five life lessons I learned from a puppy

 It's a rare moment when you can get a decent shot of a black-furred puppy staying still.

It's a rare moment when you can get a decent shot of a black-furred puppy staying still.

We got a dog.

Her name is Reese.

And one day, when I can apply sufficient poetry to the story of when I met her, I will tell it.  Because the scene (I really can't call it anything else, except maybe the fall finale of our sitcom life) deserves adjectives and the best synonyms for "fa-reak out", so there is thesaurus work to be done first.

I didn't know.  She was a surprise.  

I love surprise parties.  I love surprise-you-thought-I-was-home-a-million-miles-away-but-here-I-am's.  I don't think, though, that I ever said I would love to be surprised with a seven week old mammal I figured was still a couple of years into the future.  I know next to nothing about having a dog.  And lots of other stuff that would make you think my husband had a death wish and we are more bananas than you thought.  

But the truth is that this little lady is changing my life. 

By the time this post goes live, she will have been with our family for two weeks.  And I may have learned even more about my life, my marriage and about God than I already have.  So far here's what I've got:

Practice, Practice, Practice - I can't think of a better way for us to prepare for the adoption.  With my youngest almost 12 years old, our lifestyle and routines have been a cinch for years.  Reese has become just the thing we need to get used to someone who doesn't know us, speak our language and operates differently.  The sound of her first night whimpers and lonely howls is seared into my memory, as if to prepare my heart for the early days when we will be tempted to only celebrate our little boy's arrival and overlook his painful loss in coming into our home.

 working from home just got interesting.

working from home just got interesting.

Marriage - Ben's and my marriage has a great flow, but it's because over the years we've gravitated to the same page.  You think the same way about things long enough and you get spoiled.  The dog thing messed me up.  What?  The 2017 plan wasn't your plan too??  Having grace for each other and loosening our knickers about a lot of things helped me to embrace that our seemingly opposing ideas about getting a dog were actually just two different kinds of reasonable.

The enemy will use anything - Ben has shown me grace for my animated reaction, and I have done the same for the surprise, but I had specific moments where I felt a prompting to feel betrayed by my husband.  As if bringing a dog home unannounced, while it entails a lot of quick and big thinking, could be classified a betrayal.

You won't know until... - Okay, it's only been two weeks.  And she's still little.  And we are deep into a December that isn't deep in snow.  But so far it turns out we can do this.  (Not that I'm not inviting any dogowner wisdom from everyone out there.  No seriously, tell me everything you know about peeing, pooing, biting and crates.)

God's timing - “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. Isaiah 55:8  I think she wasn't actually a surprise.  Not ten minutes before I met this gonna-be-ginormous black-lab-border-collie-Saint-Bernard (did someone just round up the largest dogs in the neighbourhood?!), as I listened to Jamie Ivey's conversation with Amanda Jones about her roller coaster adoption journey, God asked me, could you welcome a newborn?  But I thought it was just about widening our age preference for the (human) adoption.  The picture-perfect story of our little boy coming into our family and the six of us strolling through the humane society and picking out a dog all together, sometime in 2017, was my perfect story, not His.  Well then, shall we apply this one to, like, everything?

The several-times-offended living room rug is rolled up in the basement, there is a makeshift barricade in the foyer, and our Febreeze usage and floor cleaning has gone up about 700%.  It looks like this is the headliner for my little Open 2015 theme.  My friend assured me, after she probably smelt my fear about keeping and caring for Reese, "You won't be sorry".

I think she's right.