I’m Stefanie Minguell and I rescued a dog I named Grace and her nine newborn puppies from a high kill animal shelter on the day they were to be put to sleep… This turned out to be an amazing experience for me.
I saw Grace’s face on Facebook with numerous pleas for someone to volunteer to foster her and her pups. I took one look at her face and fell in love.
stefngrace-smallI knew I was meant to help her and her little ones. She reminded me of my beloved dog, Staci, who passed away on Valentine’s Day two years ago. I just knew I had to help them. I had never done anything like this before and I wasn’t sure what was involved. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
There were so many reasons why I shouldn’t and couldn’t take them in. I was filled with doubt and fear. I love animals and it has always been my dream to be an animal activist and do something like this. I was just waiting until “the time was right”.
That night I prayed for direction and clarity. I asked for the highest and greatest good for all concerned to be manifested. I went to bed that night and had no idea what my decision would be. There was the time, money, and work involved in undertaking an endeavor of this magnitude and I was scared. I really wanted to help but I didn’t want to put myself in a compromising position. I asked the Universe to assist me in being in the flow and guide me in manifesting my intent.
The next day I went to work and I mulled it over. At the end of the work day no one else had stepped up to rescue this family and I knew it would be their last day alive. I got into my car and I drove to the shelter and I brought them into my home.
I cannot tell you the number of people who donated food, supplies, money, and came over to help. I was overwhelmed with the generosity of spirit that was bestowed upon us.
The truth of the matter is the next two months were a lot of work. Sleepless nights and early morning feedings, many trips back and forth to the vet and much to tend to and figure out. It was by far one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life. The amount of love I had for those nine puppies, from the time when I brought them home and their eyes were not even open yet, until they were romping around playing and giving lots of puppy love.
I fell in love with the momma, who I named Grace, as in Amazing Grace right from the moment I brought her home. She was malnourished and sickly as you can only imagine a stray dog would be, who gave birth to nine puppies on the streets of Miami. I nursed her back to health and slowly taught her to trust over time. I gave tender love and care and was rewarded tenfold.
I have been going through a difficult time in my life. When you are taking care of others you can’t focus on your own problems and be so self-involved. I didn’t have time to be in my head. I was too busy being in my heart and just enjoying the experience. I just felt overwhelming waves of love and joy. It shifted the focus to something positive and rewarding.
I met and connected with so many amazing people through this experience who contributed in various ways. Thus it was not a hardship or burden in the least. There were some who came over to hold and play with the puppies, those who dropped off supplies, people who helped with the work, and those who wanted to adopt a puppy.
It was a blessing having many friends and family members that I ordinarily don’t see quite so often dropping by to visit and get some puppy love!! My neighbor and her middle school son came over daily to help me take care of them. Her other autistic son came over every day to handle the puppies and it was beautiful to see him connect on such a level. My son, Travis, would lay in the middle of the playpen and love up all the puppies one after another!
It was such a joy connecting with the families that adopted Grace’s puppies. A puppy touches a life by bringing such joy and love to a family. My heart overflowed witnessing their eyes lighting up as they picked out and adopted their new puppy. I felt like my small random act of kindness had a profound impact on the families that were blessed with a new furry family member.
One of the families that adopted a puppy lost their teenage son to suicide just last year. They wanted to get a puppy for their eight-year-old son who was grieving the loss of his big brother. The puppy helped them focus on something good and distracted them even for a moment from the pain they are enduring. For me, meeting this family awed me. It demonstrated the strength and fortitude a person can have. Despite whatever life hands us we can persevere and find the courage to continue to express and experience love and care for one another.
I planned a “Grace and her 9 Puppies” reunion at the dog park a few months after they were adopted. Seeing the puppies having gotten so big and watching them play together once again was exciting. Having these random families linked together through my pet project was uplifting. Everyone mingled and I soaked up all the puppy love. Grace, being so sensitive, stood to the side, nervous to be around so many people and dogs. She’s still in the healing process. Makes me realize that it takes time, patience and tenderness to heal. We all can most certainly heal from just about anything but it is a process that shouldn’t be minimized or taken for granted.
I basked in seeing all the hard work that resulted in these happy children and families that have a puppy friend. Best of all I have made all of these new friends myself that I now have an opportunity to connect with and inquire on how my puppies are doing. I’m going to plan a few more get-togethers so I can watch the puppies grow up.
By the grace of God, Grace brought amazing grace back into my life. I, of course adopted her for myself. She has taught me the gift of unconditional love, taking risks, and opening my heart wider than I ever knew was possible. My mantra is to live my life blessed with ease and grace in all that I do, it doesn’t need to be difficult, now does it?!
Please guide me on my path. May my choices be in the divine flow and in alignment with my highest good and greatest joy. Bless me with clarity and clear direction on my journey. I choose to live my life in accordance with ease and grace so that all my thoughts, actions and reactions are inspired by You. Show me how I can fulfill my life purpose and manifest the vision I dream of for my life. I release my fears, doubts, and insecurities so that I am a clear channel for your amazing divine grace. I want nothing to interfere with creating a life of magnificence and glory.
Thank you for your ever-abiding presence.
And so it is.