She asked for a dog several times over the months. We drug our feet. We put it off. We made excuses… We traveled a lot…We were at camp a lot leaving our dog home. Her asking persisted. One day after her request I said, “Ok, Shiloh, if God wants to give us a dog, He will give one. Just start praying about it.” (this was in April or May of 2010.)
Things were pretty quiet around our house when the children left for college. We experienced empty nest for the first time. No dog to bark and keep us up at night either. (Our collie did bark a lot). It all changed one January night.
We came home from Christmas vacation to find snow in our yard…and dog prints. It was the first thing we noticed. As far as we could see from the street light’s glow, dog print trails wound around the house several times.
It wasn’t a tranquil empty- nest month of January like we had hoped. That dog barked every morning at 2am like clockwork, and also when we walked across the road to visit our neighbor after dark. It was kind of scary hearing the barking somewhere in the darkness closeby. We started calling it the ghost dog for we could only catch glimpses of it. One thing we were sure of. It was white and big.
Something changed. We heard barking around 10 am one Wednesday morning during the last week of January. We rushed to the back window. There it was, across the creek, by an out cropping of rock. It was barking ferociously. Nate caught more movement further up the mountain. “Look, there are two coyotes!” The big white dog chased the coyotes up the hill and out of sight. The barking finally quit. Maybe she was gone for good. We were mistaken. Now that dog barked every night, all night long. We heard barking all over the hill. That dog was everywhere it seemed. I buried my head in my pillow. “When Lord, will it quit?” I felt ready to shoot the dog myself! “This isn’t even my dog,” and I would ask God a good night’s rest.
Nights passed. The barking continued unendingly.
Monday morning. We were on our way out the door to teach at a school when I said to Nate. “Hey…did you hear that dog last night?” We thought and talked on our way…no barking. Maybe the dog finally left. Maybe coyotes got it for we heard of coyote packs around. Maybe a neighbor was a frustrated as we were and took the dog out. Maybe it finally went home. These were our thoughts.
Monday night. No barking.
Tuesday night. No barking.
Yeah. No more dog?
Wednesday I was washing the van in the afternoon after teaching. When I heard a yip. I heard a yip. I sounded like a puppy. I ran around the side of the house toward the sound. There, across the creek on a stone mound were three white fuzz-balls. I ran to the house and stuck my head inside, “Nate! Come quick! You’ve got to see this!” He came on the run. We counted three puppies playing. As we approached the creek bank they all ran into a long crevice out of sight.
…to be continued…
Psalm 20:4 “May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose.”