The last several months have been a struggle. More so that is normal for us. a Family member of ours made the decision because of severe depression to end his life. It was hard on us all. My son struggled with it and still does. He stopped sleeping in his own room. he stopped participating in the things that were important to him. he was up all hours of the night. IT was a struggle all summer. School came and he was a mess. He came home from school upset everyday we struggled with getting the things set up that he needed. I called the school district almost daily for 3 weeks. I finally complained on facebook about it and got in trouble with HR for it, but the issue was fixed and services provided the very next day. We prayed, we struggled. it's been hard. He has slowly started to settle down but still hasn't been able to sleep on his own. He's needed company and meds and reassurance time and time again between 7 at night clear up until 1 am many times until his body would just quit and he would collapse into sleep.
then there is my daughter who struggles daily with anxiety. She is so anxious. EVERYTHING upsets her. she wont play in the backyard at all because 2 years ago there was a wasp nest that we got rid of. She wont play at the house of anyone with an animal. she spends DAYS in the house crying because ants are outside. because flies are outside, and bees. or one of the neighborhood children told her that there was a cat outside. She will spend anywhere between 1 and 5 days in the house because someone saw a cat outside or someones dog got out for a couple minutes. She would wake up time and time again in the night screaming about dreaming of ants and spiders on her. or screaming that a dog approached her in her dream. every spring the same process starts over. this year no matter what it has lasted through the summer. She spent so many days in the house crying that no one, not even her siblings would come in the house to play with her and she couldn't go out.
In all of our talking to people and searching for ways to help my son therapy dogs kept coming up. we always dismissed the idea because of our daughter. We couldn't do that to her. The idea kept coming.
Then one day she started talking about the neighbors tiny puppy that wasn't much bigger than her hands. she kept saying she wanted a dog.
so we started talking about it. she claimed she would only take a tiny puppy. We knew that a tiny puppy wouldn't do what we wanted. We wanted a dog that would be a therapy/service animal. One that would help my son feel safe in his room. one that would keep her safe outside. one that we could train to be out without a leash and follow her around in the spring and summer to keep her safe from all the naughty things outside. A tiny puppy dog wouldn't do those things.
We are in a small town in a small state. We arent too far though from a much larger state with a much larger population. so we started searching their classifieds. as it drew closer to Thanksgiving I started searching harder as we would be there for thanksgiving. I responded to a few ads and was told that no they weren't available anymore, or just outright being ignored. I was getting discouraged, but knew that since we were praying daily about it and the kids were too that we would figure it out at some point.
One day I was searching the ads, looking at the most recent ones first (which btw is an AWESOME sort feature) not seeing anything I went and started making dinner. several times I thought about going back and looking just one more time. I wrote it off, no dinner will burn, I just looked, i'll look later after the kids get to bed... finally I gave in and looked, sorting by newest. there at the top the first ad this dog was looking at me. I was so drawn to her. I went back to dinner, then came back. there she was. I looked at the post, shes in Idaho. not a possibility. went back to dinner. Couldn't stop thinking about her. I clicked on the post. There she was. Price was a LOT. I checked the bank, not enough money in there, we are short 250.00, shes too far away anyway. Then I look again and the post says that her family will be going to within an hour of where we will be for thanksgiving and they would be happy to bring her. So I sent a message. we went back and forth all evening and we decided that this was our dog. we agreed to come down on price to what I could afford.
all this time I was back and forth with dinner, serving it, eating it, getting kids to bed.
We showed the dog to the kids, talked to them about her. The little one couldn't go to sleep just at the thought of bringing such a big dog into the house. She isnt a small doug though still a puppy. she is a half golden retriver, half standard poodle. at 6 months old she stands almost as tall as my daughter. she spent the night in my bed.
I questioned again, is this right, is this our dog. The response was yes. WE started talking about it more as a family. Then the day came to meet her. No matter how many times I prayed and got the confirmation that yes, this is indeed our dog I doubted. Even when we put the dog in our car and drove off I was torn between doubt and certainty. So was my daughter. You could see it in her.
For 2 days she fluctuated being scared and being sort of ok. Sometimes back and forth in a matter of seconds. We told her she could take her time, there was no rush.
It took about 4 days is all before they were fine with each other. never once was there nightmares and screaming. We were fully prepared for it. fully prepared to keep the 2 away from each other. fully prepared to be up half the night with a child.
Now, just over a week later there is ENORMOUS changes in the 2 children that we bought the dog for. The little one plays with her. Giggles when being licked. she is the only one that the puppy will play tug-of-war with. She sleeps with my son in his room. my son is back in his own bed. He goes to sleep on time without 1 million reassurances that all will be ok in the morning. he's happier, all my children are happier. It's amazing. my son has only had one meltdown since we got her instead of the at least one a day sometimes several that we had been having prior.
These things are nothing short of modern day miracles wrought by a Father in Heaven who listens to and loves us. Made possible through the love of our Brother and Savior Jesus Christ. I can hardly wait to see what this spring and summer brings. Until then though we will enjoy each day and continue to work towards the goal of happiness and security.