The Family

The Family
Justice, Logan, Jacy Klaire, Joy, Josie Kate, Luke, Megan, Judah, Kerry, Jaxon

Friday, March 4, 2016

Puppy Love

Josie Kate and Justice with Lucky Dog
Bella was a typical Haitian mutt. Those dogs are bred for one thing, to bark. When someone entered your yard they were to bark and serve as an alarm in a land without ADT or Brinks home security.

Bella was hit by a car...twice. She walked with a limp. She was scared of her own shadow, and she was just plain ugly. But in spite of all of that this little dog came into Josie Kate's life at a time when she needed a friend.

We were overwhelmed after the earthquake. The kids were doing great in getting adjusted to living in a third world country during a catastrophe but it was extremely stressful on everyone. Josie Kate found a friend and confidant in Bella. She developed a special bond with the yard mutt and was seldom seen without it. She was 4 years old and carried the dog around like a baby doll that was almost her size. She held the dog's head in a tight squeeze while Bella's body dangled loosely as the duo skipped around the yard. Without resistance or wimper Bella submitted to Josie Kate's whims and became the little missionary kid's source of comfort in a trying time. Josie Kate would dress her up in doll clothes, push her around in a baby stroller, or simply lay on the ground under the table and cuddle the furry member of  our family.

Two and half years later when we had to leave Haiti to return to the U.S. we all had our heart aches about leaving. For Josie Kate it was having to leave her Bella behind. During the stressful and anxious time of having to try to assimilate into another culture once again in a new city, new school, and no family or friends around, Josie Kate longed for her comforter and best friend. Many nights she fell asleep on a pillow wet with tears over missing her Bella.

For a long time Josie Kate wouldn't even talk about getting another dog one day. She didn't want another dog. She wanted her Bella. On every return trip I made to Haiti I had to take Bella a treat and bring Josie Kate back pictures. About a year after being back to the U.S. Josie Kate's love for dogs overpowered her diminished missing of Bella and she began an all out campaign for a new dog.

We lived in a town house in Florida and now a condo in Georgia. They are not the best living arrangements for a yard dog. Joy always said that she couldn't handle another mouth to feed or someone else to clean up after- furry or otherwise. But Josie Kate is persistent and has a special way of looking at her mama. After a couple of years of resistance, we finally started thinking about getting a new dog for Josie Kate. She immediately knew that she wanted to get a rescue dog. She can quote almost all the breeds listed in the 2015 AKC registry. The girl knows her dogs. She found a litter of puppies that had been born in a humane society locally that were of the breed group she was hoping for. With lingering resistance, Joy and I surrendered and Josie Kate finally got to adopt a new dog.

Of course the dog is for the whole family, but the other kids know that Josie Kate is the dog obsessed member of our pack. She is also the one tasked with caring for the dog. A week ago we brought home Lucky Dog. He's a shepherd mix and is doing a good job of making Joy and I question our decision. He is all puppy and is keenly adept at mess making of many sorts. So far he has demonstrated an above average ability to eat, sleep, poop, and destroy anything that is left in his reach. But of all his various talents, his greatest ability is to bring a smile to Josie Kate's face. She fell asleep on the floor cuddling him his first night at home...then I took her to bed and the dog barked and yelped ALL night long. Yay us!

We learned a life lesson when God brought adoption into our lives that helps Joy and I in this situation. There are times when a decision may make your life a bit more complicated or your days a touch more stressful, but often times those things are the very things that make your life fuller. We are not looking for simple easy lives but lives that are full and abundant and bursting at the seams with excitement and adventure as we attempt to be everything God created us to be. It's not usually easy and it's never dull or boring but we wouldn't change it for the world.

Welcome to the crazy family Lucky Dog.