I planned on being married all my life, but after almost twenty-five years, that fairy tale ended. I was left alone in our dream home to begin a new life. It happens all too often to many good couples who never expected the dreaded "D" word to happen in their lives. I learned that divorce hits the rejection root in the soul with incredible force. The impact leaves a gaping wound that you don't know what to do with except cry out to God.
One day I actually said to myself, "I don't even know who I am anymore." My husband was gone. My children were grown with lives of their own. My home was empty, my mind was reeling, and my nerves were frayed, but life went on. I had to figure out how to go on too. I prayed and sought comfort from God. I knew He would never leave me or forsake me, and that I was never really alone, but I missed having a living being to love.
My youngest son had two Labrador retrievers. One was a registered black lab, and the other was mostly a yellow lab mix named Sadie. Sadie was an older puppy when she was given to my son. We don't know much about her except that whoever had her as a puppy did not treat her well. She came into our lives fighting for food, territorial, willful, always needing to be reassured of your love, and charming. My son became sick and while the focus was on his care, Sadie grew up quicker than we expected. Before we knew it, she was pregnant. This blond child bride gave birth to eight wiggly blond or black, adorable puppies.
The pups were all soon chosen by excited new owners who counted the days till their puppy was old enough to take home. One by one the pups rode off to their new homes, all except one little blond lovable puppy. Her new owners decided not to marry, leaving one lovey pup homeless. I was rejected and I knew it, this playful little pup didn't know that due to circumstances, she was rejected too. I would go visit my son and she would lick and love on me till finally one day my son said encouragingly, "Just take her home Mom." I did. On the way home I put her in my lap. She was terrified when I cranked the car for her first car ride. Sharp puppy claws climbed up me till she squirmed her way up to hide under the hair on the back of my neck. I tried to comfort her, and got home as soon as possible.
I found an old dog crate and placed it on a folding table beside my bed where she could see me. Placing one of my son's shirts in the crate, I loved on my new dog before putting her to bed. She whimpered a bit, but went to sleep soon. The next morning I picked her up, loved on her, and took her out to "potty." We developed a routine, she learned quickly, and we began our lives together. We played, and danced around the house, took long walks and we were inseparable. She made me laugh with her puppy playfulness. I would hold her in my lap and inhale her sweet pure puppy scent as she insisted on climbing up to give me puppy kisses on the chin. Words cannot tell you how much joy she brought me. I named my puppy Callie.
I'd never had a pet of my very own before. Now I understood why America spent so much money on their pets! I would go through the line in the big box pet store to buy specialized dog food, load the counter down with small dog treats, and toys to delight her. Why such a change of mind? I believe God sent this little blonde puppy to me when both of us needed love. Callie's puppy love was medicine from heaven, an answered prayer.
Callie's unconditional love was a healing salve to my heart.
Callie with Bobbie, and her son Kyle.