It was a Saturday. I was
baking butchering macarons. Like me, Eric was trying not to watch the Carolina v. Clemson football game, but both of us were unsuccessful. While my egg whites were whipping, I was holding my breath during another 3rd and long situation for my beloved Gamecocks. So you see, I blame the dog acquisition on being light headed from all that breath holding.
Within hours of our victory over our Palmetto State arch rival Clemson (YAHOO!), we found ourselves at the puppy place. We were just going to look at the puppies. Just looking we said several times to each other and to ourselves. Even though I have been evolving over the past two years from an extreme anti-dog activist to a dog tolerator to a dog liker, getting a puppy was still out of the realm of possibility. The idea was one I was willing to consider down the road, way down the road … you know for Eric’s sake. He loves dogs.
As we arrived we took in the room full of puppies. We browsed. We looked. We talked about different sizes, boy/girl, breeds etc. Apparently anything mixed with a poodle is popular. There were poodle noodles everywhere. They were cute and all, but we were just looking. We touched a few fluffy puppies. We held a playful puppy and a sleepy one. Cute, but ya know… just looking.
Then employee Savannah came around the corner holding a white, black and brown fur ball.
“What is that?” I asked.
“It’s a Lhasapoo and he’s 10 weeks old,” she answered.
“I think I like him,” I said as I immediately fainted.
The day we brought home our new puppy. No this is not a joke.
Ok I didn’t faint. But I was in shock. How could I be actually considering getting this puppy? How did I get here? Who am I? Oh EVERYONE who knows me knows I don’t do dogs. (For proof, head over to Facebook and read the comments from shocked friends when we introduced him.) And yet, here I was about to bring home said fur ball. Eric was fully on board from the moment he saw the crack in my armor. He pounced right on that opportunity to break me and proceeded to play with him like he was already his. But we’re just looking I repeated to him, to myself and to a couple strangers also just looking. Witnesses seemed like a good idea.
Looking. We’re JUST LOOKING. L-O-O-K-I-N-G.
So we took him home.
And named him Beamer. (For those of you not Carolina fans, the head football coach at South Carolina is Shane Beamer.)
I haven’t told a person yet that hasn’t been in utter shock at this development. In fact, the kids across the street even ragged me with comments like “no way” and “you?”, etc. Ya know, my own daughter didn’t believe me when I told her. Oh and get this. Because all the photos I sent her were of me at the puppy place, she thought I was tricking her. Figures. I mean that is something I would do. So I had to send proof of life and location before she accepted the notice of dog ownership as truth. Yep, ya girl, April Thomas, now owns a puppy and gets up at O dark thirty to take him out.
I guess you can teach an old
dog gal new tricks.
Regardless of whether the neighbor kids or my daughter believes it, people can change. We are all a work in progress being shaped by life experiences and beliefs, some for the better and some, well, not so much. Because I was hurt by a dog as a child, I was afraid of them for years. Because Eric and I had a dog that was
the spawn of satan difficult to deal with, I developed an intense aversion to all canines. Then because daughter Alaine got a golden retriever, I had to spend time with him when I visited her. Shortly after, I grew to tolerate being with a dog in the same room. Soon I was petting him and then buying him things. Before long we sat on the couch together and then I was taking him outside. Because son Austin got a cockapoo and she used her hands in such a cute way, I liked playing with her. Soon I was offering to stop by and let her out while they were at work. Then came watching her for the weekend which included me giving a bath to said dog. That was a first. When I could barely leave either dog without thinking about them long after, I knew something had changed within me. And then… because Carolina beat Clemson, we acquired a puppy and named him Beamer. #truestory
Meet our puppy Beamer.
I bet you don’t believe me either. I understand, but the way I see it, if Saul can become Paul on the road to Damascus, I can become a dog-loving puppy owner. I just have to be willing to adapt and grow. Isn’t that something we could all do a little more of? Who knows…maybe I’ll start training puppies for a living. Ok maybe not. My point is when Saul was struck blind that day, he asked “Lord, what do you want me to do?” Jesus answered, “Arise and go into the city.” So he did. He changed his core beliefs, actions, everything. I’m sure he realized he’d get some pretty odd looks or worse from those that knew who he was previously. But Saul obeyed God. He went from persecuting christians to writing a good chunk of the new testament. I’m sure it was hard for him and he felt completely out of place, but from that day forward, Saul was different, so much so that he could no longer go by the same name. Maybe that was because he knew no one would believe him! (I can relate, but I’m not changing my name. haha.)
I’m not saying that the shift in my dog acceptance ratings puts me closer to Jesus or anything, but I am saying that I think He put a gold star by my name for this. Sometimes changes in us are instant and sometimes it’s a process, but we are all capable of change even if it’s hard, messy and no one believes you. We simply need to be willing. What areas of your life could you ask God to help you make changes? That may be a scary question to answer, but it may just lead to something new and amazing…or fluffy.