Calling it a miracle may seem a little too fanciful, unless you are a 7 year old girl named Hope and a seemingly impossible hope comes true for you a few days before Christmas.
Last spring Hope, who is my granddaughter, had to say goodbye to her dog she had known and loved all of her life. There was seldom a picture of Hope that didn't have her "Sammy girl" somewhere in it. It was a hard loss for the then 6 year old little girl. She has wished for another dog ever since.
Last week, on a cold day, a little, heartbreakingly cute guy with tan fur, a fluffy tail and no collar wandered into my daugher's yard. She brought him into the house to warm up and when Hope came home from school she immediately fell in love with him. As they were hanging "found dog" signs throughout the neighboorhood my daughter, Joanna, reminded Hope that it wan't a good idea to get too attached to a dog that wasn't yours.
They talked about how sad his owners must be that he was lost and that he probably missed them too. They called animal control and the local humane society to report the found dog.
They started calling him "Thunder". He slept in Hope's bed at night. While constantly reminding Hope that he was someone else's dog, Joanna was also having her heart stolen by Thunder. Every time the phone rang, she got a knot in her stomach thinking it was Thunder's owners calling to claim him.
After the second night Thunder was with them Hope left for school telling her mom, "I know his owners are worried, so I hope we find them. But when they come to pick him up, I wish they would just decide to let us keep him". Joanna told her that she agreed, but that just wasn't going to happen.
That day the call came while Hope was at school. The owner had seen their found dog report at the local humane society, from where she had adopted the dog just a couple of months before. When the lady came to pick him up, Joanna tearfully told her how much they had enjoyed having him there and asked if it would be okay to bring Hope over to the woman's house when she got home from school so she could tell Thunder goodbye. At that point the woman, who had another dog or two, got a little teary herself and told Joanna she thought the dog would be happier and better off in his "new home" where he would get more attention and have kids to play with him. They talked a little longer and Joanna got the woman's assurance that she wanted them to keep Thunder. I wasn't there, but I'm sure that by then Joanna was more than a little teary-eyed.
Hope came home from school to "A Christmas Miracle" and Thunder has a wonderful new forever home.