Prepared in advance…by a very special dog
Welcome to today’s special blog guest, Connie Almony
Before I knew much about God or how He worked, I prayed He would make me a good mom. So as a believer of the doctrine, “God helps those who help themselves,” I set out to make that happen. I read books on child development, studied psychology and worked as a day-care counselor. I was ready—or so I thought.
Then God threw me for a loop. He gave me a child with autism. And though some of the above training and experience I accrued helped, nothing prepared me like the unexpected events God threw in along the way.
Shortly after the above-mentioned prayer, my sister moved to Kansas. On the day she packed her last belongings in a moving truck, I asked her, “What are you going to do about your dog?” Jan looked at me with pleading in her eyes and I knew that question was mine to answer. I had to figure out what to do with the untrained, allergy-riddled dog that tore up my belongings every time I visited. Great.
So I took her in with the sole purpose of finding her a home—not mine. Within one week her beautiful fur began to fall out, her skin festered with sores and she licked uncontrollably until her skin flamed red. I took her to the vet only to be referred to a doggy dermatologist.
Five to eight hundred dollars later (I can’t remember exactly—it’s all a blur now), I found out she was allergic to just about everything, and would require a special diet, regular medicine and weekly shots that I’d have to administer. All for a dog I didn’t even like.
In the process of getting her well, I trained her. I know, a novel idea … at least to my sister. Turned out she was not as evil as I’d originally thought. She just needed to learn some manners, not to mention gain freedom from the constant, nagging itch that plagued her every, waking moment. And then it happened. I fell in love with her. She became my baby and eventually slept beside me at night. A wonderful friend.
Years later, I would tell people she was an angel sent from God to teach me how to be a good mom. In fact, I learned more from her than the books and child-care experience combined. There is nothing like having a living being, who looks to you as its sole means of survival, counting on you alone. Very different from the children I gave back to their parents at 5PM every day, and not seeing them at all when they were sick.
So, as I told people God gave her to me for this purpose, I’d chuckle, “I guess He’s gonna give me a high-maintenance child.” Then my son came. My wonderful, sweet, loving … and yes, sometimes high maintenance, son. The son who needs special training, special medicine and special diets. Just as God had prepared.
Connie’s experience includes working as a Christian Counselor in Columbia, Maryland. Though she no longer counsels, she continues to work with wonderful people in this field. She has been married almost twenty years to a man who graciously encourages her new writing obsession, and has two beautiful children who inspire her to become all she can be.
Connie hosts the blog Living the Body of Christ created to encourage readers to use the gifts God gave them. She also writes for InfiniteCharacters.com, a group blog dedicated to guide writers in their pursuit of a dream, and readers in their pursuit of a good read.
Thank goodness the dog had you. I’m glad you turned that situation into a good one for the dog, you and your family. You’re a great MOM!
Thanks for the vote of confidence, Gail. I’m not sure I’m the one who turned it around as much as I believe God designed it to be just what it was. He knew all parties would benefit if He just put them together.
Connie, you are a blessing to all your families
Love you, Kel. Kelley’s my sister. One of three and not the one who left me the dog :o). You’re a blessing to me, too.
Wonderful message! (I’m stuck with my sister’s dog at the moment too but now I can feel grateful that I don’t need to give her shots!) I guess it’s okay to keep trying to prepare ourselves for things as long as we leave ourselves open to the preparation God already has in the works. But I wish we could recognize it sooner!
Kate, funny about the dog. I am dog-sitting for my good friend right now as well. He was dropped off the morning this post ran. Not shots, though. Phew!!! It would be nice if we could look at our struggles and be anxiously anticipating the good that would come from them rather than complaining about them. Unfortunately, the first week I had the dog, I called my sister and complained about all the stuff she destroyed. I know better now.
I loved this blog – especially the picture of your son with the dog. I never wanted a dog either but my youngest daughter did. That dog protected me completely. If I was near him, no one could go near him. Yet he was friendly as long as I was inside. See I have rhuemotoid arthritis. He kept the coyotes and everything else from our outside.
I no longer have him but thus began my need for a dog. I grew up scared of dogs – big or little.
No I have a huge dog, Chester – part Saint Bernard and German Shepherd mix. He is my teddy bear. I love him to pieces.
I would not be without an outside dog at all.
So I understand
Jane, Wow, what wonderful friends you’ve had in your dogs. You’d think I’d be afraid of them since I was attacked by one as a two-year-old. But that was one dog and I did not know how to act around them at that age. God gave me my wonderful Akita at a time I needed a friend as well. She gave me so much more than I could fit in the space above. And His timing was perfect–as always!
What a wonderful blog post, Connie. I’m so glad you came by to share it with us, and hope you will come again soon!