Though Fergus has been a member of our family for a few months, I haven’t shared the story of how he arrived.
Tim had long been ready to add a furry member to our family, but I was reluctant. I knew I would eventually relent and confronted with a summer in which I had more free time than usual, the idea started to take root. It was solidified one weekend after I sat down to pay the bills.
While going through bills and paperwork, I realized that I had not yet tithed on a chunk of money we earned through side work. I sighed as I realized how much this would tax our budget that month. But we have made a commitment to pay God first, and so, even when it looks like money will be tighter than usual, that’s what we do.
I scheduled our payments and realized I must have missed something. After double and triple checking my math, we had more money left than we were supposed to have. Maybe you will want to call this an accounting error; I don’t. I manage our budget and bills monthly and this has never happened. I believe God showed Himself faithful to us that month (July) to encourage us in the midst of my unemployment. And we had the exact amount that we had been discussing it would take to adopt a dog.
So. We decided to go for it. One Saturday afternoon during lunch, we sat at our kitchen table and told the kids this same story. God had provided an extra “bonus” for us and we wanted to use it to do something fun for them. We gave them the chance to guess what that might be. “Monkey Joe’s?!” “A new toy at Target?!” “Go to a movie?!”
“Get in the car, and you’ll find out,” teased Tim.
So pile in, we did. And we headed toward the Indiana State Fairgrounds, where a pet adoption fair was being held that day. There was a large sign near the parking lot that used the word “Adoption”. We asked the kids if they had figured out where we were going because of signs they could read.
“Adoption?” Ana asked. “Is that for us?”
“Well, what would we adopt?” asked Tim.
“A baby?” she answered uncertainly.
“No, no babies for us,” I said. “What else do people adopt?”
“A DOG?” And all hell broke loose. There was screaming and shrieking and high-pitched squealing. Suffice to say, we got the reaction for which we had hoped.
Long story short, we needed a dog that was less likely to trigger my allergies. Unfortunately we didn’t find one that day, despite two more stops around town and many sobs from Yoseph.
In the week following, after much searching and not much luck, I shared our challenge with a good friend who recommended Natalie’s Second Chance in Lafayette. That night, I analyzed their posts on Facebook and found two possibilities for us–so we made the 90 minute drive. One of our challenges was that I would have loved to have a 6-7# dog and Tim would have loved to have a 60-70# dog. But when we met Fergus that evening, Tim was willing to compromise to this 20# miniature schnauzer, ten years old, with almost all of his teeth pulled and a food allergy. I know the staff at the shelter were happy he had a new home, but it made us teary to see how THEY got teary saying good-bye to him!
So we took our new addition home and honestly, he settled in quite well. He had a few days with just us before the kids came home. And well, the rest is history!
Our narrative leading up and in the days following the dog’s adoption was that we did it for the kids. But had I known how happy it would make this guy, I promise, I would have done it sooner.
The dog and I have our days. But the kids are learning lots about responsibility. And even though my house sometimes smells like wet dog, it was the right decision.