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This picture changed my life. Three years ago, I sat down at my desk in my home office and opened up Facebook. This picture was one of the first things that I saw that morning. September 29th.

The instant I saw it, I knew. I just KNEW. There wasn’t any thinking or second guessing. I saw the picture and I just knew that she was meant to be mine. I immediately called Ray…and heard his phone ring. He left his phone at home! The first and only time in Ray Murphy’s life that he didn’t have his phone glued at his side just so happened to be this morning. I was frantic. We had to get to the rescue organization as soon as possible! It seemed to take forever for him to get home.

Turns out Ray doesn’t live with his head in the clouds like I tend to, and wasn’t nearly as enthralled (at first). We had four cats at that time (yes, FOUR)…what about them? Much like my view on most things in life, I just truly believed that it would all work out. I finally convinced him to just go an have a look.

When we arrived at PAWS Atlanta, there were loads of volunteers and it was fairly chaotic. Two of the German Shepherd puppies had already been adopted out and the other one was out back somewhere, so we were given the opportunity to take one of them on a walk until they could find the other. We walked her, but within the first minute or so, we knew that this wasn’t a fit. My heart sank…

And then we saw her. The one. The one that made me literally levitate out of my chair with excitement when I saw the photo on Facebook. She was sitting with an older woman on a bench off the trail we were walking on. We traded dogs with her and Ray began walking her. Her name was “Sporty,” and I will never forget that moment. I watched from behind as Ray walked Sporty, it was just right.

If you have never had an animal or rescued an animal…there’s a spark of magic that just happens. It nothing that you think…it’s something that you feel deep inside. It’s like life’s random, scattered dots all of the sudden just line up and connect and it all makes sense. There’s a connection that there’s no denying.

And this was it.

Ray, being entirely more logical than I am, put up a few good arguments as to why it wasn’t the best idea in the world. You know, four cats, the fact that we had nothing ready for a dog at home, OH…and we were going on a 2 week vacation in a little over a month. Whatever…tiny details, I say. He finally caved, “let’s see what happens.”

Sporty became Luna and Luna has become my best friend. My confidant. My rock. She’s taught me patience. Awareness. Laughter at the little things. That a walk in the rain is just as much fun, and equally as important, as one in the sun.

She would sense one of our cat’s seizures and come running from across the room to try to stop them. She would lick Lucy’s head when she was having her seizures…doing her best to console and comfort. We had to put Lucy down a few months back and Luna still looks for her under the blankets where Lucy used to lay.

And when we went to the breeder to pick up Nero, Luna sat under a tree and just watched as we picked out Nero (well, he picked us out) and as we carried him out. The breeder cautioned us about bringing the puppy to her, but Luna sat patiently. She just knew. She became a mom that day too. From the moment she met him, she took Nero on as her own. The first night at home with a new puppy is notoriously a bad one for humans. Luna let Nero cuddle with her that night…he slept the whole night through. I’m positive she didn’t sleep a wink.

With every ounce of my being, I know Luna was meant to come into our lives. Without her, we would not be where we are today. Saying that I’m grateful just doesn’t seem to even come close to how I feel.

Happy three year anniversary to my sweet, old soul, Luna. My girl. My best friend. I love you more than written words can ever express.

(Luna is the puppy on the far left, smiling, in her goofy play stance.)