I had started writing Part 1 of our tale Tuesday, as I was feeling very sad, but no longer crushed. And then I knew I had to include the rainbow we saw on Wednesday, and the angel figure GM bought for me on our anniversary. Little did I know that within an hour of the rainbow, alot of prayers were about to be answered.
When GM and I got home from the store, there was a message on the machine from my BIL. It was rather vague, but I didn't think much of it, and we started getting ready for dinner (Thai takeout!).
During dinner, my BIL called back, and they talked for a bit while I was catching up with DQ about her day. As the kids prepared for bed, GM told me the whole scoop.
A couple that work with GM and my BIL heard about us losing our beloved Max. They foster puppies and dogs for the SPCA and told BIL that they had 2 puppies that would be up for adoption this week. Were we interested?
BIL had seen the photos and quickly forwarded them to GM. At first GM wasn't sure, but when we looked at her photo....instant puppy love. She even had that same soulful look Max had in her eyes. And we'd been thinking of eventually adopting a puppy--a young one, and possibly in the Retriever family. And what I noticed, after happily sighing over her photo for the millionth time, was that there was an image of an Angel behind her in the photo. Another sign for sure!
A flurry of emails and phone calls, and we were set to take the kids to visit her Thursday evening. We knew we couldn't pull one over on DQ, so we fessed up that we might be able to adopt her. She was *thrilled* beyond belief.
GM then told me where they lived--and how the end of that giant rainbow was just about literally where their house was. Oh yeah, and if we needed any more luck, as we got into the car, a ladybug joined us the entire ride there and back--I made a wish as she flew away as we drove home.
Needless to say, we were totally smitten with Puppy. I teared up when Puppy yawned--she had a black spotted tongue. The same tongue that Max had (it's not just a Chow thing--purebred retrievers can have black tongues as well). She was wonderful with the kids, and we knew God & Max had sent her to us. The foster family had a menagerie of all types of dogs that was good animal therapy for us as a family. What was truly amazing about the experience was how SB took it all in. He's only used to older, more sedate dogs. Younger, lively dogs who are as big as he is tend to make him nervous. You would never have known that by watching him, giggling in delight as the dogs and puppies loved all over him.
Before we left their home, I held her and whispered "I love you, and I'll see you tomorrow". I said a prayer for her, since she had to be spayed Friday morning. SB said "I sure wish we could have a puppy like that." Hehe. He hated leaving all those dogs--so I have a feeling we'll be visiting again, for a doggy playdate ;)
Yesterday was a happy chaotic day as I went down to the shelter, filled out her adoption papers, ran to the store to get puppy things, and......waited. We had to be seen by a shelter employee before it would be official. Longest. Hour. Ever.
DQ had her first Varsity Volleyball game that day, so GM dropped me off at the shelter for the interview, and went back to pick up SB--who was still in the dark.
When I told the staff about Max, and how this puppy came into our lives, they were all near tears. When they finally put puppy in my arms to take her home, we all teared up again. I buried my face in her fur and told her again how much I loved her and that she was coming home to be a part of our family (I am tearing up again here LOL).
When SB saw her--his face just glowed. He gentle kissed her and told me over and again "Thank you" and "I love you mommy!" They have been inseparable since.
When I finally got to DQ's game--after dropping off GM, SB and puppy--I gave her the big thumbs up and mouthed "we have a puppy!". She grinned, despite losing both matches (she's improved so much from last year though!) She didn't get to see puppy until later in the evening, since she had a school dance. But they had some serious snuggle time afterwards.
It's almost impossible to grasp the drastic change we've experienced as a family in just one week. How we could go from excruciating grief to the healing joy of one small puppy in a matter of days. I feel so blessed that God would grace us in this way.
Max will never be replaced. The bond we shared with him will never leave us. He's still protecting us from Heaven. As I took puppy out last night, we looked up at the stars. I know he was looking down on us, and wagging his tail.
Good dog, Max. Thank you for guarding our hearts this week.