“Danielle keeps repeating it over and
over again. We've been back to this animal shelter at least five times. It
has been weeks now since we started all of this," the mother told the
"What is it she keeps
asking for?" the volunteer asked.
"Puppy size!" replied
"Well, we have plenty of
puppies, if that's what she's looking for."
"I know...we have seen
most of them," the mom said in frustration.
Just then Danielle came
walking into the office
"Well, did you find
one?" asked her mom. "No, not this time," Danielle said with sadness in her
voice. "Can we come back on the weekend?"
The two women looked at
each other, shook their heads and laughed
"You never know when we
will get more dogs. Unfortunately, there's always a supply," the volunteer
Danielle took her mother
by the hand and headed to the door. "Don't worry, I'll find one this
weekend," she said.
Over the next few days
both mom and dad had long conversations with her.
They both felt she was
being too particular. "It's this weekend or we're not looking any more," Dad
finally said in frustration.
"We don't want to hear
anything more about puppy size either," Mom added.
Sure enough, they were
the first ones in the shelter on Saturday morning. By now Danielle knew her
way around, so she ran right for the section that housed the smaller dogs.
Tired of the routine,
mom sat in the small waiting room at the end of the first row of cages.
There was an observation window so you could see the animals during times
when visitors weren't permitted.
Danielle walked slowly
from cage to cage, kneeling periodically to take a closer look. One by one
the dogs were brought out and she held each one.
One by one she said,
"Sorry, you 're not the one."
It was the last cage on
this last day in search of the perfect pup.
The volunteer opened the
cage door and the child carefully picked up the dog and held it closely.
This time she took a little longer.
"Mom, that's it! I found
the right puppy! He's the one! I know it!" she screamed with joy. "It's the
"But it's the same size
as all the other puppies you held over the last few weeks," Mom said.
"No not size ---- the
sighs. When I held him in my arms, he sighed," she said. "Don't you
remember? When I asked you one day what love is, you told me love depends on
the sighs of your heart. The more you love, the bigger the sigh!"
The two women looked at
each other for a moment. Mom didn't know whether to laugh or cry. As she
stooped down to hug the child, she did a little of both.
"Mom, every time you
hold me, I sigh. When you and Daddy come home from work and hug each other,
you both sigh. I knew I would find the right puppy if it sighed when I held
it in my arms," she said. Then holding the puppy up close to her face she
said, "Mom, he loves me. I heard the sighs of his heart!"
Close your eyes for a
moment and think about the love that makes you sigh. I not only find it in
the arms of my loved ones, but in the caress of a sunset, the kiss of the
moonlight and the gentle brush of cool air on a hot day.
They are the sighs of
God. Take the time to stop and listen; you will be surprised at what you
hear. "Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that
take our breath away."