Last November, our sweet Cocker Spaniel, Justice, passed away leaving us heartbroken. He was 13 years old. He was very special to Baby Girl. She loves all our dogs, but her bond with Justice was unique. He loved children and I think he saw her as his baby, too. He never grew inpatient with her, even when she tried to play house and make him the baby. They were best buds. She took his death hard, only being five and not fully comprehending death.
Since then, in her prayers she would add, right before her amen, "And could I please have another little dog like Justice? Not a big one. A little one." If you are new to this blog you might not know that, though our other dogs are sweet as can be, they are on eye level with Baby Girl. They love her with all their doggy hearts, but they don't really care for playing house.
Being old fashioned mountain girls, we always make our wishes on the full moon. We take a handful of rosemary, cast it at that full moon, and wish with all our might. Baby girl loves for me to tell her how I always wished for a baby girl for my own. Faith and magic flow freely intertwined up here like the stream that rolls down Waterfall Hollow. It may seem strange to outsiders, but here it makes perfect sense. I always prayed for a sweet child to love...and God sent me the very best one.
Children listen to us. They take our words to heart. We found out a couple days ago just how strongly she believed.
My husband had been to Alabama to try out my grandfather's old boat. (He hopes to get it in fishing condition soon.) Baby Girl and I stayed home near the wood stove. The lake in February? No thanks. When her Daddy came back home that evening he had a strange lump in his jacket and an odd look on his face. He said. "You won't believe this! When I rounded the curve in the driveway, the dogs were all barking at something in the pasture. I checked it out and you won't believe what I found in the pasture with the pony!" He then unzipped his jacket and took out the cutest, fattest little puppy you've ever seen! Thinking a litter of puppies must have (somehow) wandered to our neck of the woods, he left the puppy with me and went back to search for more. There were none. Just this sweet, sassy little pup.
We checked with our neighbors. None have claimed her. We thought surely she must belong to someone. She seemed well cared for. We live far back from the main road. This puppy would have to travel far to get to our place. And the pasture? It is surrounded by page wire. She had to have wriggled under a gate.
Meanwhile, Baby Girl has named the puppy Flower and they have become fast friends. Flower has insinuated herself into our lives (and hearts). This morning, as Baby Girl was getting ready for school, her Daddy told her, "That's my puppy, you know"
"No it isn't!" She was indignant that he could even say such a thing.
"I'm the one who found it." He knows exactly how to push her buttons.
"No! It's mine! I prayed to Jesus for it and he sent it to me!" That's when I realized...she had been praying for a puppy. I guess I had brushed it off as her way of dealing with her grief. But she had never given up hope. She as totally serious about this.
Daddy pressed on, "The why was I the one to find it?"
She never missed a beat. "Because! Jesus didn't have the powers to get it in the house because the doors were locked!"
(You've got to give her credit for quick thinking.)
That's when I stepped in. "Actually, Jesus does have the power to come into our house and bypass locked doors. But He also knows that, if Mama saw a strange animal in her house, she would have a conniption fit!"
I've always tried to teach her that God doesn't give us everything we want- He gives us everything we need. His timing is always perfect.
Who would argue with that? Not me!
All I can say is, if anyone comes along now to claim that puppy, they can tell her themselves.
(Puppy makes a friend.)