January 17, 2011: The Angel Dog

~ by Mary Galvano

I truly believe God’s messengers are sometimes animals. In many ways to me they are like guardian angels. I have been thinking a lot about a situation that happened to me with a very special dog and how much I have wanted to share it with all of you.

Only a few years ago, a very dear friend of mine passed away, Corella Stahl. Corella was the Music Director at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Ft. Myers, Florida, the town where I used to live and the church where I was the cantor for 15 years. Before getting a house of my own, I rented a room from Corella. Her home was always filled with music due to the many piano lessons she gave. Corella taught me the ropes of being a cantor.

Eventually, when I was 24 years old I found my own home just down the street from her. We remained close and for years I would walk down to Corella’s home and we would talk and have tea. Corella was different in many ways and had a way of making the world revolve around her, but in a fun way. She made people laugh. She was very knowledgeable in the music world of the community and had great respect for that reason.

During the last months of Corella’s passing, Ft. Myers was having a major drought. It didn’t rain for a very long time. But on the day of Corella’s funeral, which was very large, it poured like you wouldn’t believe. We got one of our famous tropical storms. Those who knew Corella said of course Corella would have it rain today of all days. That was Corella. It was a miracle in a way.

On the way home, though, something else happened. I decided to take the route by Corella’s house to my house for old times sake, although it was hard to do so. I became very nostalgic. Then, all of a sudden from Corella’s driveway I spotted a little white dog running out in the pouring rain. It was running as fast as it could, seeking shelter of some sort. The first instinct I got was Corella sent him to me. Why else would the dog be coming from her home of all homes, and the day of her funeral? The poor little dog was lost and I was chosen to find his home.

The dog started running down the middle of the street and I had to rescue him before a car hit him. So, I pulled along side him and opened my door. I will never forget the way the mangy dog looked up at me with the rain hitting him hard in the face. As if he was saying, “Please, help me.” With that, in my nice black, silk dress and shoes and pearls, I picked the wet dog up and put him in my lap.

When I got to my house my other dog didn’t know what to think of the new stranger I had brought home. The lost dog had some health issues. Luckily, I found a holistic veterinarian that takes in stray dogs and works to find the pets’ owners or new owners if the original owner is not found. She treated the dog and nursed him back to health. If the dog had not been lost maybe he wouldn’t have gotten the proper care needed.

The Vet and I put out a search for the dog’s owner and many prayers were said. We eventually found the dog’s family a few weeks later. And although I wasn’t the one to return the dog, the veterinarian said it was a wonderful reuniting!

I know Corella was smiling!

I knew this little angel dog was a message from God through Corella, saying life goes on and there are still lives to help here on Earth. I forgot my own grief for Corella through this dog. Besides, Corella always said how she has her ticket to heaven and His name is Jesus. I know she is happy to be home in heaven. But be aware of the many ways God send his messages, it could very well be that little lost dog running down the street in the rain.

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