
Jody shared Angel’s sad story with his girlfriend, Sarah. Of course, Sarah would sympathize. She’s the founder of a guinea pig rescue!
It’s strange how things happen…
Sarah just happened to know the founder of a beagle rescue called Big On Beagles (BOB) back when I just happened to write an article about one of her charming guinea pigs. While Sarah was emailing me about Angel’s sad story, a volunteer at the shelter just happened to trip on Angel’s halo. She fell hard. By the way, this volunteer just happens to be named Angela. So while Jody was waiting to hear back from Sarah who was waiting to hear back from me, Angela offered to bring Angel home. The shaking stopped almost immediately.
On April 19, I caught an angel by the tip of her wing. It wasn’t hard to do. She was on my couch, reclining like the Queen of Sheba or should I say the Queen of Hearts. She’s recruited so many – from Jody to Sarah to Angela (our newest foster parent for BOB!) to me. The only heart left to recruit is the one who adopts our Angel.
It takes something pretty special to be a leader, to bring out the best in people, to make us all stop and listen and smile. Leaders inspire greatness in their followers. Sometimes, it appears effortless.
Angel is an 11-year-old beagle buffing up her halo at Big On Beagles (BOB) www.bigonbeagles.ca. She thanks all the members of her glorious gang starting with Jody and the rest of the fine folks at the Upper Credit Humane Society, www.uppercredit.com, Sarah of Guinea-Pigs-R-Us, Angela (her foster mommy) and yours truly – her videographer!
Visit www.YouTube.com and search: ‘An Angel In Our Midst’ by Big On Beagles Rescue to see her two videos!