In August our family adopted a puppy from St Francis Care. She weighed 3 lbs at the time and was just 9 weeks old. She'd been separated from her mother at the age of 4 weeks old because her mom hadn't been taking care of her babies. A vet had cared for the pups initially, then handed them over to the shelter to find homes. We fell in love with her, adopted her, and named her Caramel Macchiato. That same month we had our deck and fence completed in the backyard so we would have a good place for Caramel to run and play.
Caramel grew rapidly with food, water, and most of all, attention. No matter what species you are, it seems you know a mother when you see one. She latched on to me very quickly and would cry when I left the room. I think she really believed I was her mama! She loved playing with the girls and running around in the yard. As she started getting a little bigger, she loved wrestling and play fighting with daddy.
We bought squeakies, tug-of-war toys, and bones for indoor play. We bought tennis balls and frisbees for outdoor play, too. We made sure the girl had plenty of fun things to keep her happy. She got a nice plush bed, her blankey from the shelter... all the things a pup could need. We even bought fancy treats for potty training.
We took our baby dog for hikes, walks, to family gatherings, and now, even on a family trip to Louisville. I never had a dog growing up, so this is a fun experience to be able to give our daughters.
(Caramel Macchiato meets caramel macchiato)
Here's what really hit home, though. Don's first marriage didn't work out the way he expected. I don't think anyone says their vows and thinks, "You know, I'll probably get divorced within a year." Sadly, that's the way life works out sometimes. My first marriage didn't go as I expected, either. It sure hit me out of left field to be a widow at 28... but there I was and nothing I could have done would have changed that.
But this past fall, Don and I were in our back yard throwing a tennis ball for the puppy. Our children were running around with her, screeching with delight. We were contained in a literal picket fence, on the property of a home we own. Our family, our children, our dog... our small slice of heaven right here on earth. We looked at one another and we had to speak of how amazing all of this truly was. How had this happened to us? How had we received such blessings after all our losses and heartaches? Why had the Lord chosen to smile on us?
I can't say that I know why, but I am grateful. I will also say that I hope I am in this part of my "Job" story-- "The Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the former part," Job 42:21a