A story that brought a smile to my face this past weekend is that of the happy reunion between the Dallas nurse who recovered from Ebola and her adorable brown and white dog, Bentley.
What terrifying moments this young woman, Nina Pham, has had to face over the last few weeks. All after bravely caring for the first man diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S.
It was lovely to see her in a moment of pure happiness with her best furry friend.
She had to have been very scared; obviously, for her own health, but also for – as she called Bentley herself – one of her best friends.
And she couldn’t even be near him, all the while fearing that he might become ill as well.
Thousands of miles apart and both in isolation, Nina and her King Charles Spaniel must have missed each other terribly.
Thankfully, she fought this horrible illness that we’ve heard so much about over the past few weeks, got better and was declared Ebola-free, allowing her to return home.
Bentley tested negative for the virus last week and was cleared to return home with his mom.
“Thank you again for helping take care of Bentley over the last 21 days,” said Pham during their reunio. “Caring for him as if he was your own and showing America that compassion and love is abundant and live.”
So many sad scenes we’ve watched related to the Ebola outbreak. But it all feels a world away. Sure, there have been some cases here in the U.S., but nothing compared to the devastation in West Africa.
There’s also that sad story about the Spanish nurse whose dog was put down after she was infected with the virus.
To see Nina and Bentley’s reunion was one of the few happy moments in a gamut of the painfully sad images we’ve been exposed to since this Ebola outbreak began months ago.
But maybe, hopefully, Nina and Bentley are a spark of hope. The boundless love of a girl and her dog. It has to start somewhere, right? And love and caring is the place where it needs to begin.
Look at that reunion! Hugs and kisses. Lots of love.
And now, they get to go home and resume their lives. But not before Bentley gets to pick out toys for his upcoming second birthday!
So, in the face of this terrible outbreak, a little bit of hope from any corner of the world is a good thing.
In the meantime, while waiting for that spark to catch on, I’m keeping all those people affected – including the hundreds of thousands in West Africa – in my prayers.
More of Nina and Bentley’s reunion: