Today was one of those days which tease the soul. I took “my” dog out for a field day.
You see, I made a tough decision a while back.
Thought about it for years…What should I do about Ebony? My husband and I were very active and gone a lot. The boys growing fast, busy with sports and girls, gone more than home. I was still teaching elementary school and intensely busy.
When I bought my dog over 8 years ago, my youngest son and I were excited to begin a new adventure with Ebony Anne. She’s a beautiful pure-bred black Labrador Retriever.
I house trained her from my four season porch at our country home, as I sat at my table correcting papers. We whipped the ball whenever we could, fed and cared for her. She was mostly an outside dog, but easily adapted to house training. Inside for a few months in the winter and summer when the temperatures were extreme. Many walks down the country roads, through the gullies, and along the railroad tracks. She was a great listener.
We were not doing Ebony justice. That nagging feeling to put up a sign at the local veterinarian’s office to offer her to a loving home. Something always kept me from following through. I felt guilty as she would peek at me from her doghouse, patiently waiting.
Conscience told me it was best to give Ebony to a home with children, who would give her the attention she needed and deserved.
My husband was ready to move into town years before I was. God provided several ways to keep Ebony cared for if we were away. One of our sons living home at various times. A couple extended guests in our home who took up the slack. We got by a few more years.
For my sake, my hubby was open to the idea of moving to a home with a small yard, instead of a condo which he actually preferred. He never was too keen on dogs.
The reality of moving became apparent.
Our house had suddenly sold. We were planning to live with my mother in law, as we were finding a home. For various reasons we could not have Ebony there.
Finally the decision was forced upon me at Thanksgiving time, to ask my husband’s brother’s family to take her for a short time. The agreement was made that they would temporarily take care of her. If we bought a place which would not support a dog, then more decisions would be made at a later date.
Throughout all the snowstorms of January and February, Ebony was in their home. Warm, happy and being spoiled. It was a great arrangement for all concerned. Their four children were enjoying her, and I learned how much my sister-in-law absolutely adored dogs, and Ebony.
What lessons did a vivacious Lab teach me? I’ll talk about that next time in Part 2.