Kathleen, Colorado Springs

Published 10 September 2014

Father’s Day 2009

I met a Rotweiller that, some would say, could have been no one less than an angel and one family member said “No. Try GOD direct!” I had been having a particularly bad time. I had lost a job in California – through an illness. Then landed in a Spanish family of 5 kids, mom and grandmom. Grandmom spoke very little (if any) English. I would help family out with cleaning, cooking etc. in exchange for a place to live while. I continued to look for work but working in that household was a full time job in and of itself.

Living there for only a few weeks, I discovered not only the horrid conditions they were living under (place was condemned – or should have been) but how much energy it took to run the place. Mom worked 2 hours away so was rarely if ever home. And her salary alone (which wasn’t enough) was running that household. Really horrible.

I had a bout with exhaustion and needed a break. Headed for a park on the other side of town one Sunday afternoon. It had been extremely hot and this was high desert. The electricity had gone out at the place where I had been staying. I could not take one more minute. I had to get out. I found a quiet and shady area with tree to lean back on and settled down to read a book. I had rolled over onto my stomach, head propped up on a towel to read. Off in the distance on the other side of the park, a dog barking. I rolled over to see what all the ruckus was about.Kids/parents were shooing away a rather large dog barking at them. He wasn’t menacing, just barking. He finally left. I paid no more attention. A few minutes later I resumed my book – back onto my stomach. I somehow don’t hear him panting. Apparently that’s how absorbed I was in my book. No idea how long he had been here, but I rolled over only to see this rather large Black and Tan Rottie sitting at my feet. Shocked I sat up but not fast. We were eye to eye. Nose to nose. I knew not to touch him. Besides he could be rabid. Memories of Kujo popped up in my mind. Yeah – no – not going to touch.Wanted to desperately. But didn’t. Well for the first few minutes. He was out of control panting. Poor thing. I thought he needed water. Began looking for a way to give him water. I had a water bottle with me, but how would that work?

Off in the distance a bunch of boys were playing with a Frisbee. Gradually they worked their way over on to my side of the park. The Rottie never left my side. He appeared seemingly out of nowhere but he was not leaving my side. Period. Unbelievable. Boys got closer. When they were about 50 – 100 feet or so, the Rottie turned in to this fierce defender. “Yeah, you can come closer, but that’s it – that’s far enough. You have reached the boundary line now back off.” I’m telling you – his defense of me was fearless. As the boys approached, they could hear his barking. Eventually we were able to use their Frisbee to put water in so he could at least drink. The boys thought he was my dog. Imagine their surprise when they discovered he wasn’t. The boys leave. He resumes his position – by my side. He looked deep in to my eyes. It was like looking into a human’s eyes- almost. It was other-worldly. Uncanny. His words to me were felt more than heard. It was (to me) like an angel wrapping his wings around me – telling me “You are going to be okay. Look for me. I will kick some butt for you. Just watch. Stay close to me and I will defend your honor, smooth your path and not let you out of my sight.” It wasn’t a dog wanting to get to know me. It was as if he already knew me. His eyes were that intense; that loving and THAT knowing. I could barely take my eyes off of his.

Not a few short weeks later, after that meeting, the way cleared for me to return to my home state of CO where a job was waiting. No one believed me that I was returning to CO. All the anxiety of how I was going to find a place to live, how I would pay for it, how I was going to even put gas in my car and pay for car insurance much less travel 16 hours was replaced with assurance that all would go in to place. The safety and protection I had driving across the desert was unbelievable. Friends in CA were making sure I had maps and the right routes to take; food from freezer – help yourself – you need food for your trip and money- where was that going to come from? I didn’t ask. I simply told friends – I have accepted a job back in Colorado. Within a week I had $ together – enough to get me to my destination – Colorado Springs. And I paid back the friends who allowed me to borrow from them. One friend from church said “You are going to be in church before you leave, aren’t you?” “Yes.” Great – come sit beside me. I did. There on the chair she had placed $100 inside a card – and said “You just take that now – I don’t want it back. I just want you to get going. We all love you.” OMG. All my needs were met inside of a week. I had never seen anything quite like this in my life. It was nothing short of amazing. The person in charge of the state unemployment agency I had been working with told me “You can’t do this. You don’t have money. This isn’t going to work. Oh yes — did I tell you her mom was a friend of mine – from my church. Her mom invited me to stay with her (this was before I had found a job) but she and her husband brought over a truck. When they saw where I was living – they were appalled. Yep. I was too. In one evening they loaded up the truck and I was OUTTA there. All part of he plan, no? I told a friend about this dog I met. The story was / is quite something and is much much more than what I can put in here. Now in 2014 I’m trying to piece together that time frame – all by old emails and memory.

The story becomes even more amazing – when I remembered his eyes. He was a fierce dog. Wanting and able to defend my honor against anyone and anything within 100 feet of me. I did reach up and eventually pet him. We spent about only an hour or so together. He loved me so fiercely. So completely. And – was willing to die for me. Yep he died. Not in my presence. But with the “authorities” that be. Sound like anyone you know? Someone rather not of this Earth but willing to die for me – to share with the world His saving grace? I know – this isn’t the place to postalize and I’m not going to. My cousin doesn’t even believe in God and the first thing she said to me “Honey you weren’t just touched by an angel, you were touched by God direct.” Yeah – ya think? I never once thought of this dog as being a catalyst or a forerunner for me. At least not at the time. But looking back, and remembering his fierceness and his eyes – now they were something else. And I’m a cat lover. I’d never been around dogs much in my life. Cats, yes. Dogs, no. So to have this dog come up and just sit beside me and in seconds bond with me like I had never had before – holy cow. His bond was quick, fierce, and complete. Yet I did not ever have one thought inside me anywhere that believed he could have taken my nose off at a moment’s notice. The trust went that deep. It was a reassurance that – no matter what, I will defend you. I will be with you – always. Look for me. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.”

When conveying this story to my cousin (who used to be an editor), that last part had not been arrived at yet. The story in written form is so much more but written differently. She said to me: “there is a story here, but you’re not telling it. What is it? What did this dog do that you aren’t telling me.” The answer became clear only in our discussion. “That I wasn’t alone.” “YEP – exactly. Your life had been turned upside down. Look at all what was going on in your life when you met him.” I never got the connection. She did. So, yes, perhaps I had a lovely visit from some sort of angel. One of HIS direct maybe. Telling me I will get through this hurdle. I will be okay, but more importantly – I will not be alone in doing so. The path that began shortly after that could not have been more laid out before me. Friends with me – observing from their sidelines – saw it happen before them – and they were just as stunned as I was. I had longed for my state but had decided to just “bloom where I was planted.” In fact I had things in a locker in Denver that were being threatened to sell because I could no longer pay the locker fee.

I arrived back in Denver just in time to get them out. The owner of the home I stayed in for six months knew exactly how to get me here – he knew all the exact roads to take. He had no idea he was dealing with someone who gets lost between the altar and the ambo at church! Seriously, when they dolled out homing devices, I missed roll call. I could get lost going around a corner. I had never lived in Co Springs before. He was able to get me here with absolutely no getting lost along the way – whatsoever. I was able to pay for my room (in this absolutely gorgeous home that he and his wife had rented out) and then pay him more after my first paycheck. Who would do that – sight unseen? Did I tell you I suffered from vertigo. Returning that day – the 24th of July – I had vertigo on the drive over and had been having it 24/7 for a number of weeks. A friend had set the drive instructions up for me – but it would be going over Loveland pass. That sits at 10K + feet. My friend’s son-in-law (and the husband of the state unemployment agency person) called me just as I was to leave the next morning. “You have a map?” “Yes.” “You have a route?” “Yes, but it is taking me over Loveland – that I’m not too thrilled about doing.” He said “I’ll be right over.” He brought over a map, laid out an entirely different route that kept me more level – not changing elevations as much as I would be the other route. More protection. I am in awe. My cousin said – “well after all dog spelled backwards is GOD.” No argument. This coming from a non-believer. All these years later – a cousin wept at hearing my story. I’ve told it a little more in line with how she would want it to be told.

So I hope that it can be of some assistance to someone who’s visiting your website. I saw the story of Christian the Lion years ago while in CA. My birth mother (with whom I had not seen or talked to in 14 some years) had never seen or heard about Christian. She is not in the 20th century much less 21st. A friend of hers where she lives is a computer programmer. He recently gave me his address to send photos to her through him. She and I had been talking about cats as we are 3 generations of cat lovers. I told her about this site. In so doing I found THIS site. I hope she treasures this story as much as I do. Her love of cats I think is beyond even mine. So – I know she will love it. Thank you for this lovely avenue to tell you my dog story – even though I’m a cat lover.

Kathleen Colorado Springs, CO

One Comment

  1. Nancy Stephens
    Posted December 12, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Thank you John and Ace for this beautiful story and also for your understanding and patience given to Christian.

    I came across Christian’s story quite by accident and had to get the book. What a wonderful, exciting experience for all involved. The reunion brought me to tears. …God Bless.
    Nancy, Canada

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