Paw Prints On My Heart

I have a passion for dogs.
Filled with empathy, my compassionate heart cries out as I draw near to them, their souls sensing my love for them as they then draw near to me.
I adore big lap dogs that provide lots of affection and doggie kisses. I would spend time volunteering at an animal shelter 24/7 if I could. A love has been established for helping and loving the dogs in need.
I have a yearning inside of me, a growing desire to make a difference.
Could it be that God placed this desire in my heart for a reason? Could it be that as I put Him first and make Him my everything, He's revealed to me His love for His creations and the role He has for me, using me to fulfill His plans and make a change? Could it be that He really does place His creations, people and animals, at the right place at the right time?
I've always had a love for dogs, but never did I enjoy spending so much time with them until I began volunteering at the shelter. In fact, I originally didn't want to volunteer at a "kill" shelter, but because of age restrictive policies at the time, that was the only way to fulfill my school project. But through prayer, He revealed to my heart that that's where He wants me to go. My life, and viewpoint of shelters, has changed dramatically since.
Not only have I helped the dogs in need, but they have helped me. They have distracted me from the mess, the never-ending problems of life. But most of all, they have revealed to me the character of God.
Their love is a reflection of God's love for us. Their unconditional love for humans, their never-ending faithfulness and willing acts of obedience, shows God's purposes and act of sacrifice through Jesus. While many are hindered from seeing God's love for His creations, it has shined through His Word.

When God made the first people, Adam and Eve, He said:  
"Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." Genesis 1:26
 From the first days of creation, God created people with multiple purposes, and one of those purposes is to have authority over the animals. We are called to be the voice and to take care of the animals, as well as have the ability to decide what is best for them. He made every single creature because He saw beauty. He saw potential. Most of all, He sees beauty and potential in His best creations, humans. We as humans must decide to fulfill our dominion over the animals and take care of them, because He loves them and especially loves us. 

God's love for dogs has placed a seed of love in my heart, as His care for them was revealed through His actions with Noah and the flood.When God decided to wipe out the entire earth and the evil the human race had instituted, He asked Noah and his family, who were the only ones who obeyed and loved Him, to build an ark and take pairs of every kind of animal. If God didn't love animals, why would He decide to save them and protect them from the deadly flood? His love for animals is real, and as such a love has been placed in my heart, so it is a reflection of God's. 
Most importantly, God has revealed to me that my love for animals should not be placed higher than a love for people. Jesus commands for us to love God and love others. He has shown me that I can love others through my volunteer work by treating others kindly, helping out future adopters, and making others feel important and loved. 

Every dog I meet, every story I partake in, every move I make in and out of the shelter, a paw print from each and every dog has been laid upon my heart. While in their temporary home in a short period of life, I now realize my calling to protect, to care, and to love them until they reach their forever home. Maybe my future contains a career involving my passion for dogs, or maybe I will keep volunteering or just adopt out several dogs in the future. But most of all, I know that God cares about His creations, and His care has been revealed to me as I share in the same love. I long to make a difference, and I believe that making a difference begins with placing myself in the hands of God, keeping a close eye on the passions He has given me and surrendering to His Will, as one by one, a paw print is imprinted on my heart.

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