As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Puppy Love

The puppies slept all night last night! We are in the process of house training them, and we have chosen to crate train them, which has been wonderfully easy. The only glitch are the middle of the night potty breaks. My husband and I reverted to the parental duties we had when our daughter was a baby. I take the "early" shift, and he takes the "late" shift. This means that I have been getting up with the pups to take them outside somewhere around 2 am. Rob does the 4:00-5:00 am trip. Last night they slept from midnight until 6:30 with no whimpering and no accidents in their crates. Unless you've been a parent, you have no clue how good that graduation step feels.

Unfortunately, the puppies are still fighting their kennel cough. It is a highly contagious cold for dogs. While the vet has confirmed that they should overcome it on their own in time, the duration is hard on them and us. They are easily tired, not very playful, not what we had expected from puppies, but then, we've only had two puppies during our married life. Both of them came from my parents, so they were healthy, well cared for, and given lots of attention. Our three puppies now were not so lucky.

Tristan, our hound puppy, is about 11 weeks old and had been at the pound for about a week. The vet feels like he was well cared for before that, though, and he is far more interactive and loving. In fact, you don't really have a choice but to love Tristan. He sort of ambles up, lays his beautiful hand face on you, and loves you first. He has good self-esteem. Ginger is a sweet girl, but she is the least assertive. In fact, when we try to love on her, she sort of shuts down and becomes completely inanimate, like a pliable statue. She is also the sickest. Fred is her brother, and he is pretty happy and loves to have his belly rubbed. He will walk up to you with his tail wagging and wait for us to invite him for snuggle time. Ginger never even walks up to us. Honestly, Ginger makes me very sad.

According to our vet, Ginger and Fred are about 9 weeks old. When he figured out the "drop date" for the pound, he said the puppies were dropped off right after they were weaned or maybe even a little early. He said it is obvious they are not well-cared for. Their health is one indicator, and their lack of social skill is another. However, he feels that they will come around as they get healthy and have time with our family. We hope so. In the meantime, we have committed to loving them, not because they are what we had in mind but because that is the choice we have made. They need love and folks to snuggle them while they heal. That's us.

Those are our puppies, but you know? I could point to a whole slew of humans who are very much like those wonderful puppies. They've been abandoned, dumped, or simply not loved on, and they need some good folks to commit to loving them and encouraging them on the road to being healed and becoming all they are meant to be. God chooses to make that commitment. I hope they see God in us.

Just something for us all to ponder.

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