In lieu of doing a Reader’s Choice post today, I’ve decided to do something a little more like my Sunday posts. Unfortunately, no one has been sending me ideas for Reader’s Choice topics, so I’m out of ideas on that account. 😦 While it’s sad, that was probably meant to be for today. I have something much more pressing that needs to be written.
My doggy passed almost a year ago now. I grew up with him, since he had been a Christmas present in the year that I attended first grade. (I’m in my 20s now if that is any indication for how long we have been together and how close we became). When Max first got sick, I always thought that it wasn’t right to put him down; we didn’t know how much longer he may have lived, and we would be cutting his life short by putting him down. He ended up living for well over a year after the vets predicted he would make it. We’re pretty sure it was cancer, and it was a long, slow process to adjust to his way of life as an older dog. At the same time, we held on because he showed no signs of pain and was just as attentive and special as ever. When we got back from a trip in October of last year, he started dwindling faster; we could tell he didn’t want to eat as much, his legs hurt him more, and he was so skinny that it was almost scary. But he continued to fight. And then, one week, I just knew. Before he even began to whimper or cry, I knew that he was ready to go and that God had called him to His side. I’m not sure how I know, though I attribute some of it to my closeness with Max. That’s when we decided it was best for him to go where he was needed.
(Max in 2012)
The decision to put Max to sleep was by far the hardest decision I have ever had to make. My family took it really hard since he was our first (and only) pup, and it was even harder for me knowing that I had been one of the first people to say that it was time. But God sent me a message somehow and told me that it was right. I didn’t realize it then, but I realize it now.
I’ve wanted another dog since… well, a long time. I thought Max would love a companion, but it turned out he was too protective and selfish in his own cute way. So he was an only dog, and loved every minute of it. It didn’t take long for my love of dogs to return to me, and I’ve been wanting a pup ever since. Unfortunately, the rest of my family was hesitant to move another animal into our lives after such a horrible loss. And then, miraculously, yesterday my parents said that it would be okay. I’m not sure what happened to change their minds, but Mom said she had been feeling it for a while now, and my sister was on board with her too. It took a few days to convince my Dad, but at the end of the day, he just wants us happy and we all know he (secretly) loves dogs.
I spent a lot of time last night searching for dogs on the Internet. It’s not the first place that I would go to find a puppy, but I was trying to find out what the best location to visit would be. I particularly wanted another schnauzer, but after some tears from pictures that looked too much like Max, we opened our options a little bit more.
After everyone went to bed last night, I couldn’t sleep. I decided to keep searching and came across this local organization that rescues animals from high kill shelters and surrenders from households. Many of the animals are young, but not all of them. I searched the entire list. May I just say, it’s sad to me to know how few places there are to help these animals considering how many animals there are. I have always known about animal abuse and overpopulation because people are stupid sometimes, but I never realized just how bad it was. I started leaning towards adopting a rescued pet instead of buying one from a breeder.
The website that I was searching, funnily enough, had a picture of two little schnauzers on it. They were mixed breed schnauzers, and looked slightly larger, so I sent an email inquiry and then moved on. I figured that, with their long legs, they would be giant schnauzers instead of miniatures.
This morning I checked my emails to no avail. The company hadn’t returned my inquiry yet. We went in town to run some errands and have some fun at a town festival, and then we planned to head to the SPCA to check on some other dogs that I had found. Here’s where the huge irony hits… the organization that had the little schnauzers was at the town festival! And the dogs were there!
Needless to say, I did fall in love with the little boy, and even filled out an application. Then, more wonderfully yet, our vet showed up at the festival and was able to give a great reference to the organization on our account! As I sit here now, I keep frantically checking out the adoption agency’s website to see that he is not pending adoption yet- this is great news for me! And the more I sit here and think, the more I feel that this was a sign. The stars aligned just too perfectly in this case for it to be anything but a small act of God. I believe that my family was destined to get a pup, destined to make the decision this week as we did, and destined to run into little Jasper at the festival.
I‘ll leave you with two thoughts to end this post. 1) Spay and neuter- I don’t care how much you have to pay to get it done! Be responsible. Seeing so many animals in shelters (even non-high kill shelters) killed my heart and smashed it into pieces today. If I could have adopted them all, I would have! 2) Remember that God always has a plan and it’s only after the fact, and through some deep reflection, that you may ever see the path that He has led you down. But, regardless, be thankful. Everything happens for a reason and God does indeed send messages to those who wait and open their ears to hear him.
Wish us luck in this new adventure, and I’ll be praying for greatness for all of you too!