Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Disappointed, but at Peace

What a saga. As of Friday night, we got word that we were going to have Riley. We couldn't have been happier. The rescue people had deliberated over three "great families wanting him" (their words) and in the end, chose us because of my plan to get into Therapy Dog work with Riley.

We put our good faith deposit on him Saturday. We rejoiced all weekend.

But then something happened. At dinner last night, Paul said to the kids and me, "You better hope my dream doesn't come true. I dreamed that we couldn't get Riley."

We chided him, the jokester ."Yeah, right. You never dream. You just don't want more vet bills."
He agreed that vet bills are a downside, but I could tell he was serious about the dream, and it kind of took me aback. Like, "Is this prophetic?" Not creepy-beepy prophetic, but more like, "Is this a hint to keep my heart from settling on less than God's best? Coming from someone who doesn't dream, this is worth noting.

I kid you not. Less than ten minutes later, the phone rang. I recognized the number as the foster mom's cell number. First thought? Riley died, ran away, something happened to him!

The woman said in a crackling voice, "Zoanna, I don't know how to tell you this...but...we can't let you adopt Riley. " And I began, "oh, no! Why? What happened?"

Then she told me, in explicit detail ,that when she had gone to pick up his bowl after feeding him that afternoon, he grabbed her arm and bit it. She said she was holding the bowl with one hand and had to punch his face with the other. He released and backed up. But she said the look in his eyes afterwards was not "sorry, I made a mistake" but "I meant to do that."

So, with tears as controlled as possible, she told me they couldn't let this fantastic dog , who had never shown food aggression in her 3 months of fostering him, go to a home with children. She was so disappointed in him, so sad for us. I told her I was glad she wasn't seriously hurt, and I was sorry she'd experienced that, and that I respected her for telling us right away. I assured her that we have always prayed that if the dog wasn't right, God would make it clear. He sure did make it clear. Better now that later. Better a trained foster parent get bitten on the arm than my little boy in the face.

Disappointed as I am, I feel very much at peace. I am thankful for Paul's dream and that he mentioned it and not withheld it. If I've learned one thing through the soul-searching and asking God "where to in this season of my life and at the same time getting a dog?" it's that I'm certain the next dog must be Therapy material. Loving, smart, trainable, no bite history, patient, easy on the eyes (some dogs are scary looking even though they're sweet as all get-out) and ABOVE all, trustworthy in all circumstances (including great pain) to be self-controlled. Basically, a clone of Molly:). I regret now not pursuing Therapy with her, but for most of her life, I had a house full of kids and for half of it, we were homeschooling and had extracurricular activities vying for our "spare" time. I couldn't commit back then to the regular monthly visits than residents come to look forward to. The timing wasn't right.

As for my heart in this saga today: I trust that this disappointment is part of a larger picture. I am confident God has heard us and is hand-picking The Dog for us.

No comments: