As I pushed forward and backward the seemingly heavy vacuum and saw the white pup hair that was being taken away little by little, I lost it. Literally had a breakdown right there in the living room. The room was quiet except for the hum of the vacuum. It did not matter that no one was around, I could not help but bawl uncontrollably thinking of our beloved Gidget and the fact that we had to put yet another dog down. Bless her little pup heart, she had a seizure (which was terrifying to all of us, we had never witnessed that before in an animal or human) and she never fully recovered. I was angry with God that we had to yet again make the morbid awful decision to put her down. Why Lord?! Why are we having to play “god”? Why don’t You put these suffering animals out of their misery? It rocked me to my core. And, here I was a week after that awful experience reluctantly vacuuming (not my fave chore) and weeping over this precious soul that we so dearly loved. I mentioned how quiet it was, it was deafening to me. Too quiet. No movement from any creature, no pitter-patter of little paws on the nearby hardwoods, just silent. Which is saying much coming from an introverted only-child!
I knew we had to get another pup, even tho my dear husband would say “It’s far too soon! We need to mourn the loss of Gidget.” While I agreed on some level, I simply could not exist or fathom being without a pup for one more week. You see, the Lord placed in me a deep undeniable love for dogs and all growing up my mom was allergic to pet dander. So, I tried to fill the void with a rabbit, a fish, and a large stuffed bear that I named “Ferdinand” Yeah, none of that filled the pup void. The week that my mom died, I was at the Humane Society looking to adopt a dog, and I have never looked back. So, this theory of “needing time to mourn” did not sit well in my soul. Fortunately, my husband shares the love of animals like me and it did not take much convincing to him that we needed to go to Petsmart that Saturday to look at this beautiful, shy-looking red-merle that I had found on “Pet Finder.” He was not going to join me, but then at the last minute, he agreed. And, guess what? Miss Diva snaked around HIS legs looking for shelter as I was perusing all the other pups that Barkin Dogs Rescue had to adopt that day. Diva stole his heart almost instantly. He was like, “why are you still looking? This is the pup we came to see, and this is the one for us!” I was a little unsure about her timidness and wanted to see if any of the other pups seemed like a better fit. Well, none of the other pups were as cute as Miss Diva, so she came home with us and bonded almost instantly to me and my dad.
Apparently, Aussies bond with one to two humans in their lifetime, at least that is what I heard at some point. It is certainly true in our household. A year or so later, we adopted Roscoe, our blue-eyed mini-Aussie who is a ham and who bonded with my husband right away.
We knew we would continue to adopt from Barkin Dogs Rescue because Elise (the founder) and her husband Carl are just the best. They care deeply about the pups they rescue from local breeders. They go above and beyond to work with you. We highly recommend them if you are searching for an Aussie or Border Collie. This non-profit, Barkin Dogs Rescue is near and dear to our hearts, which is why we chose them to give 10% back to this third quarter. Please check them out at www.barkindogs.org.
We entered 2021 excited for what was to come. Things were looking up! We had a goal, a vision, and a purpose that gave us great joy. We had it all planned out. Our amazing graphic designer, Preston, had created the artwork. I had sourced just the right garments. Our trusty local printer printed onto the amazing garments. We had created giftable items for folks who might be looking for something more than apparel. We spent several months curating, sourcing, and working towards our goal of launching THE most amazing thing ever. We had a plan; (we have learned over 5 years to plan far ahead of the seasons.) We even had a pop-up planned at a trendy store. We were super excited to launch this powerful, hopefully life-giving movement. Everything was on target.
Then…during a benign Monday night in early January, we got a phone call. For anyone who has ever been a caregiver, you know that when you see the facility name and number pop up on your screen, your heart drops a little bit.
In mid-March, Kansas declared that schools would close for the rest of the school year. Other states soon made the same determination.
Very quickly we started hearing terms like “Shelter at Home” and “Social distancing.” “Quarantine” was a word seldom heard these days…until now when we hear it daily.
The words “Pandemic” and “Plague,” although foreign and strange to the younger generation, engender memories giving rise to fear in the minds and hearts of the oldest among us.
Businesses and churches closed,
The economy faltered,
Violence at home is increasing,
and Deaths from the virus are reported daily.
Many of us have only seen times like these in movies or read about them in books.
and Discouragement is on the rise, exacerbated by the news reports and accompanied by weather fluctuations from cold and wintry to mild and spring-like and back to wintry again.
And we are all wondering, "How long???"
Nothing is certain except that nothing is certain.
I always love it when I read those words “But God” in my Bible. Often they follow bad circumstances or evil, offering hope to a situation that would otherwise seem hopeless.
I will never forget the excitement I had going into a meeting with one of my professors, Dr. J back in grad school. I had the idea of launching a Christian clothing business from way back when and he had a side business that helped start-ups. I came prepared with all my notes, my hand-drawn ideas scribbled into a notebook from years ago and a prototype of a zip-up hoodie that had embroidered crosses and verses stitched all over it. I was so excited! See, Dr. J, now this is what I’m talking about! See this cool hoodie??!! It’s a nicer, higher-end product that I really think people would buy! He, of course, has far more knowledge than I and he is asking questions and pondering it all…thankfully not anything like “Shark Tank”; I would never have survived that type of questioning. He was genuinely being a kind fella and hearing me out. At the end of our meeting (as I am walking out) he asked me to write a “Theology of a Hoodie.” K…. hmmm….ok. That’s it? What on earth does he mean, I thought? I also thought, are you kidding me dude, you know full well how many books and papers we must write in graduate school and now you are asking me to (for fun) write a theology of a hoodie?!
Well, here it is almost 8 years later. (BTW I still do not know exactly what he was asking for, however, I have a far better understanding of hoodies after creating and selling them for almost 3 years now). “Theology” means a theological theory or system” I am going with just the theory or system; my guess is that was what he was asking for?
So, here is my brief explanation of how the system works, at least in my case.