24 November 2010

happiness . . . is a warm puppy.

coco came into our lives saturday, oct 16. ben's parents were visiting when ben's mom looked out the window. who was that little puppy playing with our neighbors dogs? PUPPY?! i've only wanted a puppy for 4.5 years. but with renting, no chance. once we'd moved, i'd been scouring local shelters to no avail. a to-be-determined puppy was my bday present from ben. i *thought* i wanted a chocolate female lab pup. but coco (most likely a mix of german shepherd and chow chow) was love at first sight.

as soon as we heard PUPPY, ben and i rushed outside and immediately (prob not the best idea) scooped her up and cuddled. then we coaxed her inside, we heard it's important that the first time a puppy comes into your home, she does so on her own. we soon fashioned a kennel from an overturned milk crate and plywood. she was just around 1.5 months old. how did this little pup survive outside to find her way to us? where were her sisters and brothers? her mom? dad? we'll never know. but i am convinced God gave us this dog. and i am so thankful for her.

reactions to coco have been crazy! grown men (one a stranger) have squealed, groaned and cooed upon seeing her. our friends from iowa think she's part wolf (unlikely, but sometimes she walks like a bearcub slash linebacker). she's also been bombarded on park hikes by kids and adults. ben and i believe there is something about a puppy that melts people's hearts—including ours.

a woman i met while waiting at the vet seriously choked up when she learned we had rescued coco—she was so thankful a lost puppy had found a good home. i am, too. i pray my pup lives to be 15. how cool to have this dog until i'm 40! whoa.

as for the name, well that was easy. i've known for those same 4.5 years that my next dog would be a coco (or cocoa, depending on if she was chocolate). want to hear an even stranger story? one that makes me even more convinced my dog is from God? yah, i'm crazy—i like to think that after i pray for a puppy, understand that a puppy can't make me truly happy, but God can, that God hears me and cares enough about little things like that to give me a puppy. (plus! i have two grandmothers who are convinced an angel dropped her by our house. you can't argue with grandmas.) so—rewind a few months. ben and i are visiting mescalero last spring for him to interview and for us to check the place out, make sure we want to move here. we are riding in a church van, taking elementary school kids home after a church activity. a college group also happens to be here at the same time as us, on a mission trip. i am sitting in the back of the van. in front of me is a college student and a little girl. the little girl wants the student to draw her a picture of a dog. the little girl also wants the dog to have a dog house, a food bowl and a collar. 'what should the dog's name be?' the student asks. 'cocoa,' the little girl says. now, get this: after the drawing is finished, the little girl turns around and hands me the drawing. 'this is for you,' she says.


ok, stop everything and fall over three times.


however, the little prophet might be angry when she finds out i dropped the A from coco's name. perhaps the fashion designer coco chanel and/or the lack of overt chocolate coloring had something to do with that. maybe.

in any case, i am very blessed and very, VERY happy to have a puppy. charles schultz couldn't have said it any better.

^ the original drawing!!