I am a firm believer in the power of prayer, and I do not believe in coincidences. I have had many, many "God things" happen to me personally, so I know first hand who is really in charge of my life, and I know (although I can be stubborn about my own will sometimes)everything will always be all right in the end, if I put my faith in Him.
I've put off writing this post for a good long while. For a few reasons. First off, it's about something so close to my heart that, every time I think about it, (let alone speak of it aloud) the waterworks come. A literal flood of tears that I cannot seem to stop. Second, whether I share this or not doesn't really matter, because it is no ones business but my own, anyway. Lastly, some people may not understand why I did what I did. (I am a people-pleaser by nature, and it weighs heavier than it should on me when I feel I have disappointed anyone, for any reason.)
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I have moved multiple times in a rather short time period. Each move took me to yet a smaller home, with less windows, and none of them have had yards. (Often how it is when living in a townhouse, duplex, or tri-plex) Working a 40 hour week, then running home for a fifteen minute visit before running back out for several more hours, to run errands, or go out with friends doesn't make for any sort of life for a big yellow dog. Moose was living a life of solitary confinement of sorts.
This weighed heavily on my mind and heart for months. Thirty minutes of quality time a day cannot make up for 23 and a half hours of night-time-sleeping, and sit-around-the-teeny-tiny-living-room-and-watch-the-front-door-for-Tracey-to-finally-come-home.
I confided in friends and family about what to do.Repeatedly. What was best for Moose? This all went on for months. Then, at the end of last summer, after much angst and guilty feelings and endless prayers for guidance, someone told me I should try listing sweet Mr. Moose on Craigslist.
My selfish heart broke at the very thought.
I couldn't do it.
I looked at Moose, laying on the floor at my feet, hoping for a little attention.
I decided to just look on craigslist to see how many others were out there, trying to re-house their large pups. I typed "Yellow Lab" into the search box on craigslist under Pets.
Here is where God stepped in.
The second ad down on the page said "Wanted- Mature Yellow Lab". My heart stopped for a second. I felt an oddly peaceful wave come over me, and my stomach knotted up instantly with fear to find out what it said, all at the very same moment.
I took a breath, and opened the ad. I read. A family of three (a couple and their young adult daughter) decided to put an ad on craigslist because they love labs and found re-homing an older lab really suited them. About eight years ago, after being dog-less for close to a year, they were looking at a pool table at someones house who was moving. They ended up with a pool table and two gorgeous labs. The owner was downsizing and was moving to a house without much room. These labs were about seven years old and were amazing dogs.
They had lost the last of the pair almost a year and half ago to old age. Their family loved them and it took them awhile to be able to think about getting another lab. They weren't really wanting a puppy and would love to give another mature lab a great home for the rest of his life.
The ad had been on craigs for nearly a week, and today was the last day the ad would have been listed. They were not planning to re-post the ad, but rather just see if "it was meant to be".
I wrote to them, asking if they were still looking for a dog. Yes, they were. In fact, they had gotten no responses at all, except mine. (Keep in mind that there were apox. five ads on Craigslist with folks trying to give away or sell their lab.) I asked why they took the route of placing their own ad and not looking at the ads listed for giveaways, and I was surprised to hear that it hadn't ever occurred to them. They just put the ad out there in good faith that the right dog would come their way.
I knew this was meant to be. When I asked how big their yard was, they sent me a picture along with a wonderful detailed email....
Seven acres which (including a Christmas Tree Farm) for Moose to run around and chase birds and squirrels and balls. A Dad that works from home, with a rug by his desk for a dog. I got goosebumps reading about the possible new home for Moose.
(I almost asked if I could move there too.)
We talked on the phone several times, and a week later, we took Moose out to test the waters, and see if he might be happy there. I did a lot of praying about all this that week, asking God for more confirmations that this was what would be best for my sweet Moose.
Any tiny doubt I had about sharing Moose with this wonderful family disappeared the moment we got out of the car and his new Dad showed him where the water bowl was on the front porch.
Thank you, God.
We stayed about an hour and a half, all of us visiting on the back deck, while Moose checked things out and fetched the ball. These caring people said we were welcome to come back to visit Moose. Anytime. Even to take him home for a weekend. Or whatever. They understood just how hard this all was for me.
I knew it was what was best for Moose.
I held it together really well, knowing God had once again worked things out for the good, in his right and perfect time, but when we went to leave, Moose thought he was supposed to get in the car, and he came bounding after us to the car. His new family held him, and told him that, no, he was staying. I disintegrated into a puddle of uncontrolable tears right then, and couldn't look back as we drove off down the road.
That picture up at the top there was taken a few weeks after Moose's move, by the daughter in his new family, (see his unmistakable smile?) and here is a little more recent shot of him doing what he does best...
She later shared with me that Moose seems to like exploring the property. (Although he apparently doesn't like to walk inbetween the christmas trees, he walks around them, which is so typical of fraidy-cat-Moose!)
Not a day goes by that I do not think of Moose, nor a night go by that he is not on my prayer list. My heart trembles ever so slightly, and my eyes always well up a little bit every time I see a big yellow dog. But I am confident, and at peace knowing without a single doubt that it was God's hand that brought the perfect family to me to give Moose what he needed, and deserved, that I could no longer give to him.
I'm not sharing this post to get sympathy, nor do I want to read comments that I am a terrible person and an uncaring pet owner to give up my oh-so-beloved pup. I'm sharing this post with you because I think of you all as friends, and I've never been anything but honest here on this little spot here in blog-land. I don't plan on changing that.