by Jude Stringfellow
An amazing story – what can be achieved with perseverance, patience, love and faith!
Faith Stringfellow is an amazing little dog, with an even more amazing story. Faith suffered from a birth defect, she became a member of our family when she was just a three-week old puppy.
My son Reuben (17) picked Faith out of a litter of puppies that his friend's dog had recently given birth to on Christmas Eve, 2002. Several of the puppies were deformed; a few had already died. The mother dog was actually trying to terminate Faith's life when Reuben lifted her weak body out from under the mother dog; he brought her home to me knowing I had a heart like a marshmallow.
Even though Faith has this defect we taught her to stand, hop, and eventually walk on her two back legs, like a human. She's been a great dog and we forget she's handicapped. You'll turn around and she's chasing the geese at the park, running, jumping, skipping, and acting like any other dog…well, any other dog with a nose reach of 40″ from the ground! (watch your plate, she'll clean it for you before you're ready to share.)
I'm going to tell you a little story about Faith that you may find quite interesting. I couldn't get Faith interested in toys when she was a little puppy. She didn't want to play fetch obviously, but she also didn't want to chew on squeaky toys. She looked at them. She would sit there and watch me throw a little toy in the air – often times I would throw the really soft ones at her to see if she would catch it – she didn't. It just hit her in the face! Then she would stare at me as if I was the bad-guy.
One day I was doing laundry and some of the warm socks feel off the top of the basket – she grabbed it! After she grabbed the roll of socks she hopped under the bed with it. When I reached under the bed to retrieve the clean rolled up pair of socks I found she had been stealing our socks for quite some time! She had an entire nest of socks under the bed. FINALLY I found something she was interested in. When I encouraged Faith to play with Matrix all it took was to take one of her socks from under the bed and give it to Matrix to play tug-of-war with – – that was all she needed.
She began playing hard and she never let up. She could stand up really tall and take the sock back when she wanted to, so Matrix began taking out her legs. Faith realized early that she only had two legs to use – and she began hopping backwards to get away from Matrix. This began a series of training behaviors that absolutely stunned the professionals. Faith can (if she wants to) hop backward, forward, straight up, and even over the dog – but I stress – IF she wants to. I can't make her do anything – we call her the “Diva” sometimes.
With Faith every day is a new adventure – she has always been ready for traveling, touring, meeting people, visiting hospitals, going on stage, or just hanging out under the bed all day. She's as normal as any other dog when it comes to being in her “cave” for protection – – the difference between Faith and other dogs is she actually looks forward to flying, driving, traveling around and being in the limelight. She sees a big camera and she thinks it was put there for her…she's actually walked into weddings because she heard the music and the people clapping. You can bet she stuck around for the food at the reception and that's one bride's maid that will never be forgotten in King of Prussia, PA!
I've written a book about our life struggles and how Faith helped us, and another strictly about Faith: “With a Little Faith” (2nd Ed.) and “Faith Alone: Stories of an Amazing Dog.” (Just a note: With a Little Faith is for persons over the age of 14.) Thank you so much for loving my little dog and for sharing her miraculous story with all of your friends. She really is a gift, and I am very blessed by Jesus to have her.
This story was emailed to me by a dear, departed Friend on Nov. 14, 2010. Lisa Brown was a light to everyone who knew her, and she added this note at the bottom of the story…
|In life there are always undesirable things, so in order to feel better you just need to look at life from another direction. |
I hope this message will bring fresh new ways of thinking to everyone and that everyone will appreciate and be thankful for each beautiful day.
Faith is the continual demonstration of the strength and wonder of life.
Lisa's request: Please keep this story circulating for me. So, I put it up at my site, Inspire21, and ask you to send this to someone special for Ms Lisa.
“Love doesn't make the world go 'round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile. The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have. Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass…It's about learning to dance in the rain.”