Friday, March 04, 2011

Spring Break

Mine begins today. I'm almost too tired to appreciate it. I have lots of things planned that have nothing to do with studying. If the weather will behave itself, I want to get my garden tilled (with Gary at the helm, of course). I plan to sleep late (if I can remember how), drink a lot of coffee, take my dog for lots of walks, and play a video game (maybe two!). My house looks like a tornado hit it and has for two weeks. I've been so busy studying that there's been no time to deal with it. I'm looking forward to cleaning.

I can't believe I just said that. 

For those of you not on my Facebook account, Dante', the little dog we rescued, went home on Wednesday. We have mixed feelings about this. He belongs to a teenage boy with Robinow's Syndrome  and--according to his grandmother who was the one who contacted us-he loves the dog."He wouldn't look like anybody cared about him. But someone does." She was right--the dog was filthy, matted to the skin, and thin and as I looked at the well, groomed, healthy little dog laying comfortably in my son's lap, I struggled for a second.  But then she clinched it for me, "He sleeps with (the boy's name) every night and he really missed him." Even if I'd been inclined to claim that we had a different dog (read: lie)--and though I might have argued with myself, I wouldn't have--that is a creature comfort I'm well familiar with. This is a boy who needs his dog.

They are good people--exceptional even--they adopt special needs kids and dedicate their whole lives to caring for them--they just keep their dogs differently than we keep ours and this is the thing I remind myself of every time I drift into critical, unpleasant thoughts. They are farmers and the dog got out an open gate at night while they were moving stock around to protect it from the coyotes. In fact, when they couldn't find him, they assumed the coyotes had gotten him. That little dog must have run for miles to wind up on the highway--and he certainly wasn't fast, so I'm assuming he must have evaded them. No wonder he was laying down when we found him the next morning.

From the beginning, I knew God has a plan in mind, that we were the ones who were suppose to rescue the dog. Gary never, ever picks up strays (well, not dogs, anyway) and couldn't get this one out of his mind. God made the whole thing simply too easy, making funds available for the grooming so I wouldn't mind having him in my house, hanging with my dogs, even providing us with an extra kennel to keep him in. I guess my idea as to what he wanted was wrong. It often is. Sam was deeply disappointed, but he is gifted with a pragmatism that far surpasses mine. After a bit of grieving (which of course broke my heart), he took a big breath and said, "I'm glad he wasn't dumped by a lousy breeder," shook it off and focused on the bright side. Sometimes I wish I could be Sam when I grow up.

I wish Dante' a long, happy life. In fact, I've asked God to give him one so his boy can enjoy him for as long as possible. I am only too aware of how brief that time is.

I've been crafting a short story since January--one scene at a time, a sentence here and there. When I say "crafting" I mean choosing every detail carefully. It is a story about our three oldest dogs (Solomon, who passed away in December, Oscar, and Scrappy). I am weaving a legend about the unseen things they protect us from. In his brief stay with us, Dante' found his way into it. It is nearing the climax. I will be putting a big dent in it over Spring Break and will probably post it in its entirety here once I'm finished. I have no illusions about its saleability. It is simply something I think the boys will appreciate some day when they tell their own kids about the dogs they've known.

Meanwhile, I'm going to get off here and go do--absolutely nothing constructive for a few hours.


Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Ohh, bless Sam. I am glad it wasn't a lousy breeder as well.

Debby said...

I'm going to be the lone negative voice here. And I am going to trust in your judgement, because you met these people. Mary. There are people in this world who foster special needs children and are not nice people at all. I find myself thinking about a helpless child, and a poor dog. They do not take care of their animals. Yet they allow an animal so smelly that you would not let him on your furniture to sleep with a child. They don't worry about illness or infection, or simple sanitation? It just rings wrong with me. I tried to accept your judgement that they are good people who care for their animals differently than you care for yours, but I find myself jarred by the imagery, and I am asking you to ponder whether or not, God has put you in a position to do something, given you a glimpse of something that needs to be exposed.

Sorry. It's just been with me since I read this, and I couldn't NOT say it.

Mary O. Paddock said...

Hiya Deb,

Bless you for your concern. I've been acquainted with this family for a very long time. While I don't know them well enough to call them friends, I've watched this particular boy since he was a toddler and I'm confident he's fine. I've had him in school, at the church after school program, at VBS, and at homeschool programs. The mother and I've talked at gatherings many times and she's volunteered at a couple of events I've been in charge of. She is very, very proud of her oldest son, as well she should be.

I don't know the younger kids well at all--in fact, I only just met the baby, but I can tell you that he is clean, happy, and healthy apart from the Robinows.

I am not impressed with the condition of the dog nor that they let him in their house like that, but if I've learned anything over the years about snap judgment, it's this--it is always the result of assuming that I know more than I do. So I'm going here with it-- Perhaps she is overwhelmed with the care of a special needs baby, or she's hoping that the boy will care enough to take care of the dog himself. Or maybe she just didn't "see it".

My prediction? The dog will be better cared for from here on out. If nothing else it had to embarrassing to have him handed back in better shape than he was when he got lost.

Mary O. Paddock said...

HEM--I'll tell Sam you said that. :0