24 May 2013

30 Days - Day 24 - God Gave Me a Dog

It's gotta be some sort of record to be starting this late. It's 3:43 pm.

It's now fully raining. Did not expect that.

It was sunny this morning. Did expect that.

It was also breeezzzyyy. Did expect that.

Just got the dog in. It's raining; he needs some comfort, too. He's snuggled up on his bed having a good old snooze. For some reason he doesn't want to go into his dog shed at night - we're working on that. I've aired it out, fluffed the pillows (ha ha) and tried to make it nice for him, so we'll see what he does after that. He's slept in it for the last two winters, not sure why he's flicked it now.

I love that dog; he's been so good for me over the years. Today when we were walking I was chuckling at his ear hair (behind his head) and his tail as usual. And his gait from behind. He's just so entertaining.

I never wanted a dog.

We had two dogs growing up.

One was left on our door step by a friend after Mum and Dad specifically said they didn't want one. He was old and used to smell a bit. He used to 'skit the cats' if we told him to, but otherwise he'd just hang around. He was just a dog.

The second was a puppy called Peppy. He didn't last long - 3 months. He got hit by a car. Very sad. It happened on a Sunday afternoon. Poor fella.

We had cats. Well, one cat; the rest were my sister's. She's had a lot of cats over the years - I think she's got three now. The one family cat we had (that I considered my cat) was Chippy. He used to sleep on our beds and plant himself there for the night like concrete. I remember not being able to move my feet around because he was so heavy. He was a good cat.

That was the total of animals I had growing up. I think there was a turtle in there somewhere, but he wasn't mine. And chooks; we had chooks for the eggs. I used to hate taking the scraps up to them because they stunk (the scraps and the chooks).

All this is to say - I have a dog now. I'm a dog owner. Sometimes that still surprises me.

Andrew's always wanted a dog and I knew he'd be a good dog owner, but I just didn't want one. I few years ago though, I realised he needed a dog, so I said to him, "Babe, if you want a dog, get a dog, okay? I'm not standing in your way."

A few months later Andrew found an ad in the Trading Post and sent me the picture of the puppies. "I like the gold one," he said.

Honestly, my mind is a big vague on the details, but I'm pretty sure this is how it went.

He rang the guy that was selling the dogs and talked to him about them.

Andrew and I talked about it and if we really wanted to do it and all that. One of Andrew's big things was the cost.

"They're $18O," he said, "I don't want to pay that."

We surfed the net looking for other dogs and talked some more. None of the ones in the shelters seemed right and other dogs to buy were seven and eight hundred dollars. Expensive. All of a sudden $180 sounded doable to Andrew ha ha.

The thing's always been this though - we've never agreed on the type of dog to get. We've talked about dogs over the years, never agreed and chucked the idea out the window over and over.

Problems:

We couldn't agree on a type of dog.

There was never a good time to get a dog.

We were moving house and building again (a process that took over two years).

I didn't want one (I didn't want chooks either, but he just went ahead and got those).

Andrew loves Kelpies (hello, exercise me a thousand hours a day) and I've always liked Golden Retrievers (hello, I've got so much hair all you'll be doing is sweeping it up). Full breed dogs seemed to be so full on in one area - ie. not for us.

Solution?

God stepped in and made the dog for us.

Those little puppies in the picture Andrew sent me from the Trading Post were crosses. A Golden Retriever dad and a Kelpie mum (with some Cavalier). Hello?? Made for us!

The litter was unexpected. The owners kept the price cheap because they just wanted their costs to be covered in the end. The owner offered to send us pictures of the three dogs they had left - a bigger golden one, a black one and a little golden one. Andrew claimed the little one because he wanted a smaller dog.

Here he is at four weeks...



Awww...How could we not??

They were calling him Luke. We have a nephew named Luke, so we chose a different name. We tossed a few around and Andrew suggested Cody. Because I like to know what names mean; I googled it. 'Cushion' flashed up before me and I knew we'd picked the right one.

And get this - I just googled Cody now to find out the meaning and Cushion popped up again, as well as Helper/Helpful.

He's most definitely been a cushion. And brought a cushioning effect.

(What in heck is cushion all about for a name meaning anyway? I wonder if there are names that mean lamp, dishwasher or fan. It's weird; Cody = cushion, but it fits.)

As for Helper/Helpful - He's most definitely been both of those. Helpful to have around - a friend, a constant companion. He's brought us a lot of joy and we love romping through the woods with him. Last weekend we were out in a new place we found and I asked Andrew if there was any water around. "No, the creek's dry." Halfway through the jaunt - SPLASH! - and there he appeared all wet after his swim in the creek. If there's water around he'll sniff it out.

He'll also wake from a sound sleep at the sliiiiggght crinkle of the freshness bag inside a Jatz box.

He loves ducks.

He loves chasing ducks.

He loves swimming after ducks.

He hates being on the lead around ducks and doesn't get why he can't chase the ducks.

He loves the beach.

He loves mud.

He loves Andrew and watches him like a hawk on the weekends for any call to action to go out on a jaunt.

He knows the name "Andrew" a lot better than he knows "Deb".

He likes to wrestle with Andrew.

He knows a lot of words - maybe about 25? (Cody, Go, Up, Stop, Sit, Okay, Back with a hand signal, No, Ah ah - he just woke up when I said that very softly to see how to type it - Outside (I think), Wait, Andrew, Deb, Ball, Bone, Come, Good Boy, Good, Hi, Hello, Where's your? Round the front, Drop, Give, Stay and Beep Beep. I think that's about it. We've also got hand signals we use, too. If I want him to do something that we don't have a word for, I use the words he does know to get him to do what I want like, "Cody, get off the mat" becomes, "Up! I point to the direction I want him to go, Stop, Drop." You know, stuff like that. We make it work and it works most of the time. Well, it does with me...when there's company it's a different matter.)

He has a lot of untameable hair, but I love it. The ear crimping (from his part Cavalier mother) is quite funny. My niece asked me if I plaited it. I told her it was 'ah la natur-al'.

He's hairy, but he's easy to groom.

He's hairy and I sweep almost every day.

I'd rather sweep than pay for dog haircuts. My dog is not going to have more money spent on his hair than me.

He has hair feathers in between his toes. So gorgeous.

He's the perfect colour.

He's the perfect size.

He's perfect for us.

He's three and a half now and I still marvel at how perfect he is for us. God knew what He was doing when He made him for us. If I had all the dog parts in front of me, and I could make my own dog, I wouldn't have known what to choose frankly, and I wouldn't've been able to come up with Cody.

God did, though.

It's obvious that Cody's not just Andrew's dog; he's mine, too. We both love him and treasure him very much.

So, when you're going through hard stuff don't be surprised if God gives you something very different for you to help cushion your way through it.

He did for me; he gave me a dog.

I love you, Cody. You're a gift.

xx









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