If you haven’t read Surprised by a Westie, you can check it out here! It’s the first in my Westie series.
He came to us unexpectedly. Or did he? My kids kept persistently praying for a dog. It didn’t matter that we already had two cats. They were solidified and resolved that a dog was a necessity to completing our family.
The kids asked me to pray and believe for a dog with them. I thought,”Sure, what could be the harm in a simple prayer?” “It’s not like I’m going to feel compelled to immediately rush out to the animal shelter and adopt a dog.” I had heard the phrase that God wouldn’t give you more than you could handle. Besides, God knows me… we had a non-verbal agreement…God and I. At least, I thought he knew that I didn’t need the added responsibility of a dog. We had a busy family schedule that included travel. How could a dog possibly fit into our lifestyle? Little did I know… our Westie would become far more than a dog to us. He would become family or as my mom now calls him… “Prince.” But, I am getting ahead of myself because Prince is not his name.
Two Years Prior
Two Years prior to THE Memorial Day Weekend, it was the month of August. My husband and I thought surely it would be harmless enough to just “look” at some dogs at the pet store in the mall. We had always been able to walk in and out of the store without adopting a dog when it was just the boys. With the boys, they were satisfied just to look. Then Sister was born. Sister was little when she took her first trip to the pet store but now she was vocal enough to ask for adoption papers. And, little did we know, Sister girl had some very powerful arbitration skills in her verbal tool belt.
Armed with our past parental boy experiences, my husband and I were completely unprepared for our daughter’s reaction when she was gently asked to walk out of the pet store empty-handed and puppy-less. I’m a girl and I was TOTALLY unequipped to negotiate with my daughter’s adoption heart and spirit. A dismayed but intense look followed up with heavy crocodile tears. She would not become a mommy to a doggy today.
She has a very tender and precious heart so we should’ve known. In that instant, nothing else mattered. Her earnest heart demanded attention. I felt her pain. Her animal lover’s heart illuminated throughout her entire body at the impressionable age of five years old.
What Kind of Dog?
With her crocodile tears welling up in her ocean blue eyes, we had no choice but to go back into the pet store for one more look. My husband and I just weren’t sure which breed of dog would be the best for us. During our childhood, we both had either stray dogs or ones that had been offered to us. How could we be sure the temperament of the dog would mesh with our style of family? We played with several Dachshund puppies and then a Cocker Spaniel. All three of them rambunctiously adorable. But, my husband and I were stuck at the point of adopting. We were happy and satisfied just to visit. My daughter and her brothers wanted to adopt.
After an Oscar nominated performance of love at the pet store, we tried not to mention a dog. Even as time passed, my daughter kept pleading for a dog. Then the following year, we discovered a no kill shelter that allows you to foster parent a dog. I thought,”Okay, this might be more our speed.” Yet, we still walked out of the shelter with no adoption…no dog.
No Adoption Until….
The fateful and intentional day we call his adoption of us and our birthday to him.