She was born deformed, missing legs. Her mother tried to smother her shortly after birth. But she was rescued and adopted into a loving home. With love she flourished. With sheer tenacity she learned to walk. And today she inspires the men and women in uniform. Hope is her name. And that is precisely what she spreads.

Oh- did I mention- she’s a dog.

My daily prowls through the Internet take me to some interesting places and “introduce” me to fascinating people. Today, though, my hunt for inspiration ended when I found this story:

Animal lover or not (And if you’re not, maybe this will convert you) I dare you not to be touched by Hope’s story. How many times have we all found ourselves throwing up our hands in defeat, waving that white flag, and deciding we “can’t” do something? It’s a natural tendency and in some instances it is in fact the best determination. Some things are simply not possible. Some people need to be walked away from and some challenges are not worth the cost or risk to yourself or others. But I’m not talking about those. I’m talking about the ones that are possible. The challenges that can be faced and the battles that can be won. The ones where the difference between triumph and defeat is in your belief- ever hear of the self-fulfilling prophesy? Hope must have.

I can’t remember which Psych class I was in the first time I heard of this prophesy but at least the concept stuck. I’ve found it’s even applicable in some form in the battles that cannot be won. How I handle those situations, those losses and struggles, determines how I will recover from them: being widowed, being injured, heartbroken, my roof caving in or my dog dying- all things I had no control over but how I tackled those struggles was up to me. Sometimes I did so with strength and some measure of grace. Others… not so much. I wish I’d seen Hope’s story long ago.

Hope didn’t know she wasn’t supposed to be able to walk. She knew only that she wanted to. So she did. Simple as that. The parts she is missing will always be missing. But what’s left of her adapted and grew stronger to overcome the weakness. In the end she’s not only found her feet but she lights the journey for so many in the dark times of new loss or caught in fear’s grasp.

There should be more Hope in this world.

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Barb Allen

Barb Allen

Barb Allen is all about resilience, patriotism, and the American Dream. She’s an author who has turned her own life’s tragedies and traumas into a best- selling book. She’s an expert at finding humor, blessings, and opportunity in both personal and professional adversities and she loves helping people build their own American Dream. Barb's husband, Lt Louis Allen, was killed in Iraq in 2005, along with the Commanding Officer. SSG Alberto Martinez was arrested and tried for their murders. He was acquitted after pleading guilty. This compounded tragedy sent Barb into a 10 year tailspin. Today she is stronger for her experiences and loves leading others through their own adversity. Her keynote talks reach audiences at their cores, and her books both entertain and move her readers. Barb and her fiance founded The Great American Syndicate, a patriotic platform featuring a community, podcasts, workshops, and live events.

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