When we picked up our Golden Retriever/Dalmatian mix puppy, Diamond, at 12-weeks-old, I kissed her on the side of her cheek and caught a sweet smell of plumeria flower! I was surprised and thought she may have just eaten something in the garden. I later learned that it was a smell that would stay with her for life. As if God had put that sweet finishing touch on her as a "party bonus" just for me.
The strong smell of plumeria blossom is still there almost sixteen years later, just above her top lip in the corner of her cheek. Having owned quite a few dogs over the years, I have never had this experience with another dog. But it’s not just the aroma that I love; it’s everything that I associate with it: contentment, memories, love, trust and safety.
It is so calming and reminds me of being a little girl and hugging my mom and drinking in the smell of her cologne and feeling safe. Diamond comes to me when she is frightened by the loud wind or pounding rain on the skylights. I love to hold her and tell her it’ll be ok, all the while she’s comforting me with her fragrance, as I stroke her.
This is the same feeling I get when hugging a struggling alcoholic when they first come into a meeting. The richness and rush of being of service while comforting them, at the same time being comforted myself by them safely arriving in recovery.
The “Who’s helping who?” of how it works, right?
And, that sweet smell of comfort.
“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11
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