I Believe In Miracles

This year has been a challenge for me. Between health annoyances, the political climate that is tearing our country apart, the fear of the future in the hands of a Congress that gleefully ignores the pleas of constituents, a deficit that is poised to bloom, it has been a hard year. This is the year that I realized I’m forgetting about the big picture, that there’s more to the future than this world, that God is sovereign in all things, even in this dumpster fire of a year. I forget that a bigger plan is unfolding.We can’t see it because we’re not supposed to. God is here. He always has been. Hang on. Hang on to one another, hang on to hope. And look for the little miracles. And the big ones. Because they are there.

This year has been especially hard for personal reasons. I learned that one of my kids was struggling, really struggling. Hitting high school is hard. Going to a high school with an accelerated curriculum and where you know almost no one? Where it seems like everyone else has hit their growth spurt and their groove? It’s not just hard but lonely. My sweet child, this little person who is now a big person, is trying to find himself, trying to find his sea legs and develop his own identity. It’s not easy to watch.

He came to me right before Thanksgiving and said “I want a dog.” He may as well have said he wanted to join the circus. My gut reaction? Ain’t no way. We have a dog, I said. He raised an eyebrow. Okay, I must concede. My Phoebe is basically a four-legged slug with hair. She doesn’t even get off the chair unless there’s food in it for her. Good food, too, not some wayward Corn Chex. But we don’t need another dog. We have four cats, a Phoebe, a room full of snakes, and a metric crap-ton of tortoises. We don’t need another dog. We already have this:

Love me. Just don’t make me get up.

Ever notice how sometimes we don’t know what we need until we get it?

I casually mentioned to my friend that shows dogs that perhaps, maybe, in the Spring or summer, we might be interested in looking for a dog. Not show quality. A pet from a quality breeder. Sometimes a breeders’ show prospect doesn’t turn out. Maybe a bite goes off, or a coat is the wrong texture, or maybe the dog doesn’t have the personality to enjoy showing. And that would be a win for me. A dog from a good breeder with health guarantees, but also I WOULDN’T HAVE TO LIVE WITH A PUPPY! I love dogs, but I don’t enjoy puppyhood.

My friend said she would make some calls and see what she could do. And through God and a friend of a friend of a friend, a week later I brought this miracle home:

Lumen

And as it turns out, the thing I did not want became the thing I knew we needed. I knew through the series of texts with her owner that she was meant for us. I bought a crate before I ever met her in person, and then when I met her, I prayed. Please, God, let her owners approve of us. Let us get to take her home. She was ours before I ever touched her.

She’s so perfect for us. Seven years old, German working background, retired from breeding, OFA certified (that means her hips are A-OK), eyes are certified, temperament-tested, a velcro-dog who wants to be with her owner every second of every day. Within 24 hours, she was so tightly bonded with my son that she casually waited outside the bathroom door while he showered.

She’s a traitor. I tell her to go get my son up in the morning, and she lays on top of him so that he can’t move. And lays a paw on his chest when he tries to get up. We’re working on it.

She has gotten me off my butt. I walk her every morning. Son is not hiding in his room anymore, either, because she needs a walk in the afternoon.

She’s hard on toys. And picky. She likes squeak toys, but they can’t JUST squeak. She prefers that they are soft, too. And they last 3.2 seconds. She squeaks, we throw, she squeaks, we throw, she ducks behind the table to the murder-spot and kills the toy dead. Wubba lasted three days. Long live the Wubba. Tuffy toys don’t last, either. But I like a challenge, and my new goal is to find squeak toys that she can’t kill. Any recommendations are welcome.

She is a miracle, this giant girl. The miracle I needed to cap this year, a miracle that lets me know that no matter how dark it seems, the light is there. There are miracles waiting to happen – for me, for you, for our country, for our world. This miracle is mine, but I will share her with you. What miracle will you share with me?

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11 thoughts on “I Believe In Miracles

  1. Congrats on your new furbaby! She’s a beaut! I’m glad she’s helping your son out. I taught HS for over 20 years and can definitely vouch for the difficult transition for a lot of kids (even those who appear to hide it well). Please let your son know he has a fan on the Interwebs. 🙂 I”m pullin’ for him!

    As far as the toy destruction, I totally get it. We just lost our 70 pound pit mix who was murder on toys, although she was fabulous with people, other dogs, and especially my foster kittens. We had good luck with a couple of Kong products: The Kong Squeeze (Jellies and Crackles — the Jellies have a built-in squeaker that’s actually a part of the toy construction) and a couple of the Kong Jumblers (no squeak, but a tennis ball inside to make noise; they were big enough that she couldn’t really get her mouth around them to totally chew them up).

    We also fed her out of Kongs (the black Extreme ones), so she could interact with those. I mixed her kibble with a little pate-type dog food to just moisten it and then stuffed the Kongs, sealed them with canned food or cream cheese (peanut butter also works, although it didn’t sit well with her) and put them in the freezer. She loved eating out of them and it took her a while, so she was occupied while we ate dinner.

    • We use Kongs for feeding, too. As a zookeeper, I am a big believer in enrichment and stretching out the feeding process. We stuff the Kong and then hide it so they have to find it. It’s GREAT! I will look into a Jelly. I love Kong toys.

  2. My favorite toy at the store is the Kong Knots line, specifically the beaver or raccoon. Squeaker in the head, the body is *juuuuuuuuust* a little stretchy, and once the dog eviscerates the poor rodent, you’re left with a rope toy!

    I’d told you about the Goughnuts brand, but again, there’s no squeaker in any of those, so while immune to destruction, they may also be less desirable to sweet Lumen.

    Hooray for miracles and the recognition of them! May we all be blessed with a multitude of miracles in the coming months and year!

  3. We rescued a new kitten this past summer who has grown into a sweet, loving boy cat. He follows me everywhere and has been very helpful during this hard year. The only thing he does that drives me crazy is constantly playing in the blinds, banging them about. The squirt bottle helps with that. Lumen is beautiful. Happy New Year!

  4. This hits me hard. My 11-year-old granddaughter lives with us. We have a 4-year-old rescue blue heeler that’s totally bonded to me. My GD suffers from depression and insists having a dog of her own would help. I am dead-set against another dog. She’s at her mom’s now and fell in love with a puppy and is trying to sweet-talk me into letting her have it. I’ve put my food down. She’s 11–this pup will live way past her leaving home. Then whose dog is it? I’m SO glad your situation is helping your son, and I’m sure I’d fall in love with this pup if we got it, but I just can’t deal with more poop, more vet bills, more chaos in my so-called “golden years” and retirement (I’m 72). Thanks for reading in my rant.

    • If you REALLY do not want a dog, keep that foot DOWN! After talking and some thought, we decided it was right for us to try it, and we were glad we did. Something she might consider is helping out at a kennel or with a rescue group. She could have that dog contact and also get the feel-goods of helping out an animal in need.

      • What a perfect compromise! Hopefully, there is a shelter or group that will accept the volunteer help of an 11-year-old! Good luck, wigginswordsandimages!

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