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Thursday, June 25, 2009

When you need one....

God has worked a couple of small miracles for us this past week. They weren't quite what we asked for, but then miracles from God seldom are done the way we would do them. One of these small miracles happened today.

Sheila and I have never owned a dog. We had a sweet little beagle that belonged to my daughter, but we've never owned one ourselves. We're not cat people, so we've owned a half dozen or so one time and another. Go figure!

Madeleine L' Engle wrote that you shouldn't look for a dog. God will send you one when you need it. Sheila and I subscribe to this view. Dogs are a lot of responsibility and we were pretty sure we weren't up to the responsibility.

Apparently, God disagreed. This morning while doing my semi-regular good deed for the elderly woman my wife takes care of, I was minding my own business pressure washing Miz Mary Bob's house. As I turned toward the patio to fetch another length of water hose, I saw a black shape moving through the grass on its belly. As soon as I spotted it, the shape rose up and staggered toward me grinning.

I swear, she grinned at me. It was a skinny, lop-eared, part labrador puppy (I think) with enormous feet and ribs showing through thin fur. She approached me like a long lost friend and threw herself down on her back in front of me and begged to be scratched on her belly.

"Hello," I said. "Where'd you come from."

I couldn't resist and scratched her belly. She jumped up against my legs and put her head in my hands and began licking and nuzzling against me.

"Oh, no, you don't," I thought. "Nice dog," I said giving her a dismissive pat and turning away. As I climbed up the porch I realized she was right at my heels. I sat down in a chair and she came over and laid her head in my lap, looking up at me with these sad brown eyes.

"Sheila, help," I called out.

Sheila was out the door in a couple of seconds expecting to find me bleeding on the porch. She took one look at the dog, opened her mouth and no sound came out.

"I think I'm in trouble, here," I groaned.

"Don't look at me," she said, coming over beside me and stroking the dog's head. "What are you going to name her?"

We have decided that we didn't have any choice in the matter. This little girl needed us and apparently, God had decided we need her. God immediately provide us with enough money to get her basic equipment - we are so broke right now, that we'd never have excepted the responsibility without a clear sign that God knew we'd be able to take care of her.

Besides, she likes to lie beside my chair, sit in my lap and comes when we call her. Our kids don't even do that reliably. I think this dog was meant for us. She followed me around lying in the various flower beds about the place where she could watch me scrubbing down the house. As I was finishing up, I looked over at where she was lying amongst the lantana. She had her head draped across the border of the flower bed, one ear lopped over and grinned stupidly at me with those big watery eyes.

I sniffed in disgust, "You had me at hello!" I told her. She jumped up and loped unsteadily over for another head rub. She is so weak from hunger, her muscles aren't very strong and she's kind of unsteady on her feet. Sheila will fix that though. Fattening up starving creatures is her forte'.

We tried out names all morning. I thought of calling her "Angel" and then "Honey" and then "Babe". Finally I realized I was trying to name her after Sheila.

She suggested flower names and thought Gladiola might be good (we'd call her 'Glad' for short). I thought, "Hmmmm?" and then tried out Gardenia, Rose, Chrysanthemum, Magnolia (Maggie for short) and Indian Paintbrush, but nothing seemed to fit. That made me think of Sheila's old college nickname (Indian Wheezer), then I thought of "Daisy".

It sounded right. I called her that and she responded a little. Probably my imagination, but that sealed it. We spent the rest of the afternoon giving her a flea bath, brushing and treating her for ticks. We fed her a little at a time. She was starved and ate every bit. She was dehydrated too and her body temp seemed high so we gave her water with bits of ice in it which she drank down eagerly.

It's nice to be able to do things for a creature that appreciates your attentions. She didn't much enjoy the bath, but she never snapped at us or growled. I haven't heard her bark once. She spent a good deal of the rest of the day sleeping in Sheila's lap, her belly full and warm. She was very reluctant to go in the house at first, but she's decided our room must be our den and since she's apparently joined our pack, she's taken up residence there. Sheila made her a bed and then got down on the floor to show her how to use it.

She's such a sucker for anything that needs to be fed. She spent the rest of the day worrying about how the dog was breathing, her temperature, her heart rate and whether she had Parvo, heartworms, Rickets or Scurvy. I had to look up on the Internet, whether she should give Daisy an aspirin or not. My oldest son Matt's comment when we introduced him to Daisy this afternoon was, "Well, at least Mom will have someone to obsess over besides me!"

Little Miss, Matt & Nancy's cat hasn't stated her opinion yet. We're delaying formal introductions because she's currently in her psycho cat phase and she hates dogs anyway. I think she'll like Daisy, though.

Mom passed out around ten o'clock tonight, exhausted from worrying over the dog. They're both sleeping soundly as I write this. Daisy has decided on her own sleeping spot and it's not her bed. Sheila may have a rival for her recliner.

Meanwhile, I better log off and go to bed too. Apparently, God wants me to take regular walks.

I'm just sayin'


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