We have a history with dogs. I don't think it's so bad-but you may shake your head at us and sigh.
We've had three dogs for very short periods of time. We are now on our fourth.
Okay, okay! It's not like I'm saying I've had 3 marriages and am now on my fourth. It's dogs! Please give us a small break here! The first dog we adopted from a rescue type situation and he growled and snapped at my one year old. This was a no brainer. We cried a lot and gave her back. The second dog was again, from a shelter, and she howled like crazy all night. I could even hear her upstairs when she was in the basement. I had an infant at the time and was still doing middle of the night feedings. I just couldn't handle it. I cried a lot again and then found someone one who was
crazy enough happy to take her. She also had other quirky issues that made her not a great family dog.
Third attempt was an emotional decision to get a puppy from my younger sister whose dog had a litter of puppies that she was trying to find homes for. They were so cute and I thought, a puppy, that is what we need. My husband loves dogs and I really wanted to surprise him (he was out of town and unaware of this decision I was making! not smart.) So I picked out the cutest of the bunch and brought her home and gave her as a present to Steve. :) Sigh. Yes, I'm sighing at myself.
We named her Mercy. And fitting that was as God had mercy on us and when it came time for me to give her up, he had caused my older sister to fall in love with her through pictures, thus at least when I had to give her away it was to my sister, a wonderful home and she would still be in the family.
When we got Mercy I had a 7 month old newly crawling and Mercy had worms and ate her poop. I was so concerned and worried that she would track things in our house on the floor and Benjamin would pick it up, or that she would lick Benjamin in the mouth and give him parasites. My anxiety level was terribly high and life in our home became highly stressful. A particular situation in our family at the time also compounded the difficulties. In the end, she went to a wonderful home.
So now, here we are. Around Christmas time we watched a very sad movie, yet a very sweet movie about a man and his dog called "Hatchi". It is a true story about a man in Japan who finds a puppy at the train station and keeps her. They develop a very close bond. The man doesn't live far from the train station and he rides it each day to and from work. Hatchi always follows him to work and then runs home and she also meets him each afternoon at the train station when he arrives after work. One day the man has a heart attack and dies at work. Hatchi comes in the afternoon to meet him. She continues to do this every day for something like 11 years. She ends up running away from her 2nd home to be at the train station. She waits in the same spot each afternoon for her owner to return.
Anyway-BAD-BAD-Christmas gift for my husband and bad movie to watch on Christmas. Very sad. We (mostly me) balled my eyes out.
Okay, point being, I started thinking about us and dogs again. It had been nearly two years since Mercy. Maybe we could do it again? I talked to Steve about it and we tossed ideas back and forth. Then he said he really wanted me to make a decision. I told him I would pray about it that God would give me a desire for a dog if he wanted us to have a dog. So a couple weeks go by and I did pray about it. And then I sort of forgot about the whole idea and thus when Steve brought it up, I told him, "no, I don't want a dog anymore. I prayed about it and it's a closed door. Done deal. No dog. Forget about it." Drumroll please.....
Steve kindly replied, "Abby, I think you need to rethink your decision."
So after much additional prayer, lots of research and conversations with dog owners, we decided to purchase a yellow female labrador retriever.
We told our breeder, Mrs. Marion Daniel of Mar-Moye Labradors, that we wanted a puppy, if at all possible, that was a little bit on the mild tempered side. We wanted a dog that would play with our kids but would also be happy to chill on the couch or hang around the house. So when we got there she had one she had in mind for us.
I promise we are not choking her! We were doing the lay on your back test to see what she would do. She definitely just laid there for the most part and let us rub her belly. We could tell she was a sweetie right away.
Here we are meeting her mother, "Oakfell & Mar-Moye's Christmas Cheer". That is her pedigree name. I think she said she is called Alana. She was very sweet and definitely very eager to play fetch with the boys.
She had a very wrinkly, almost worried expression about her face. I think our little pup to grow up to have that as well.
Look at all those rolls and wrinkles! She is beautiful though and we are loving her a lot. She has her crate and her pen, but she gets out to play with the boys lots and lots. We just signed her up for puppy obedience classes at Petsmart tonight. She starts in 2 weeks! I think mostly in the beginning they are just teaching us how to handle her and start some very early training. We'd like for her to eventually become a therapy dog and be able to bring joy to the elderly in nursing homes or children in the hospital. I think this training and experience would be very good for my boys.
Her name is Gracie. Her pedigree name is "Mar-Moye Amazing Grace."
God is teaching us so much about his amazing grace towards us shown through the gospel-and what all that means-what it means to live in light of the gospel-so it just seemed fitting to called her Gracie.