Two years ago, everything came to a stop for me. I failed my first year of college, my grandmother was killed, some of my most invaluable possessions stolen by my best friends, and I was not on any medication for my bipolar disorder. For a year I was lost and constantly thinking of suicide, attempting it twice.
My lesson came in four-legged form; specifically that of two completely different dogs, Spike and Dexter.
Spike was an American Pit Bull Terrier. I was warned about him; he was vicious, horrible on walks, and very dangerous. He was only a year old, a rescued fighting dog with a permanent scar across his neck. When I met him, he lunged at the cage and snarled at me, trying to drive me away. I sat down in front of his cage, letting him do whatever he wished. It took 30 minutes for him to sit down next to me, and instantly I knew I had to take him for a walk. He walked beside me; he looked to me for guidance, though he was still cautious. But he was hopeful. And he trusted me. When I went back the next week, he was gone. I can only hope he was adopted.
Dexter is a Basset Hound/Weimaraner mix who spent the first eight months of his life in a dirty shed, being kicked around and getting barely any food or water. He has a floating rib and a large surgical scar, likely from internal damage due to the beatings he received. A friend of mine was fostering him. I was the first stranger he ever met. It took him three days to get used to me; it took him almost a year to stop growling and snapping when someone pet him. It took a lot of work patience, time and accidents to rehabilitate Dexter, and he paid it back in full when he saved the life of her other dog, Toby. Today Dexter is an official member of the family, and though he still doesn’t get some things, he’s a completely different dog now than he was the first time I met him.
Last year, two of my former friends approached me for forgiveness. At the time, I wasn’t sure what to do. I was honestly scared, I’d been betrayed so many times before, and the more paranoid part of me insisted that they were setting me up for another fall. But, then I remembered Spike and Dexter. They had been through so much more than I, and be it in the span of 30 minutes or a full year, both had forgiven and forgotten. They took a chance. If they could learn to trust again, so could I.
I am happy to report that though I’m still struggling with my disorder, I have forgiven all past grievances and now have an even stronger bond with my friends. In the end, forgiveness sets everyone free and trust paves the way for love.
Submitted by Anonymous
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