Thursday, March 29, 2012

Prodigal Dog

Our little family is back to "normal!" And let me tell you, it is only by the hand of the Lord that our missing puppy is back.

A little over a week ago our lab/retriever pup got out of the backyard and we couldn't find her. We hung posters all over the neighborhood, literally leaving no light-post "un-postered." Honestly, I was dealing with the likelihood of her not returning with a lot of peace. Let's face it, I'm focused on getting a baby here soon, and I was beginning to make plans for what I was going to do in the backyard with no dog to dig up flowers. I was raised the country girl who learned "dogs" were just that--animals. I've only been very very attached to two dogs that I can remember--one of which died this past year from a snakebite after having been part of my family for 11 years. That death devastated me for a month. Aside from her, however, a missing puppy to me has become part of life. It sounds harsh, but it is the coping mechanism of a country girl...dogs are dogs.

My sweet husband, however, was not dealing as well with Shelby's disappearance. She was his first puppy to own, his first to train, and his first with which to fall in love. He was devastated when she went missing. I haven't seen a man so upset about an animal in a long time.

We prayed over the issue, leaving it up to the Father, but praying ultimately that she come home. We were able to meet our next door neighbor through the ordeal--and she was praying as well.

Today I received a Facebook message from a dear church friend of mine. She sent me the link to a Craigslist add basically saying, "not sure if this is your puppy, but it might be worth the look." As I later found out, Kelsey discovered the add while merely browsing the free section of Craiglist--she wasn't looking for puppies at all. *doesn't that sound like a "God-thing'?*

Here was the add:

"I currently have a medium size lab(I think) who desperately needs a new home. I don't know much about her as we rescued her from the street. When We found her, she was eating tar and walking alone.
I must find her a new home, a loving home, a home where she will be taken care of and looked after with a loving family.
Here is What we do know of her as of right now....

She sits
She stays
She sits up pretty/kind of (still working on that one)
She's potty trained
She needs chew toys
She is EXTREMELY affectionate
She is very active
She is VERY loving around my 2 year old
She is very healthy
We do not know whether or not she is fixed as of right now, we have kept her away from my two unfixed male dogs.
She is still a puppy
She has not snapped or growled at anyone in our home and we have a lot of people here lol
She has shown NO signs of food or toy aggression

That is all we know about her right now as we have only had her for about a week now

All we ask is that the people who do respond, please don't abuse or neglect her, she is a very loving dog and she
deserves a family that will love her just as much as she can love them.
I really do not want to take her to the pound because, well, we all know what happens at the pound and she is to loving for that to happen."

Yep. That definitely sounded like our pup!

I emailed the person with her name and collar color--giving enough information that I could prove we were the owners. The posters of the add called us and gave us their address so we could come get her.

We drove to pick her up this evening--after which we immediately went and purchased her an identification tag.

I can't believe she is home! Even for this country girl who had considered her dog long gone, it is such a sweet feeling to see your puppy get excited over being home.

We have gotten some great things from this experience:
1. We got to know our next door neighbor! Let me tell you, she is precious and loves all animals. She cried when we took Shelby over to say hello tonight. She also gave Kyle her cell number and asked to be informed when I go into labor.
2. We got to help out a family who had taken care of our dog, and truly needed what little we could afford to pay them for the trouble and honesty. We couldn't give much, but their little family certainly appeared to need what we gave. I pray it blesses them as they blessed us.
3. Our sweet puppy needed her identification tag so this doesn't happen again.
4. When she got home we noticed evidence of her possibly coming into heat. *insert groan* which means we need to consider and budget for getting her fixed. I DON'T want mutt pups.

Just as our prodigal puppy returning was like the Bible story we all know, there is always an upset "brother"........let's just say our chihuahua wasn't happy to see her. He is now back to being her chew toy. Poor Buddy.....he just has a few more days until he goes to a new home, so he won't have to deal with her puppy ways long.

My husband is beyond thrilled tonight--saying the only thing that would be better is if Gracin came tonight. I agree, darling man. I agree.

From our little family to yours, all I can say is that God truly cares about even the smallest things--like a lost puppy. He will fix what is going on in your life.

The Bartletts

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