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Struggling No Longer

by Ernie Serrano

Ever since I can remember I had led a life of struggle and loss. I steered myself in a direction that did not respect or take into account what I did not know. Which resulted in less than exemplary decisions, but I still took on the world on my terms.

In the course God has tried to slow me down and show me the majesty of his love on many occasions. One being through the care and concern of my family but they’ve always been too close for me to appreciate. Much less, understand that I should not take them for granted.

However, God never gave up on me. One day he gave me these beautiful little puppies to take of for him, whom sparked my interest, curiosity and tapped my soul. I have seen many puppies in my many years. I had puppies of my own on through this walk on earth, but these has something special!

In order to care for them I had to abandon everything I have known or wanted to know and open myself up to learning about them in particular, but most importantly, I had to become pliable and willing to tend to them, nurture their health and growth.

These puppies are Koa, Delta and Finn. None other have captured my thoughts and heart as they did. As I find myself being lost in them I also find I am tapping into greater parts of myself. Now I am doing things for them, not from obligation but from desire. I am experiencing a different outlook all together on life and the journey I have been on!

Because of them I now know what it is like to stop looking at things from a one dimensional self-centered perspective but from a selfless point that wants more for them than I do for myself.

Because of them I also know the realization of the pain and suffering I have been putting my family and others through and it makes me want to be more for them all.

The puppies make me want to reach into the better parts of myself; they make me want to give them the best we have to offer; they make me want to carry their burdens and pains; they make me want to forge good memories, fill their blank pages with adventures, mischievousness and fun; they make me want to share in their blunders, innocent manipulations, sneaky laughter and joy.

Although, others may not understand it, I am not here to make it harder on them. But to enliven their lives as they have done mine with their beauty, grace and sacrifice, whose value is augmented by the genuine connection they allow us to share with them.

Inmate handler Ernie is working at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Fresno County.

Click the link below to view the dogs in training at PVSP.

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