Mysterious Ways

By on 11 July, 2017 in Lynne Burford, Pets with 1 Comment

We all know the adage “God works in mysterious ways”. As a rescue director and animal lover from birth, I see God’s hand in so many situations. Sometimes a pet is the one thing that keeps a person from giving up. Sometimes a pet provides security, and sometimes, a pet is the catalyst for a new friendship. This is a story about loss and sadness and starting over, and love.

My daughter lost her dog to a brain tumor three years ago. Having never been without a dog, she decided to reach out to the Boston Terrier rescue in Birmingham with an offer to foster a dog. The dog who needed her was Molly. Molly was a senior-ish girl whose family had been sent to Ghana, Africa as missionaries. It has been terribly difficult for them to give her up, but at her age they knew she would not survive the vaccine regimen and 26 hour trip, or life in a “third world” country. They had a younger dog who provided emotional support that they took on the trip. Molly fit in immediately. She soon became a permanent family member, and welcomed a little sister Boston, Rosie, not long after being adopted.

Last October, my daughter’s house was broken into while we were at the fair. The back door was kicked in, and although Rosie was still in the house, Molly was gone. We put up flyers everywhere, called the shelter, posted on social media, did everything we could think of. Her flyer was shared on Facebook a thousand times. One of those shares found its way to a laptop in Ghana.

One morning I got a Facebook message from a young woman named Danni, a missionary in Africa. She said someone had shared a flyer with her with the photo of a Boston named Molly. She said her family had surrendered their Boston named Molly to rescue when they left the US. The rescue was a Birmingham Boston Terrier. Yes, this was the same Molly! We messaged back and forth, learned that her support dog, a pug, had died 5 months after they arrived in Ghana, and that her heart was broken. And now she was worried about the dog they had to give up in order to save her life.

The flyers worked. Molly was found a couple days later and reunited with Rosie and my daughter. We were grateful and happy and relieved. And we were in touch with Danni so that she saw Molly was safe. The power of Facebook!

Fast forward to last month – Danni messaged me that she was coming back to the US. She did not know where she would end up living, as she was divorcing and would be starting over with only 2 suitcases of clothing. She was in constant prayer that the right job for a nurse would present itself in Alabama. And it did – in Wetumpka! We were so excited to be able to meet this precious woman!

A few weeks ago, we all met. The reunion with Molly was sweet. But Molly now has medical issues and Danni did not want to remove her from her new home, where she has been loved and cared for the last two years. Danni wanted to settle in her new house, acclimate to her new job, and asked me to help find another dog like the one she lost in Africa. A pug.

And this is where the God part comes in. Just the day before, I had been asked to help find an appropriate home for a 2 year old female pug.

Had this family not gone to Africa, they would not have surrendered Molly. Had my daughter not opened her heart to foster a dog, we would not have had Molly. Had Molly not run off after the robbery, had we not made the flyers, had Jeb not shared the flyer with his friend in Ghana, had a job not opened up in Wetumpka… There are so many other pieces to this puzzle that all fit perfectly.

And at the end of the day, it all worked out because of a dog. And God smiled.

Lynne Burford is a lifelong animal advocate who has been rescuing since she was a little girl. From birds and snakes to raccoons and foxes, she has rehabilitated and released back into the wild many orphaned and injured creatures. For the last ten years her focus has been on fostering and volunteering with rescues to place dogs into permanent and loving homes. Aside from various sizes of foster dogs, she owns a small pack of chihuahuas.

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  1. Yup–dog is God spelled backward!

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