We all love a dog story, don't we? Lassie-Come-Home, Rin-Tin-Tin, and all of that.
I've been hesitant to tell this tale, knowing that some people see things differently than I do; I shared it privately with two Facebook friends, and I've told close family members, who are my witnesses. Just remember, no pets were harmed in this story. You need to know that going in.
I don't recall whether I've said it on my blog or on Facebook or both, but I do know I made public the fact that since we started babysitting the little princess, I was fed up with the dog hair in the house. Actually, I was always fed up with it, but I made a commitment when I took Iris in, and I felt it was my duty to try and give her a decent home. If I had been able to find somebody who wanted her and would treat her right, I would gladly have let them have her.
Now, when we went to look at her, she was in the section at Wayside Waifs where they put the animals that are not to be adopted, often because they are dangerous in one way or another. When the lady took Iris out of her cage, she (Iris, not the lady) snarled and tried to attack the dogs in nearby cages. She did the same on the way back to her cage.
When we first got her here, she attacked Cliff's sister's little miniature Dachshund, my daughter's big dog (forcing Hawkeye into the back of their pickup, even though he was much larger), my nephew's dog, and my granddaughter Amber's dog. This wasn't a matter of a little bit of snapping and growling: She would have killed the smaller ones if someone hadn't been there to separate them. I'm proud of the fact that after a couple of years, she finally got over that bad habit, and even learned to ignore the chickens when I turned them loose.
Iris was always deathly afraid of storms, and I tried to make sure she was securely inside if a storm was coming. A year or more ago she was outside when thunder boomed and she disappeared, later to be found at a house about three miles away as the crow flies. She had scratched on the door and they let her in, and then put a picture of her on Facebook; my grandson saw the picture and brought her home.
So a few weeks ago, it happened once again that I didn't get her inside in time. At the first bolt of lightning, she was gone. One day passed, and then another. As much as I didn't want the dog, I worried. I prayed. I hoped and wished that perhaps she would scratch on just the right door where a family lived that wouldn't mind hair and would love an old, needy dog.
On the third day of her absence, I went through the back door to take the trash out and saw her dog food dish sitting there. My heart felt heavy, wondering what had happened to her, and once again I hoped/wished/prayed that she would find a home.
There are steps leading up to our trash barrel, and as I put my foot on the bottom step, looking down I saw this:
I'm not sure of the timeline, but it may have been three or four more days when the grandson and Heather came over. As they entered the house, Arick said, "We've found Iris."
"About three houses down the highway! There was a boy out walking her on a leash. Heather asked if we should stop and tell them where she came from, and I said, 'Nope'."
After that, one day the Little Princess' mom came to leave her for the day and said, "I just saw Iris! I saw a lady walking her on a leash."
"I know," I answered. "And I'm very happy with where she is. Obviously she has found some people who are letting her live in their house and love her."
Yesterday Cliff saw her there for the first time. "She was groomed, and the white part of her coat was REALLY white. She was so clean she was shining."
I consider it an answer to prayer. I have said lately, thinking about Matthew 10:29, that "His eye is on the sparrow, and obviously His eye is also on the unwanted doggie."
I don't know why He took such good care of Iris and yet Mandy and Sadie, my previous dogs, had to die as young as the did. Maybe because I prayed harder. Maybe it wasn't God at all, but just the right circumstances.
When I first found out where she was, I told Cliff, "I wish she had found a home a little farther away from here."
But then I realized, if that had been the case, I would never have known what happened to her. I am thankful to God, no matter if He set the whole thing up or not. Here's another picture I took of the toy dog I found. I put it beside a quarter so you can see how small it really is: