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Friday, July 18, 2008

Welcome home Riley

So we did it.


has come home to live with us...but not without a great deal of drama!

Ever since we met the puppies last Saturday, it has only been a question of WHEN we would get one...not if we would get one. My husband and my kids were smitten, and who couldn't love a face like that? Not to mention these puppies are sweet. I mean, my friend at Sonlight Garden has 6 kids, 12 chickens, 2 cows, 2 horses, 2 dogs, and then the puppies. How could these puppies NOT be sweet?
So after putting off my kids all week as we tried to restore some order to the house after Scott's bedroom project, we finally set our sights on this morning being THE morning we would go fetch the puppy, which the kids had already named Riley. All that we needed was to stop by Wally World to get a few last minute things...a food/water dish, a leash, some flea stuff, and, at the kids' insistence, a tag with Riley's name on it. We had let K know yesterday that we'd be out sometime this morning to get him. So this morning at around maybe 9:45, I called to say we'd be coming that way after a trip to the store. I got her voice mail so I left a message. She called me back a tad distressed. It seems when her husband went to work at 8, all was fine and dandy, but when she went out around 9:20, 2 of the puppies were missing. The mamma dog and her son from her first litter came romping back onto the property (after escaping) soaking wet, but the 2 puppies were no where to be found. And the puppies that were missing? One of the 2 gray ones that she had already promised to someone...and Riley. So K was hoping we'd delay our coming so they would have time to look. The problem was, by the time I called her, the kids were literally loaded into the car. So I took the honest route and explained what happened and asked them what they wanted to do. They unanimously voted to go help search, and we skipped the store (not knowing if there would be a puppy to use the things we would buy) and drove right out there, which each of the kids praying silently on the way, even Sari.
We started bellowing for the puppies as soon as we turned onto her street. When we met her son on the road, my boys hopped out to help look. Mimi joined the search once we got to K's house and the girls headed out to the neighbor's 45 acres to look. The boys joined them, and they searched until probably 12:45 with no luck. At 1 J was meant to go to a friend's house and the girls had riding lessons, so the kids came back. (The little girls were oblivious to all the stress of the search and had a GREAT time playing together all day.) We inadvertently invited ourselves to lunch as no one seemed to want to admit defeat and suggest that the puppies were gone for good and we should stop searching. (BUT, we did prep the kids to go spend some time with the remaining puppies as one is still up for grabs, and it looked very much like that might be the one we took home eventually.)
As K's girls began their riding lessons, the other kids scarfed down hot dogs and alphabet noodles. Mimi and K's neighbor girl watched part of the riding lesson, but then the girls went to ride on the trail and Mimi and the neighbor came in and ate. It was at that point that Mimi lost it and came and quietly cried on my shoulder. She had put on such a brave face, but Riley had stolen her heart, and she was realizing that the chances of seeing him again were not good. I tried to encourage her with scripture, but with mercy and empathy NOT being my gifts, I tend to err toward the practical like, "A man's heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9 which is truth, and wonderful, but not really reassuring to an 8 year old. I tried :-).
Anyway, after most of the kids finished eating the girls returned from their trail ride...and someone came in screaming, "THEY FOUND THE PUPPIES." It still brings tears to my eyes, as at this point these 7 1/2 week old puppies had been missing for about 6 hours. Mimi JUMPED up and RAN to the puppies, and we all ran outside to see it for our own eyes. But there they were, safe and sound. The whole house...all 10 kids and K and I erupted in relief and happy chatter like, "I can't believe you found them." "We were just riding and we heard a yelp." "I thought they were gone for good." "Can you believe it mommy?" It was a wonderful moment.

On a side note, the whole visit was wonderful. The kids get along so well, and I draw great solace in the normalcy of K's life. We commiserated about pressure in choosing next year's school materials, the difficulties of pubescent boys, and the lack of water pressure we both suffer from. We lamented on the number of times a day the dishwasher needs to be run and in the never ending battle to stay on top of the kids, their stuff, and the household, and in the bumps and bruises that are inherent to childhood, but make you feel bad as a mother nonetheless. We shared the joys of overheard giggling little girls, cuddly babies (her daughter actually fell asleep in my arms :-)), and the blessing of motherhood. The kids enjoyed opportunities they don't get everyday like wandering through "the wilderness" (even if the task was the sad adventure of looking for lost puppies) and riding a horse.

We left K's after all the puppies got a flea bath. They have been outdoor dogs so far, but Riley will be an indoor pet, so we'd like to keep the flea population to a minimum. We had not stopped by the store on the way, so K was kind enough to let him get bathed there before he came home.

We finished out our day with Riley in his new home, and my mom, step-dad, and Marie and her family coming over to meet the new addition. We christened our new fire pit, although no one sat too close since it was pretty warm out. And now I'm off to bed...if Riley ever stops crying. He was fine-totally asleep on the couch with my husband, but then he woke up and I took him out to potty one more time, and now he's in the crate and VERY not happy about it (but until he's housebroken, he'll have to be crated at night and unhappy). I'm thinking it's good that there are two doors that close between my bedroom and that crate :-).

Tonight I'm one VERY blessed mamma. God showed himself in a powerful way to my children today, and they (and I) won't soon forget it.
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chewhi said...

Praise the Lord for He is good... what a wonderful story!

Melissa said...

Jeez, what a story - made me cry! Welcome home Riley!! You're One Bleessed and BRAVE Momma!!

Lisa said...

I love this. Thank you for sharing and have FUN with the new addition to your beautiful family! :)

DebiH. said...

Congratulations!! I completely relate to your experience :) Imagine losing a dog you have lived with for 12 years:( and your kids have had their whole life. As crazy as she is, we are glad to have found our furry friend too. Enjoy your puppy!!

Steph said...

CUTE puppy!

Randi Sue said...

Love that God story!