(our scruffy little answer to prayer!)
I am not a dog person, but I admit that every dog we ever owned would dispute that statement. In fact, each would probably insist that she was my favorite! All our dogs had this insane idea that just because I hugged them and gave them treats and played with them and pretty much allowed them to run my life that I must actually like them!
Ok, I’ll start over. I like dogs—I just don’t like dealing with the mess! So, after Flour (our Miniature American Eskimo Spitz) passed away last summer at age fourteen, I had no desire to run out and get another dog. My husband wanted a dog, but he agreed that we should wait, especially since we were planning to move out of state within a year. Getting another dog just before a major move was not a good idea!
Anyone paying attention has probably noticed that the title of this post implies that we got a dog in answer to prayer. Considering all I have just said about dogs, that may seem odd, so I will explain!
On December 23, 2016, I was driving home from Florida, where I had just spent some time visiting my daughter and her husband. I had, in fact, spent lots of time that month with lots of family, both in Illinois and in Florida. It was during my drive home that I found myself longing for an opportunity to see someone who missed all those family gatherings: Kristie, my middle child! She and her husband were stationed at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas, “next door” to Juarez, Mexico, nearly two thousand miles away. The thought crossed my mind that I could manage a trip out there, considering that the classes I taught were not starting up again for another three weeks. There were a couple problems with that, though. For one, money was tight. The month of December had produced lots of expenses, some of which were unexpected. Plus, I had already done a great deal of traveling over the past few months, leaving my husband and son to fend for themselves! Plus, I knew my husband would love to go to El Paso himself, but he could not afford to take the time off work. I hated to go and leave him behind.
Still, my desire to go was almost overwhelming. So, I prayed. I poured my heart out to the Lord and asked Him to work out something if He agreed that a visit to El Paso would be a good thing! After that prayer, my heart settled down and my mind shifted to other things, such as our Silver Anniversary (which happened to be that day) and Christmas. I arrived home just in time for a little anniversary celebration. The next two days, of course, we celebrated Christmas.
Meanwhile, a couple thousand miles away, a scruffy little mutt was roaming the streets of El Paso, searching for her next meal and perhaps a little affection. On Christmas Day, she noticed a young woman out in a field calling out names—not hers, but she didn’t care! She responded anyway! She walked up to the woman, who was facing the opposite direction, and gave a little bark.
That woman was my daughter Kristie. A week earlier, she had discovered a couple of stray pups hiding in that field. Each day she would go out with some food and attempt to earn their trust. On this particular day—Christmas Day—she was out there again, calling out the names she had given them. When she heard the barking behind her, she turned, expecting to see one of those pups. Instead, she was greeted by this little stranger, who clearly wanted someone to love. Kristie promptly took her home and posted her picture on Facebook with this comment: “When God sends you a blessing, you don’t ask why it was sent.” Kristie knew she couldn’t keep the dog since she already had two, and her apartment complex had a two-dog limit. So, naturally, she called us!
“Mom, you would love to have this dog, wouldn’t you?”
(Someone in El Paso could take that dog.)
Later that day I called my mother to wish her a Merry Christmas. She was all smiles (I could hear them!) because my dad had done something completely out of character: he had taken it upon himself to buy her a kitten! (He is not a cat person, so that was a huge deal!)
After talking to my mom, I suddenly felt guilty about the dog, so I let my husband know that it was his decision. If he wanted her, I wouldn’t stand in the way. He assured me that he agreed we should wait. Several hours later, however, he called me from work: “I think I do want to take the dog. Could you go to El Paso to get her?”
Could I go to El Paso?!
Suddenly, I remembered my prayer from three days earlier: “Lord, please arrange for me to go to El Paso” (or something to that effect)!
Two days later, I was on the road again, heading west to El Paso to adopt the dog, whom we had decided to name Maisy. I had a great visit with Kristie and her husband (but that’s another story). On the way back home, Maisy and I made some fun stops, like at a meteor crater in Odessa, Texas…
And a Civil War battlefield at Vicksburg, Mississippi…
Our only mishap occurred in a McDonald’s parking lot in Alabama, when I got tangled up in Maisy’s leash and went flying! (She was more than happy to lick my wounds!)
Maisy is adjusting well to her new environment. Sometimes, I wonder if there is a little old lady in Juarez, Mexico, looking for her missing dog, but it’s more likely that someone just dumped her on the side of the road. Regardless of how she ended up in my daughter’s arms on Christmas Day, there is no doubt in my mind that God brought Maisy into our lives in answer to prayer, and that makes her extra precious in my sight.