Six years ago I was attending school in Iowa City. I had a class in the morning and worked in the afternoon. Iowa City has a large area called the Pedmall and frequently I would go eat there. I saw this small, terrified little dog running around and began praying for her. That fall I moved into a house that let me have a pet and went to the animal shelter where I found Niedlich. A few days after she came home I had a dream about the Pedmall Puppy and woke up to realize she was laying beside me. I've always believed God answered prayers, but was amazed at the answer he gave to my prayer for that little dog. I was hoping for a home for her, not realizing that I would be the one to give her that home.
The shelter estimated she was three when I adopted her. As she opened up it became evident that her first three years of life had been filled with abuse and fear. Thankfully the schedule of a student meant that I was home a lot and she didn't have to be alone very often. After finishing school I moved home with my parents (two pastors with flexible schedules who also made sure she was frequently able to be with people.) When I got married my husband and I searched for a place that would let us have a pet, but rentals are scarce in Northwest Iowa and no one would take Niedlich. My parents offered to keep her for us and my dear sweet puppy continued to have a home where she felt safe and was loved.
Unfortunately the demons from her past never completely left her. She was always afraid of strangers, especially men with sticks, and no training could remove that fear. Friday one of my parents' neighbors, a man with a cane, was visiting, and the fear overwhelmed Niedlich. The man is okay, but the injury required stitches. On Saturday we took Niedlich to the vet who helped her pass quietly, without pain and surrounded by love.
I knew that my cabled sweater was going to be far too difficult to work on this weekend so I dug in my stash and cast on a sock. This sock has helped me keep it together; knit it together really. When the emotions have overwhelmed me I have been able to focus on the needle going in, the yarn wrapping around, and the stitch coming out. This sock helped me stay calm during my final hours with Niedlich so that she too remained calm. It is at times like this that I am reminded what a gift the simple act of knitting is.
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