Catching Dawn starts as a rescue story that becomes a story, within a story, within a story. There is the story of what it means to rewrite your own story as you do everything within your power to help the ones barely surviving.
And then there is the story of how the strays of the world find their belonging, their purpose, their peace.
Nested within those stories are the circular beginnings and endings where the lines blur between having rescued and having been the one most in need of saving.
When Melissa Armstrong is approached by a stranger about helping a litter of newborn puppies born to a dog living on the streets, she is quick to take on the mission. After all, how hard could it be to gather up a nursing dog and her babies?
It turns out that a highly traumatized dog is one of the hardest things anyone could ever attempt to catch. Six months of failures could have been the end of that story (and the end of those frail puppies). Instead, this book reveals how both humans and animals in desperate need helped one another rise above those initial failures.
As a young girl, Armstrong grew up feeling there was something wrong with her that made her unlovable. She felt out of place and knew great loneliness. Her inner stray could relate to the fear and lack of trust displayed by dogs that felt a need to hide and avoid the kind of pain associated with people.
While going to great lengths to catch a dog that did not want to be caught, Armstrong simultaneously found herself catching the things that had proven so elusive during her earlier years: feeling loved, being needed, and discovering the embrace of a real family.
Having been immersed in challenging dog rescue scenarios, there was much that resonated for me in these embedded stories of transformation, friendship, and healing. The writing revealed the beauty and wonder of the truest of relationships. This book reminded me to never take for granted the many gifts offered up by my animals every single day. It deepened my gratitude for how my rescue dogs have helped me rewrite my story.
There are no small promises when lives are hanging in the balance. There are no lengths too great when it comes to living out our promises. Catching Dawn inspires us to be the promise needed in this world.
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