When we found her she was a scared little thing, hungry and lonely. After time, her fear gave way to peace and she began loving us unreservedly. Today, she is still dreadfully timid, but quick to welcome and smother us with licks and wags of her tail.
They were all much the same.
There were six of them, from all over the neighborhood. Each happened to be equally broken: two were abused, two abandoned, one with stories your heart does not want to hear, and another with a face full of scars telling of a vicious attack.
As I watched them gathered, leaning over her as she lay craving their warmth, my heart stopped.
They crouched in the grass to pet this soft, golden dog: slowly, gently, caring with the same touch that they longed for. You could almost tangibly feel the vulnerability, hope, and cautious yearning for restoration.
It was reciprocal.
She offered unconditional affection and protection. They offered the gentleness only the hurt can dream.
It was the broken healing the broken.
Love given. Love received.