“A heart at peace gives life to the body.” ~ Proverbs 14:30
He arrived at the Lincoln No-Kill Shelter (LiNKS) a picture of health, groomed, shining and a tail that moved faster than a nail gun; clearly not your average stray. He looked like a guy who could run all day and still be eager to go again. He probably began life as a farm or hunting dog. The staff figured he was a recent runaway or castoff.
Nameless at first, they began calling him Affinity. He seemed to have a natural ability to read the emotions of other dogs. New arrivals dealing with fear and anxiety appeared comforted by the handsome hound. He knew just how to handle them.
Thus, placing Affinity in a new home was a cinch. Keeping him there would prove infinitely more difficult.
The third adopter was genuinely dedicated to making things work. But the precocious hound had other plans. Affinity, returned to LiNKS four times – dropped off once by a good Samaritan, twice by animal control, and finally by his adopter.
Although it broke his heart, the man feared the dog would become lost for good, injured, or even killed during one of his disappearances. So he returned the dog to LiNKS permanently.
There are many reasons why an otherwise happy dog may run away. Each new family interested in Affinity was warned of his Houdini-like escape skills.
Adoptions 5 through 9 ended similarly. By now Affinity had turned escaping into an art form. There was simply no fence too high and no screen door too strong to tame his wanderlust. The staff wondered if he was lonely, bored or suffering from separation anxiety. Maybe he’d fled in response to fear stimuli like storms, fireworks or construction in the home.
Regardless, the folks at LiNKS were done placing him for adoption.
Over time they realized Affinity was desperately trying to tell them something. As far as he was concerned, LiNKS was home.
He’d returned to where he belonged. At the dog shelter, he played with dozens of other dogs every day and got lots of good food and extra love from staff members.
Later the staff discovered that the serum from Affinity’s blood had healing properties. He donates blood every two weeks for kittens with eye infections!
There’s a perfect place for every dog in this world. For Affinity, it wasn’t a traditional home, but a No-Kill shelter helping rescue dogs and amusing rescue workers! A troublesome pooch like him may not have received so many chances at another facility. Had they given up on him, they never would’ve discovered his incredible gift for helping other dogs.
Lord, bless Affinity and all the animals on earth. May they carry out the purpose that they’ve been given and may each of them help to remind us that they’re Your creation. Help us to see all animals as gifts from You and to treat them with respect. Amen