Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust!

We’ve had several furry friends through our 27 years of marriage. I never got to have a pet growing up since my Mom was very allergic to cats and dogs. I came home from my part-time teaching job a couple weeks after our wedding and screamed when I saw something black and furry moving behind the toilet. Mike had bought us a black lab puppy and named him Duke. We were too young and stupid to be pet parents. An example of this was when we tried to take Duke to the 500 Memorial Parade. He was wild and then of course he pooped on the sidewalk.(No we didn’t bring a scooper bag with us so we promptly drove him home. Duke was a “runner”. As in, if he got past you at the front door, he’d run away and we’d find him beside the house 12-24 hours later. This usually happened on garbage day.

Having a dog before children is good training. You can’t just leave the house without some preparation; you spend lots of money at doctors and buying food, you must discipline and try to be loving and patient. One big difference; kids are yours forever, pets sometimes HAVE TO GO.

Fast forward eight years and three babies and I gave an ultimatum; someone had to go; me, or the dog. Mike decided I should stay since I do laundry. Duke moved to a farm where he later had a heart attack swimming in the pond. I feel guilty still, but am hoping he led a happy life until his unfortunate demise.

We couldn’t have a pet for the three years while ww lived in Grayslake, IL; soft pine floors, no fence and four kids under the age of seven. Once we’d moved to Washington and had our fence built, we brought home a sweet yellow lab named Cody Lincoln (his Dad’s name was Abe- weren’t we clever?) We were attempting to train Cody when Mike had his horrible fall- off- the- roof accident. I was having a VERY hard time taking care of four kids, a puppy and a husband in a hospital bed/wheel chair. Once again, the dog had to go. Cody was adopted by a loving couple in Aberdeen with lots of property.

Several years later we were ready to try again to be a family with a pet. We adopted Sadie, our lab-mix from the Purdy Women’s Prison Pet Partnership. The inmates train dogs to become service dogs. Ours had “flunked” the program due to being OCD about tennis balls, she was afraid of men in hats and had/has many other anxieties. She’s been a GREAT dog even though I’m S-I-C-K of her shedding on our wood floors, and getting into the cat food and litter box (yuck!) We've been through a lot of ups and downs with Sadie, including getting her ear cut off because of a tumor, but she's part of our family and you take the good with the bad...(Usually)

We added Tigger Duncan, the fat red cat and Zoe Mittens, our small black “hunter” cat to the mix. When it was time to move across the country this summer, I didn’t feel we could handle all three in this house/yard and the airline would only allow two animals on the flight.I was also concerned that Zoe would get hit by a car, and didn’t want her bringing dead bunnies to our back door (lots of rabbits around here…) There was no contest; I never really had bonded with Zoe and Tigger was “my boy”. I worked really hard to advertise and find a good home for Zoe. All her shots were up to date and paperwork in good order. Finally a dear friend with lots of kids, pets, and property offered to take her.

I was busy the day she moved to her new “home”. Mike took her, and then because he’d heard me tell my friend our kitty would live mostly outdoors, he proceeded to open the crate and out she ran! Yep, out she ran! SHE NEVER CAME BACK!... We had joked about just leaving her behind but I thought #1 that was cruel, and #2 she’d find her way back to our former house and bug the new owners. Well now I have to assume she became “dinner” to a cougar, etc. SO sad-another one bites the dust!

I feel a bit like a cat whose family has opened the crate in an unfamiliar area and I’m scared and so I want to run away (back to familiar territory.) Jesus knows I feel lost right now and He’s trying to lure me back to a feeling of security. I need to allow Him to do that, and not struggle so much.
Luckily I know I can run into the arms of my husband and Savior when things get overwhelming.

"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?”
Luke 15:4

I’m just glad God doesn’t give US away when we become inconvenient!

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