We decided to take the day off to play in the snow. We don’t get a lot of snowy days, at least not here, but about a 2 hour drive away. So, we told the kids the night before and they were super-excited.
We left early in the morning and watched the landscape transform from rich sunny green to white crisp snow, blue skies the whole way. One boy said, oh it’s not that cold – that is until he stepped out and played for a while.
We sank into thigh high drifts, drudged across rocks and slopes and threw lots of snowballs. We all got that bright eye, shiny cheek sheen and it was pure bliss.
After some serious play, chasing, throwing, slipping and sliding we shivered back to the car. A flask of hot tea, sandwiches and dry clothes.
We set off exploring.
There was a frozen lake not far away. We took the wrong turn and found ourselves driving down a one way narrow road with snow in every direction, not much else. It was remote, cold and a little eery – high up in the mountains, far from the nearest village.
That’s when it happened.
Across the white field a little head popped up, a splotch of black bobbing up and down. I yelled out, oh, what’s that? It was a tiny puppy. Stepping and sinking across the sea of snow. We stopped the car, opened the door and she slowly made her way over. Her little feet were bright red and frozen. She was shivering.
We took her in, wrapped her up tight and began to wonder what to do. We went to the nearest place open, a restaurant and asked if they new where she might be from, how she got lost, where there are puppies in the area.
They shrugged, not interested, didn’t care. We thought if we leave her here, someone’s bound to take her, right?
We already have a dog.
Maybe she’s sick, she was so skinny.
Maybe she’d die.
We couldn’t leave her. We took her home. For four days she was ours.
In that time we nursed her, we held her, we fed her and cleaned up after her.
She thrived. She followed us around, snuggled up to us, slept on shoulders, knees and in front of the fire. Her coat became more shiny, her body less boney.
And luckily we found her a home. We had to say goodbye to her and we realized we had come to love her.
It was such an unexpected gift. The gift of saving a life or maybe a few. Literally, the life of the puppy who would not have survived much longer in the snow.
And perhaps the lives (or hearts) of all those who get to love her as she grows up (us included!).
It would have been easier to not get involved.
To have left her at that place in the hope that someone would have taken her in.
It would have been easier to look away and pretend we didn’t see.
But instead she gave us the opportunity to do the right thing, to just take care of her.
It was our gift. And a gift to the children. A memory for life. A moment the family stepped in together to do something brave.
We had such a special day in the snow.
When have you been surprised by a gift? Share it here.