As we were coming home from a long transport one evening, we had the radio tuned to a Christian station that happened to be airing a special program remembering the tragedy of 9/11. The guest speaker for the evening was Jim Jenkins, a Navy Chaplain that was called to work at the site of the tragedy. Deeply impacted by what he experienced there, he related numerous stories of his time spent in the rubble and the nightmare that seemingly would never end. It would be pointless for me to attempt to repeat his stories for they were powerful and heartbreaking accounts of those who had lost loved ones, of those found alive, of body parts that were preserved so that they could be identified. Stories of shock, desperation, grief and despair but as each was told by this Chaplain, you could feel the power of the Almighty in his words, knowing that HIS hand had been upon those who were there at Ground Zero. We were immediately drawn into the program by the sincerity of the Chaplain, with his emotionally charged stories of a time that should never have happened and will never be forgotten.
One of the most powerful messages from the Chaplain came when he began to speak of the dogs that were at Ground Zero and described in detail how magnificently brilliant and intuitive these dogs were. One such dog was Uno, who sought him out to comfort him when he could go no farther, when he had seen, heard, and smelled so much death that he himself was near to a breakdown. This German Shepherd who was officially on duty at the time sought him out to render comfort and encouragement simply because he knew the Chaplain needed him.
Story after story of how these dogs put themselves in danger to go where the first responders could not go. Without these magnificent animals, many would have not been found in the rubble as there was no way to search for them without collapsing the ground onto them farther. But the dogs found them --- one by one--- and either got the people to safety or led rescuers to them. One trainer remarked during the broadcast that from afar they could tell when their dogs found a living being or a body part/departed soul. She explained that dog’s faces are equipped with all the muscles needed to smile or frown and that they were able to express sadness or joy much like humans. From a distance, they could tell if the dog was rejoicing over a live find or grieving over another death. So if you ever wondered if your dog was truly smiling at you, now you know.
Amazing……. The Chaplain told a story of a young man that was at Ground Zero with the families that had missing loved ones. The young man was apparently in shock, never spoke, stared expressionless into space. The Chaplain at one time described him as being stiff and walking almost as if he were made of cardboard. It seems they were all very concerned for this young man and, hoping to reach him to comfort him, they took him on a ferry ride out around the site with the other families who were in mourning. The young man still did not speak and remained emotionless as they viewed the rubble together. As he sat in rigid form on the ferry ride back, staring blankly, a Golden Retriever approached him and sat at his feet and eventually lay his head in the young man’s lap. The dog sat there, head in his lap with big eyes focused upward on the young man’s face. Still staring into space, the Chaplain saw the man’s fingers touch the dog’s hair and then slowly his entire hand rested upon the dog’s head. Then the tears began to flow and through them he shared with the Chaplain his fiancé was in the rubble and they were to have been married in a week. As the tears flowed, his hand never left the dog’s hair and the dog stayed still except to move a bit closer to the young man as if to comfort him more. The Chaplain told the story in an effort to share the intuitive nature of dogs and the desire they have to please, comfort, and bless mankind. We were held in awe, knowing only too well of that which he spoke, that dogs were created different from other animals, that those four-legged beings have souls, and many of them might well be angels unaware.
As we pondered the message, feeling a kinship with this Chaplain, the Christian radio host broke in with the last words of the broadcast. She said, and I will never forget, “Isn’t it something. God can even use a dog if He wants to.” Joey and I exchanged looks and both of us knew she did not understand at all. It isn’t that God CAN use a dog, of course He can. He could use anything he chose to use yet he created these beautiful, soulful creatures to be with us all the time, to be our friends, our companions, our comfort, our helpmeets. No, the Chaplain understood completely but the host herself had not understood the truth in what he spoke! You could hear the disappointment in the Chaplain's voice as the program closed, knowing she did not understand why GOD MADE A DOG.
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” Hebrews 13:2
I am thankful for every single angel he has sent my way.
On September 11th, 2001, Jim Jenkins woke up to the nightmare that was 9/11. A few days later, he was headed for Ground Zero in his official capacity as a US Navy Chaplain. Deeply affected by what he experienced there, Jim has decided to share his story with the world as we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
Through his encounters with the victims’ families, political leaders like Rudy Giuliani, and celebrities like Elton John, Jim saw God show up in very unique and amazing ways during his time serving at Ground Zero.
And on the 9th Day
God looked down on his wide eyed children and said they need a companion
So God made a Dog
God said I need somebody to wake up and give kisses, pee on a tree, sleep all day, wake up again, give more kisses, and then stay up till midnight basking in the glow of the television set.
So God made a Dog
God said I need somebody willing to sit, then stay, then roll over then with no ego or complaint dress in hats they do not need and costumes they do not understand. I need somebody who can break wind without a first thought or second thought. Who can chase tails, sniff crotches, fetch sticks and lift spirits with a lick. Somebody no matter what you didn’t do, or couldn’t take, or didn’t win, or couldn’t make will love you without judgment just the same.
So God made a Dog
God said I need somebody strong enough to pull sleds and find bombs, yet gentle enough to love babies and lead the blind. Somebody who will spend all day on a couch with the resting head and supportive eyes to lift the spirits of a broken heart.
So God made a Dog
It had to be somebody who would remain patient and loyal even thru loneliness. Somebody to care, cuddle, snuggle and nuzzle, and cheer and charm and snore and slobber and eat the trash and chase the squirrels. Somebody who would bring a family together with selflessness of an open heart. Somebody who would bark, and then pant, and then reply with the rapid wag of tail when their best friend says lets go for a ride in the car.
So God made a Dog
God said I need somebody who would stand at your side when the world around you collapses. Somebody to lie next to you during the long nights of pain and sorrow when it hurts to move, or talk, or think, or be. Somebody to stand guard, play games, snore for hours, and repeat as needed. Somebody to give you strength when you have none of your own. Somebody to fight when you have no fight left, to hold onto your soul as if it were their favorite toy, playing tug of war to keep you in this world. Somebody to be your companion and guide in this world and the next. Somebody to wait for you on the other side or stand guard in your absence until they can join you for eternity.
So God made a Dog
"Battlefield Sallie," a brindle Staffordshire Bull Terrier, was the regimental mascot for the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Given to 1st Lt William R. Terry as a four-week old puppy, Sallie grew up among the men of the regiment. Sallie followed the men on marches and to the battlefield. At the Battle of Gettysburg, the dog got separated from the unit. Unable to find her way, Sallie returned to the Union battle line at Oak Ridge, where she stood guard over the dead and wounded. The dog continued her faithful service through February, 1865, when she was struck by a bullet to her head in the battle of Hatcher's Run, Virginia. She was buried on the field of battle. For her devotion to the men, Sallie is memorialized at the 11th Pennsylvania monument erected at Gettysburg.
Because of his remarkable loyalty, Hachikō is a national hero in Japan – and in our hearts. Hundreds of people flock to his statue every day at Shibuya Train Station in Tokyo, to capture a photo with the beloved Akita and bask in his pure and loving light.
The dog. through his incredible loyalty to his deceased master, changed the world for many homeless dogs. Click the link to read his remarkable story. Watch the movie with a box of tissues.
Corporal Megan Leavey grew up in Valley Cottage, NY. After the tragic events of 9/11, she left college and joined the Marines. She attended boot camp at Parris Island, SC and underwent a further year of training, including Marine Combat, Military Police, and K9 training. CPL Leavey was stationed in Camp Pendleton, CA as part of the Military Police K9 section and was partnered with a Military Working Dog named Rex.
Another great one based on a true story. Get your box of tissues ready!
Sara Gold is a rising star at the United Animal Protection Agency (UAPA), a major animal rights organization that conducts animal rescues and lobbies for better animal welfare laws. Handpicked for a major assignment, Sara goes undercover as a college intern to infiltrate a suspected "puppy mill" run by the enigmatic Daniel Holloway.
While you watch this one, based on a true story, think about why you should support the little rescues in your area. Put your money where the heart really is!
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