China (the tripod Poodle) looks out the window at the horizon eagerly because her new family was waiting for her at our arrival airport in Sacramento! China was the first “special needs” passenger I had flown and flying her was a transformative experience for me. Her joy and zest for life in the way she pranced/hobbled around without regard for her perceived limitations inspired me. To her she is not limited. To her, she is not disabled- she has not “lost a limb.” To her, she exists exactly the way she is supposed to under any circumstance.
In the paraphrased words of Kim McMillen: “As I began to love myself I quit wasting time on the past and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. I live every day for TODAY. I do the things that make my heart cheer and I do them in my own way and at my own. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”. Dogs resilience comes from their innate self-love and commitment to simplifying their lives to focusing on the now. We can learn a lot from dogs.
Flight 12 - August 11, 2018, a village of volunteers on the ground and my non-profit @petrescuepilots flew China from her shelter in Orange County to her adopted family in Sacramento. China, I wish you many treats and belly rubs. May you always know love and always be smiling.