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.
Would you agree that there are some things in life that we choose and some things we do not? Things we would never choose, for instance Covid or Cancer or any other seemingly awful disease or situation. However, the Lord in his omniscience sometimes chooses to allow these seasons in our lives, for His purposes, ultimately.
Every response from us, however, is a choice. We can choose to accept the situation or not. We can choose to fight back, or not. We can choose to praise Him above all, or not. We can choose to heed His promptings, or not.
If you think about it, everything from the moment our feet hit the floor each morning till our head hits the pillow each evening, everything we say, think, and do are choices. We can choose to love people each day, we can choose how we respond to others, and on it goes. Every minute of our lives involves a choice in how we respond.
All this to say, we can choose to be obedient to the Lord’s calling, prompting, and commandments, or not. There have been two specific times (many more actually) but for this blog I am choosing to focus on two specific instances the Lord has called me to thus far in my life.
Another trip around the sun. A friend gifted me custom pints of ice cream and one of the labels displayed this saying: “Another year sweeter” Super cute, however I don’t know about that. 😉 As I look forward to my birthday each year, this one is hitting me a bit differently than previous years.
As I gazed over at the side table in our kitchen that holds several b-day cards received this week, some touching, some funny, all of them thoughtful, and looked at the material gifts that I had received each day this week as the Lord so graciously ordained. My thoughts turned to my dad (and the fact that he is now gone from this earth as of Jan 6th this year) and the thought that the absolute best gift I could receive (from the Lord) was seeing a bluebird on my birthday. I wept at the thought. As, I have yet to see one since dad’s death.
As I woke up this morning (quite melancholy, knowing that this day will not be unlike most others unfortunately) after a restless night of sleep and continued my day as always, feeding the pups, reading devotionals and praying, making coffee, walking the pups etc.…It does hit me that even though my dad, Lou did not recall that Oct 7th was my b-day for many years preceding his death, which was super hurtful the first year that happened, it hit me that no one loves you quite like your parents. And, when they are gone, nothing will ever be quite the same. There is a deep void in our heart and soul that realizes, no one will love you in the same way your parents did. That is my experience now (in this moment) and I realize that will not be everyone’s experience. I was blessed to have parents that loved me despite my flaws, which were truly my biggest cheerleaders in this temporary life on earth. And, when they are both gone from this earth, it changes things, and that truly did not hit me until this week leading up to my b-day.
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.