Pet Adoption Heals Nun’s Heart

Pet Adoption Heals Nun’s Heart

Kitty Alvarado

Barbie, the Chihuahua, came into the Palm Springs Animal Shelter as a stray over a month ago.

Bonny Birch, who works at the shelter says socializing Barbie has not been easy, “She’s been terrified, she hides, she shakes, we’ve been trying so hard to work with her and get her to calm down and she just never stops shaking.” 

A few days ago, Sister Maria had to put her dog down.

“She was peacefully looking at me and I say, ‘I love you, this is just a temporary goodbye, someday I will see you again,’ you know but it was so painful,” she says in tears. 

She thought she could ease her heavy heart by visiting pets at the shelter.

But before they left she gave her caregiver a stern warning, “I just want to see the dogs, but please don’t encourage me to adopt any dog.”

But she says god had other plans.

Staff at the shelter say when Sister Maria and barbie met they connected immediately.

“We brought her in and put her in Sister Maria’s lap and she just stopped shaking, she’s almost asleep, falling asleep in her lap, it’s a miracle … it’s just a match made in heaven,” says Bonny.

But Sister Maria could not afford the fee to take barbie home so she was resigned to just come visit, but Bonny could not bear to separate the pair, “So if it’s okay with you I‘d like to sponsor the adoption.”

Sister Maria says this shelter is good for the soul, “This place really is so good, this place is full of love, full of grace.”

After losing Sparky, Sister Maria worries Barbie could have health issues but she knows opening one’s heart to love has risks, but has faith it will be worth it.

“We will be together,” whispers Sister Maria to Barbie.