Lenny was seated amid piles of trash, with swarms of strangely peaceful insects hovering nearby. They might have been searching for small gifts for their children back home while scavenging.
“Unlike me, they’ll truly succeed in bringing anything home for their children.”
Lenny began stumbling through the junk to the other side of the nearby landfill after picking up the mound of trash with his greasy, blackened gloves.
A slight, sharp squeal startled him back to caution just as he was about to drop the mound carelessly.
It was a pup. It had been lurking beneath an old cardboard sheet and staring at Lenny directly.
“Just let it be, Lenny. It’s becoming late for us. You do not want to lose this job either, do you?”
His buddy had it right. Losing this work was not an option for him. not with the growing medical debt at home. Especially not after what had occurred the last time.
Lenny briefly considered setting the dog back down. However, he could not release the tiny, whimpering baby in his arms. He carried him on and took another quick look around.
“Daddy! What is inside this box?”
Janet made a concerted effort not to open it before getting her father’s approval. While preparing dinner in the kitchen, Janet’s mother kept an eye out for Janet.
“That is a late birthday gift for you, baby.”
May I open it? Janet was proud of herself for remembering to use the word “may” rather than “can,” as Lenny had instructed her to do the day before.
She was stopped by Lenny’s smile. “First three guesses!”
It’s a teddy bear, right? Janet said while checking the box.
“Nope. Much better.”
“A dollhouse?” When Janet thought back to her seventh birthday wish, her face brightened up.
“No, dear. Even better! Why don’t you look a little closer?”
Janet leaned down and heard some weird whimpers. She also caught a glimpse of movement through the box’s tiny opening.
“It’s a pup!” When Janet popped the container, she lifted the tiny creature and stroked its face with her cheek.
“Daddy, you have given me the best birthday present ever. I’m really grateful, thank you so much!”
Your generosity will always be returned to you in kind.
Watching Janet happy was a bright spot for Lenny amid the difficult fight to find stable work, make ends meet, and take care of Janet’s medical needs.
On one such day, Janet’s mother was at the grocery store working. While Janet and Jimmy played hide and seek, Lenny, who was at home, slept on the porch.
Jimmy suddenly began barking nonstop. This bark was not lovely. He wasn’t making fun of Janet or getting upset with her attention to him.
Why does he keep giving me and then Janet that same look? Lenny was curious. Was he attempting to say something?
Something awful happened in a matter of seconds. Janet fell to the ground and began shaking.
Janet was taken to the hospital right away after Lenny called a coworker.
The doctor on duty was making notes.
“Yes, doctor. Could that have caused the seizure?”
If it had, Lenny had already decided to give the dog to a shelter. Even though she would be devastated to lose Jimmy, he couldn’t risk Janet suffering through something so traumatic again.
Quite the opposite, I believe your dog may have helped save your daughter’s life.
“Jimmy seems to be a dog on seizure alert. Dogs like him are naturally adept at seeing the first indications of an impending seizure, and barking serves as a means of alerting the owner to this.”
“Watch out for it happening again. Right up to Janet’s fall, Jimmy will be attempting to grab your attention.”
“I love you, my little friend. I apologize if I ever yell at you. Sorry I don’t give you enough hugs. In really, I hadn’t intended to bring you home that day. There is, however, always God’s plan. And now I am aware that you are involved.”
In the years that followed, Jimmy and Janet learned lessons about love, kindness, communication, and caring from one another as they grew up.
And Lenny never failed to express his gratitude for the angel dressed in fur.