Monday, March 31, 2014

The Next Big Adventure

The time has finally come.  It's a day I've been looking forward to and dreading at the same time.  Andy started asking when he was 5 and I told him the answer would be yes when he turned 10.  Truthfully, I was hoping he'd forget.  I had a lot of great reasons to say no, after all.  Babies take a lot of energy.  Toddlers need a lot of patience and get into everything.  Preschoolers are busybodies.  School-aged children are involved in a lot of after school activities.  The house is always messy.  There isn't enough time.  There isn't enough money. I'm tired.  These are all still true.  It's always gonna be something.  Sometimes you just have to have faith.

Last summer Kevin gave the go-ahead on the dog adoption application process, so I started with the research. I read books.  I read blogs.  I read research.  I spoke with owners. I spoke with vet assistants.  I spoke with groomers. I spoke with rescue workers. I prayed. Mostly, I prayed.  And I didn't tell anyone who might think I was crazy.  Believe me, I know that much already. 

Last summer, I narrowed my search to Newfoundlands, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Golden Retrievers.  I presented the options to Kevin, and he chose what I knew (and hoped) he would: Golden Retriever.  So, I put out an application at several Golden Retriever rescues around Ohio and one at Pilot Dogs, the service dog training center.  Then...nothing happened.  Months went by with no word and really not much further thought.  It was a long cold winter and I was really glad not to be out with a dog in a polar vortex.  As the calendar began to promise nicer weather and when Andy's travel basketball season ended, Kevin once again gave me the nod.  I applied to adopt several dogs on, all to no avail.  Weeks and weeks went by and no dogs that fit our plan were available.  I prayed a lot and asked God to either bring us the perfect dog or remove the desire to have a dog from my heart.  I began to feel that maybe the answer to my prayer to find a dog was "Not now".  Anne-Marie and Renee reminded me that maybe the answer was "I have something much better in mind". These kids really do listen in Mass.

Friday morning I was lamenting our inability to find a dog to my mother-in-law.  I told her how rescues like to know the history of a dog when they are placing  it with a family with young children and that we might not have a dog until Anne-Marie was 8.  I was starting to become ok with that possibility.  Not even two hours later, Pilot Dogs calls and says, "We have a Golden Retriever available.  Are you still interested?"  We met her that afternoon, and I'd be lying if I said a I wasn't scared.  I felt like I did when I was in labor with each of my children (minus the pain). I was elated and terrified at the same time.  I couldn't stop shaking and my hands were like ice. But then I met her.

Here is how I know she is the answer to our prayer:  She is from Pilot Dogs, which was my first hope for our dog. Her name is Molly.  Kevin tried 3 times to name our daughters Molly.  She was born on April 21st, also know as Aggie Muster, a very important date in the tradition of our beloved Texas A&M.  Andy is turning 10 this year.  And Molly is absolutely beautiful! She's the perfect specimen of a Golden Retriever, if you ask me. 

Today is the day we pick her up.  My anxiety and fear of making this commitment has been melting away and being replaced with excitement and anticipation.  We are ready!  Let's do this.