The most difficult thing I’ve had to do in the past 6 years happened this summer. We moved after 15 years. Not just once but 8 times since June. But the moving wasn’t the hardest part.
The hardest part was not being able to move our pets with us, who are both 10 & 11 years old. This became evident as my husband kept hunting for work out of our area and even across the country.
Miss Arwen was kindly cared for during our first move by our wonderful across the street neighbors. They had cared for her on many occasions over the years and they already had a cat who Arwen knew and was comfortable with. They were happy to help us keep her stable while we were still looking for our landing pad.
The thing I kept saying over and over throughout this crazy time was “There are no unknowns to God.” This truth of God’s omniscience helped me stay ‘somewhat’ sane.
Finding a temporary home for our dog Tux was a different story. Our new tenants allowed him to stay in the backyard of our former home while we were in flux; I came every morning to feed and walk him. His favorite walk was at the beach.
Tux loves to run and play with other dogs. I thought putting an ad on Craigslist and posting of his availability on Facebook would make it easy to find someone wanting a playmate. Not so.
Week after week went by. A sweet older couple wanted to give him a try. We arranged a weekend stay. He was too energetic for their 3 cats, so Tux came back to our old backyard and back to the morning walks.
More time passed; my husband had accepted a job out of the area and we would be moving into another temporary place where we knew no pets were allowed. Our kitty was welcomed into our neighbors’ family, so we knew she would be fine.
The ad on Craigslist for our dog finally had a response! A woman on a ranch with two dogs was looking for a playmate for the younger of her two. The timing was perfect! It must be the Lord answering my prayers! We took Tux up to her ranch and the dogs all got along right away. She was a sweet woman with plenty of fenced space. This looked like a great home for him.
The goodbye was tearful for me but we also knew it was only for two weeks; I would be able to see him again when I came back to the area to meet the movers for our final move.
Everything seemed to be going fine for Tux; she texted a picture of him cooling down in the water trough one hot August afternoon. He was doing well, or so we thought.
One Tuesday evening she texted that she couldn’t keep Tux any longer. No explanation. We had a text conversation about the fact that we were four hours away and that I would be back in town on Saturday. I went into a panic! What were we going to do? We had no options! I cried. We prayed for wisdom and for a miracle placement.
When I returned to our area that weekend I contacted our local shelter to see about surrendering him. I was told there was a 4 week waiting list for an appointment to interview us and to meet and evaluate our dog. They began to tell me how I could try to “re-home” him myself, but I tearfully explained the 10 week process we had already been through and that this was my only option. She said she was sorry but there was nothing she could do. I would have to take him elsewhere. I was alone with this dilemma; my husband and sons were all in different cities and states. I sat in the truck and just sobbed. I did not want to take him to Animal Services. He was 10. I was sure he would be euthanized.
This was too much! I was angry about my husband’s job. I was broken over having to leave our home, our friends, and our church community. I had “held it together” through all these crazy moves during the summer while he hunted for new work. But this news was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I fell apart, alone in our son’s truck, crying over our dog and everything else all wrapped into one.
Ever so tenderly, wonderful words of love came into my mind: “You’re not alone in this. I will never leave you or forsake you.” “You can do this, in My strength”.
I met the woman and Tux early the next morning, pre-dawn on her way to work. I spent the last day with him walking him at the beach with a dear friend. I took him to a nearby backyard to borrow water and bath him before I drove him out to give him up. The people who received Tux were very compassionate and encouraging. They told me to check on the web in a couple of days and I could follow his adoption process. I tried not to cry but I failed miserably.
I drove away that day, leaving our family dog and leaving the community I loved all at once. Oh so hard.
From our temporary housing in our hew town, I checked their website the next day and his name and age was already up! Three days later I checked on their website to see if his photo and info had been posted. His name was gone! I called to see if he had been adopted. The gal said “noooo just a minute”. I got a sick feeling as she put me on hold. When she came back on she had a different tone altogether. Very cheerfully she said “Someone from Woods came over and selected him to move over to their shelter adoption program on a trial basis. If he passes their evaluation he will stay there until he’s adopted.” This was amazing, miraculous news! This was the place that had told me there was a wait list to even interview! Who could have arranged these details? Who!?
Only One that I know. The One Who loves with a perfect love. The One Who knows my heart and my broken places and cares for me just as I am.
I don’t deserve this kind of love. He knows that. This exceeding abundant beyond love is what grace is really all about. Perfect Love.