The other day I was jogging at a nearby greenway in Nashville. This particular stretch begins/ends near the Metro Animal Control office, so, as I’ve done before, I stopped in at the end of my run. I figured since I have time, why not drop by to say hi to the doggies.
I strolled to each fenced-in dwelling, chatting with the four-legged guests. It wasn’t too long ago I came across an energetic dog named Bailey. I sat with her for awhile, and they even let me play with her outside for a bit. She was a great dog, yet my heart didn’t feel a tug. I knew she’d be adopted soon so I had no inclination to adopt her. This time around, a whole different story!
In a stall next door to the one Bailey was in (she’d been adopted by now), was a boy dog named Pharaoh. I knew I was in trouble because my heart felt a strong tug! He had blue eyes, and a spotted pink nose. He was mostly white with a few big brown patches. They said he was an Australian Shepherd mix. I learned this when I chatted with the workers there as I was on my way out. I was also told that Pharaoh was available, darn it! And he might be deaf! Well, now I just wanted to be the hero that saved him! Couldn’t they have said he has a history of biting people’s faces? He walks upright and drinks beers? He loves to pee on carpet? Maybe he’s pro-choice or something? Anything that will deter me from wanting to adopt him!
Anyway, I left to finish my jog and head home, all the while feeling that tug on my heart. For the rest of the afternoon I went over in my mind what kind of changes another dog would bring. Two dogs is one thing, but it seems like three is a whole new ball game. I researched. Mostly the adjustment was financial, but also there was a 10 or 15 year commitment to grapple with. My two dogs (Piper and Asia) are 8 and 6, so adding Pharaoh as a 1-year-old would extend my guardianship quite a few years. I decided to pray about it the rest of the day, research, sleep on it, and then see how I felt in the morning. Along with what I was feeling, I also knew he’d be adopted pretty quick because he was a beautiful and seemingly well-behaved dog. In fact, before I had even met him, there were two other families who put a “hold” on him but after 24 hours, their claim had expired.
I went to bed thinking I’d go visit him the next day, no matter what my heart was feeling when I woke up.
The next day I made my way over to the shelter mid-afternoon. I said I was there to pet the dogs. I also asked about Pharaoh. You see, I was still curious but if I’m being honest, I knew this time– in my heart– it was not my task to make a home for him. Although he would be a great dog, I’m sure, I felt a peace that he was meant for someone else. Well, when I asked the woman, she said he’d been adopted… THE DAY BEFORE!
Yeah, the same day I met him! A few hours after I left, he was gone! It’s so funny to me that once I got home after meeting Pharaoh, not knowing he would be adopted that day I prayed and prayed, I thought and thought, I went to bed hoping for clarity, then awakened with an inkling of a feeling, but still praying and thinking. Meanwhile, Pharaoh had been with his new owners for half a day already.
My prayers had been answered before I even prayed them. Pretty amazing! When I was told he was adopted, I didn’t have a feeling of regret, no anxiety about missing out, I was just happy for Pharaoh. Hopefully he now has a great home to run and play and be loved in. And meanwhile, me and my little pack of three are very content as a triple-threat 🙂
-Out of the Wilderness