Six months ago I adopted a dog from the Animal Humane Society (the result of my Black Friday shopping!). Immediately when I saw his face on the website, I knew he belonged to me. He is an Australian Shepherd/Sheltie mix – the cutest sheepdog you’ll ever meet!

It took awhile for me to come up with the perfect name for my chosen pet. Right away my husband, Bruce, called him Floyd. After trying on five different names, I finally landed on the name Shep. My Dad had a dog named Shep when he was a kid on the farm. Turns out Bruce’s family had a dog named Shep, too. And Shep is short for shepherd, which has special meaning to me. So Shep is the name of my adorable sheepdog (although Bruce still calls him Floyd!).

Some say I rescued Shep. Truth is – Shep rescued me! Seven months ago I was laid off. This was an unexpected surprise (you know – the kind you can do without). During this difficult time, Shep showed me unconditional love when I needed it (pretty much every day), gave me hugs and kisses when I was sad (yes – dogs can hug), and sat with me on the couch to help me heel (sorry – couldn’t resist the pun!). Shep also encouraged me to exercise on our daily trips to the dog park (he is a fast runner). Thanks to Shep (and answered prayer), I am doing much better now – I am living on purpose!

As I reflected on the meaning of Shep’s name, I was reminded of a cherished portion of Scripture – Psalm 23:1-3: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.” I’m so thankful God used one of His creations to bring me peace, restoration, and fulfillment at a time when I needed it most. And He will do the same for you – all you need to do is ask!