We are looking for a new dog. It won’t be THAT DOG, of course. She was a one and only. This one will be NEW DOG or SASSY DOG or some other descriptor launched by the arrival of her personality here in our living room. And I’m caught between the excitement of wondering what she’ll be…and the frustration of how hard it is to find this new dog.
We thought we knew for sure what kind of dog we wanted. Then we did some research and discovered that we’d have to travel to a new time zone to find a puppy, pay 3x our mortgage, and then pray like crazy that our new family member exceed the low life expectancy for this breed, which is somewhere around 6-8 years. Well, no.
Then we found a sweet looking shepherd/lab rescue dog online. But she’s many states away. She was found abandoned on the street down south, then fostered to raise another dog’s puppies, and now, to get to us, would have to be shipped and then quarantined for 2 weeks before we could even meet her. I can’t even imagine what shape that poor creature would be in by the time she arrived. Again, our hearts said, “this isn’t the one.”
Don’t get me wrong – I have huge respect for anyone brave enough to say yes to a new pet sight unseen. But I’ve adopted a rescue before, and personality and temperament are so important to how it works for me – I need to bond and fall in love with a new dog before it comes home. That way, when it poops on the rug, or eats 4 socks and the TV remote and then pukes it all up on the couch, or makes a power move on the sandwich I made for lunch (you know, the things dogs do) I will find it a hilarious call for more outdoor time/better obedience training/more chew toys, and not the end of the world.
In my calmer moments, when I’m not scanning rescue websites looking for our next true puppy love, I remember: God has a plan, even for our next pet. I know that sounds preachy and a bit obnoxious, in a sort of “The Lord has a plan for EVERYTHING!” singsongy way. That’s not what I mean, and that’s not what calms me down. What brings me peace is this:
When I discovered THAT DOG in a pet shop in a bad section of Philadelphia, I was with a friend who was looking for a fish. I was not looking for a dog. And if I HAD been looking for a dog, a cocker-spaniel/afghan would not have been what I was looking for. I did not plan or orchestrate even a single part of what turned out to be a beautiful partnership, and THAT DOG was the perfect size, shape, temperament, etc. for what life brought in the seasons that came next.
I look back to that and admit,”Well God, you seem to know what you’re doing.” He made us dog people, and right now we don’t have a dog. But I’m trusting that since He knows what the plan is for our next stage of life, He will connect us to the right dog to share that with.
If you’re of the praying sort, would you add your prayers to ours, asking Jesus for his best dog for us?
And if you know of someone who is expecting a batch of puppies, let me know. We’re considering about everything (including a Saint Bernard/Boxer puppy that could grow up to be bigger than our bathtub) so we’re open to possibilities :)