A little over a month ago, we lost our dog. Frisbee had been our dog for almost 9 years. He was our first pet. My youngest son was a 18 months old when we got Frisbee. So, he can't remember a time when Frisbee was not part of our family. And suddenly, Frisbee was gone and we were heart broken. It was so difficult to grieve with my two sons. And the pain my husband and I felt was also very real. My husband used to pet Frisbee and say, "I'm going to miss you when you're gone." And now, he really was gone. We were all so very sad.
Of course, friends and family immediately began looking for a puppy for us. My mother called with a Brittany (Frisbee's breed) she had found in the paper. She was ready to go out and buy us a new puppy. My neice and sister were looking on puppy web sites for us. I recently learned that one man from church was ready to go to the local shelter and just get us a dog! When friends and family are grieving, you just want to act to relieve their pain. That's what our friends and family were doing and we love them for it.
But with each offer and phone call, we said, "No. God's going to provide a puppy. We'll know it when it happens." We just had a feeling that God was going to do something to provide a new dog for our family. A week after Frisbee died, we emailed a friend who had bred her beagle recently. She was out of puppies, but that began our conversations that a beagle pup might be a nice fit for us.
Fast forward to two weeks ago. My husband was early for a meeting at work. While he and some co-workers were waiting for the meeting to begin he said, "Oh, if anyone knows of any puppy litters, my family and I are looking for a puppy. We just lost our family dog about a month ago." Someone asked, "What breed are you looking for?" My husband said, "We were talking about a beagle, but we're open to anything." One of the women who works for my husband said, "You're kidding. My boyfriend's friend just had a littler of beagle puppies!"
Later that week, she gave my husband the phone number. He looked at the three-digit exchange and said, "That's our exchange. Is this family in Newport?" This was the first example of seeing God's hand in bringing a puppy to us. The family lives in the same town we do. Since my husband works 30 miles from our home and the woman who works for him lives 20 miles away from us, we would not expect this family with the puppies to be from our town.
When my husband called about the puppies, he spoke with the woman for several minutes. They made arrangements for us to come and look at the puppies. Of course, this woman knew right where we live which is just a few miles from them. When the day arrived for us to meet the puppies, my husband called the owners of the beagles and spoke with the father. He said that it would not work for us to meet the puppies that day. Then he said, "Are you the one who lost a dog and has two boys? Well, I'm not going to charge you for this dog! Those boys need a dog." Evidence #2 that this puppy was God's plan for our family.
We were feeling God's hand guiding us to this puppy. He began by puttng the idea of a beagle in our hearts. Then He prompted my husband to speak about a new puppy at the meeting at work. He timed it perfectly with his co-workers, and the birth of the puppies. AND he placed the family in the very town in which we live.
Finally, the day arrived that we could meet our puppy and put a collar on him. We would not be able to take him home yet, but we could call him "ours." As I was preparing supper for us to eat before we went to meet the puppy, I reflected on how God had brought this puppy into our family. At the time when Frisbee died, we had endured a series of several trials. We were weary but trying to remain thankful through our trial. It amazed me how God was favoring our family in guiding us to this puppy. And that's when it hit me. THAT was the name of the puppy..."Favor." Every time we called him we would remember God's favor to our family.
The time came for us to drive to the home where the beagle puppies were born. As we arrived, I saw the children playing in the yard and I thought, "Those children look familiar." We walked into the kitchen and the mother said, "Oh good, someone I know!" She and I had been on many field trips with our county's homeschool support group. Although we didn't know each other well, we had been on a few trips and outtings together with our children. God had used so many situations to say, "Here's your puppy." Knowing the family was the final line in a long string of evidence that God had orchestrated bringing Favor to our family. In a month, we will bring him home, but for now, there is a little 3-week-old beagle puppy with a tiny blue collar in another home in our town who is living breathing evidence of God's favor on our little family.