NEKAYAH, TOBY’S HELPER
Sunday, April, 28, 2013
Today was an amazing day with Nekayah. First I recognized how God works in closing a door to open another to guide us where He wants us to be, then He shows us what to do. Let me explain.
One of the headlights on my car burned out. Linda wanted me to replace it today and not wait until Monday. Her concern was that if I was to be called out after dark it could be dangerous. Linda never advises me on car repairs. She hates having to sit at a garage while the car is being repaired. Going home from church we stopped at Wal-Mart and they told me it would be a half hour before they could get me in. Not wanting to make her wait, and wanting to have Nekayah with me, we went home. Nekayah and I could come back later in the afternoon. Now, I wanted to walk Nekayah at the Mall. I could take the car there and while the head light is being replaced I could walk the Mall. I called the Sears Auto Center and they told me they did not have the bulb I needed. That door closed. I decided, after all, to go to Wal-Mart as they had the bulb needed for my car. This door was opened.
Now, to reveal why God put it in Linda’s head to get the light fixed today (which I thought strange) and how He was apparently leading me to Wal-Mart. When we arrived, the service man told me it would be about a half hour, so now I could walk Nekayah until I was notified the car was done.
Walking through the store I came upon a very saddening scene. There on the floor, in the middle of a main isle, laid a boy of about ten years old. This boy, whose name I later learned was Toby, was screaming, crying, hitting and biting his mother. Her mother was sitting and crying, bewildered and embarrassed. Nothing she was attempting was working. It was a heart wrenching scene. The boy was obviously autistic and was in a completely different world. She could not pick him up and had exhausted both herself and her options.
I asked the mother, “My dog is both a Service Dog and a Therapy Dog. Can I help you?” Now, I have seen Nekayah work miracles before and had confidence she could again in this mother’s exigency. “You can try,” she replied through tears and with uncertainty. I led Nekayah over to this precious boy, locked in his own prison. Nekayah sat and scooted up to him as is her practice to not startle or step on. She began to move her head toward the boy who was still fighting his mother. The boy swung his arm wildly and hit Nekayah on the side of the head. Nekayah did not react. As she has done before she just turned her head away and the mother began apologizing profusely. I told the distraught mother, “No, no! Don’t worry. Nekayah is trained for this.” The boy must have realized he hit Nekayah and paused his struggling long enough for Nekayah to reach over and lick his face. Instantly the boy stopped struggling and smiled. Nekayah continued to lick his face and now the boy was giggling. While Nekayah and the boy became lost in each other, I asked the mother where she needed to take the boy. She told me she needed to get him to the car. “Okay,” I told her. What is your son’s name?” “Toby,” she said.
Now turning my attention to Toby I said, “Toby, Nekayah loves to walk with boys. Would you like to take her leash and walk her?” “You mean I can,” Toby said with surprise. “You have to get up from the floor, and you can have full control of her leash.” Immediately Toby rose, took Nekayah’s lead, and the four of us began walking. Toby now had a big smile on his face because he was walking the dog all alone. He was proud of himself. He even noticed Nekayah had a smile. “She likes me,” Toby said. The front doors were a ways off and I was concerned Toby would not be able to stay focused. A lady was going out the door right in front of us. She dropped a bag and the door monitor called her back. I thought, “NO, NO! You can’t block my exit or Toby is going to lose it!” I navigated right through them, telling Toby about Nekayah. Toby didn’t realize anything amiss and we made it outside. A miracle, Toby was staying focused.
The next hurdle was navigating the parking lot. The mother told me the car was way over by the other entrance and half way down the parking line. Again, I was filled with anxiety, not thinking Toby could stay focused. Again I asked the Lord to give Toby focus. As Toby walked Nekayah he would turn to his mother and hit her or try to bite her. I knew something had to interrupt this behavior or we would lose Toby’s focus on Nekayah. While attending to Toby I quietly suggested, “Mom, why don’t you come to my left side to walk?” She did and now Toby had complete focus on what he and Nekayah were doing. Toby asked, “Will Nekayah run?” “Tell her to run, and run,” I said. Toby did and they took off. I was afraid with our being in traffic, Toby could get hurt, so I told Nekayah, “Slooow.” and she slowed Toby to a walk. Toby still had his smile. That was a good sign. We needed to turn “right.” I said, “Nekayah, turn right.” She did and Toby followed right along. We needed to turn “left.” I said, “Nekayah, turn left.” She did and Toby followed right along, still focused on Nekayah’s walking, not realizing she was leading him to his car. Nekayah led Toby directly to their car.
Now my concern was, “if we get to the car, will that set Toby off again if he doesn’t want to get in?” So, just as his mother opened the back door, I said, “Toby, if you will get in your seat and let your mom buckle your seat belt, Nekayah will get in and give you a kiss goodbye.” Toby, still smiling said, “Okay.” And without a second thought and the door now opened, Toby jumped in and his mother fastened his seat belt. I asked Nekayah to kiss Toby goodbye. Nekayah placed her paws up on the seat’s edge, reached toward Toby’s face and gave him a big lick. Toby laughed, we shut the door, and I said, “I was glad to serve you.” The mother’s eyes now dry, face less stressed, in complete amazement, gave me a hug. Her hug expressed her appreciation without words.
God closed one door to open another to lead me to where I was needed. He placed me and Nekayah at the right place at just the right time. The funny thing is, it wasn’t me God wanted to use. It was a DOG who could do what no person could have done. This is why we say, “God created everything, except the dog. He already had one.”
Now I wonder, “How will this adventure end?” God used Nekayah to set in motion something in Toby’s and his mother’s life that will not end with Nekayah’s getting Toby, safely, to and in his car and his mother, with a grateful heart, driving away. I will probably not know fully what God was doing, but I do know this was a God directed encounter and God smiled.