Welcome to the second installment of Share Your Stories, a new collaborative book project in which you’re invited to partake! Share Your Stories presents an exciting opportunity for you to let your experiences be heard and contribute to an upcoming Redleaf Press book.
Holly Elissa Bruno, MA, JD—an author, international keynote speaker, attorney, and radio host—is working on an interactive book on second chances. She’s looking for your input, your thoughts, and your stories.
After reading what Holly Elissa has written below, we encourage you to respond to the questions presented. Then, please keep checking back for more from Holly Elissa. This is an ongoing project, so we’ll alert you to new posts via Facebook and Twitter. You can also sign up to receive notifications of new posts by entering your email address under the “Follow Along” heading in the right-hand column of this screen. We invite you to share as often and openly as you want. Your comments will provide Holly Elissa with unique insight as she writes the book, and she looks forward to continuing the conversation after the book is published.
What difference would it make if you gave someone, including yourself, a second chance?
Shelby the Rescue Dog Rescues Back
Right now, in a school in rural South Carolina, North Carolina, or Georgia, a dog once abandoned, beaten, or neglected, is using her second chance to rescue a hurting child.
Picture Shelby prancing beside her trainer through the front door of a school and, in a heartbeat, intuitively selecting a child.
The child Shelby selects may act as if she is “just fine,” or he may be a cocky bully or a child emotionally isolated from others. Just as Shelby was hurled to the side of the road, the child she chooses—regardless of appearance—has in some way been abandoned, beaten, or neglected. Shelby senses a fellow traveler.
Shelby will figure out just the right way to connect with the child: Does resting her furry brown head on the child’s lap thaw the child’s icy shield? Do Shelby’s imploring amber eyes see through the child’s defenses to his wounded heart? Or does Shelby’s 100 percent wagging body, offering the child 100 percent unconditional love, forge the connection?
Adele Little, educator and dog expert, describes this moment as Shelby “loving on” the child until the child cannot hold back from petting the adoring dog. In that moment, the dog with the second chance soothes the wounded spirit of the child who needs a second chance. In that moment of wonder, a healing connection is forged.
I believe your experience with a second chance could uplift the rest of us.
- Can you share a time when you, like Shelby, gave another person or yourself a second chance?
- Do you know a child who needs Shelby?
- Can you picture the easing of the child’s tense exterior when Shelby selects the child?
- Can you also picture Shelby ambling your way?
- How would your soul be eased if you gave yourself a second chance?
Fred Rogers could answer these questions. He reminds us: The toughest thing to do is to forgive the person who has hurt you, especially if that person is yourself.
Thank you so much for reading. If you’re feeling inspired, please do share your stories here. I’m looking forward to hearing from you and, perhaps, including your contribution in my book!
Let the mutual wagging begin!
BY LEAVING A COMMENT, I hereby give my permission to Redleaf Press to use my story and quote me (all names will be changed) in Holly Elissa Bruno’s upcoming book on second chances, including in all revised editions of the book, in all formats (including print and electronic) now known or developed in the future, in all languages and territories, and in any other subsidiary editions of the book, and in promotional materials published by Redleaf Press, as it sees fit.