Monday, January 30, 2017

New Beginnings.

 Lily Christmas 2016 snuggling with her new toys she received as gifts.

I have a confession to make.  For years I didn't understand why people spent insane money on their pets.  Cute outfits, toys galore, expensive dog treats, crazy veterinarian bills, the list goes on, but I think you get the idea. We had several failed attempts at owning a pet when Chris and I first were married and living in Wichita.  In ten years of wedded bliss we owned three dogs, a cat and a goldfish that only survived 20 hours in our home (see past blogs for explanations of this phenomenon).  I decided maybe we should not own a pet, period. Then something odd happened.  Once we felt more settled here in Washington state, we finally purchased a house.  After five years of renting apartments, we found ourselves looking for homes.  We began looking in May, but it took a little while and looking outside of the county we lived in to find our dream home. But we finally found our home and it is perfect for us.

As we grew comfortable in our new home something began tugging at me.  Maybe it was my friends who post photos of their pets because they love them so much or maybe it was really for Elizabeth.  Whatever the reason, I felt it was time once more to search for a pet.  This time though I took a different approach. In the past, we decided to get a dog and just jumped into it with little regard for what we wanted in a dog or which animal would be a good fit to our family.  This time, I spent months researching dog breeds looking for a dog that would emotionally be a good fit for our home and children.  But more importantly, I took it to God in prayer.  We began by praying for our cars, which one did God want us to have in 2008 after I read an article in the Sunday School paper about the subject.  It worked very well, so we began praying about our housing, our moving, college choices, how best to help Sarah, etc. . . but we had not prayed about any of our pets, because we were a little late catching up in the prayer game. 

This time I was determined that we would do this the right way, so I began praying for wisdom about the dog that God knew we needed.  I saw several and wanted to meet them but one thing after another stood in our way.  I also felt led to allow Chris to choose our dog, he grew up with dogs, whereas I did not meaning he understands them much better.  After weeks of searching and looking and praying, a young man posted on a Facebook pet finder page that he had a Labrador retriever mix dog just a little over 1 year old for sale for $200.  He loved the dog, but he worked a lot and so he wanted her to have a home where people stayed home more and she could interact with humans and receive the attention he felt she deserved.  Since we are currently doing the one car family thing, this was a perfect fit for us. We met Lily in October and took her home with us that very day.  We stopped and invested in a leash, training chain (without teeth) and dog bowls and food. We took her home and the two weeks adjustment period began.  It had some rough spots - she liked to poop in the house, but thanks to some good friends on Facebook and a friend who is dog lover in Massachusetts and a lot of research we were able to stop the accidents. 

I knew that Lily really considered us her family when Chris took the girls to the church Halloween party and Lily went running down the driveway.  I was terrified that she decided to leave and attempt to find Andrew.  When I got down the driveway, she was there looking around and I realized...she was looking for Elizabeth.  She doesn't like it when Elizabeth is gone. I considered that excellent progress and she improves constantly. 

So here we are now with a dog that is 16 months old and somehow I don't know how we ever lived without her.  I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be so attached to a dog or any animal.  She likes to sleep on our bed after Chris goes to work in the wee hours of the morning, she makes sure he gets up and that I take her out first thing when I wake up.  We have a good routine down for her now and she enjoys it as much as we do.  But the best part is that Beka who was at one time very afraid of Lily is now very affectionate and Lily often kisses her and follows her around.  As time goes on I foresee them bonding further. 

We have a lot of changes that have happened over the last few years.  My Facebook friends know, but somehow in having Lily, it feels as if our family is complete and all is right with the world again. 
Have a good week and God bless you.

In Christ,
Maureen