Since my daughter was three, she wanted a dog. She loved visiting homes with dogs so that she could pet them. Having owned a number of pets, I could not get past the additional work this would bring me.
Despite the begging and pleading, I firmly dismissed the idea of a dog for her seventh birthday. When the nudging and pleas escalated just four days prior to her eighth birthday, I tossed a prayer up to God. I recall it being an abrupt, no nonsense, get-it-out-of-the-way-not-to-feel-guilty prayer. It went sort of like this:
God, if you want my daughter to have a dog:
#1 You will have to send it to me.
#2 The dog cannot shed.
#3 And, the dog has to be free.
In addition, my desire was to obtain a dog past the puppy stage. There is an adage that people throw around Christian circles, “Be careful what you pray for”. Whoever originated that must have prayed a prayer with results not unlike mine! Three nights later, one night before my daughter’s birthday, I logged in my email to find a friend¹ had sent me a link to a dog on craigslist.com (condition #1). The posters were claiming the dog had been lost and unclaimed after repeated attempts to locate an owner. They no longer could house her. The photo was of a very cute, fluffy, blonde-apricot, young dog that has now been identified as a cockapoo. Cockapoos are a mix of Cocker Spaniel and Poodle and they do not shed (condition #2). After contacting the poster, I had plans to view the dog the day after my daughter’s birthday. (I had selected to wait until the day after her birthday since I was uncertain of the outcome.)
Fast-forward—we now own Goldie, the name my daughter gave to our estimated 2-year-old friendly, endearing pup. Although it was not planned, unpredicted circumstances altered the morning following the birthday and my daughter came along to meet the dog. Along with a friend, we drove to a community park on a Saturday morning. I briefed my daughter that we did not plan to bring the dog home. As soon as we exited the car to approach the couple with the dog, I could sense my words were in vain. At first sight, my daughter cried out, “I loooove herrrr!”, with an OMG–I can’t believe this is happening–I am so joyful tone. The couple that showed the dog did not want any money (condition #3) and threw in a leash and collar as a bonus².
Goldie is a really good dog and has become part of our family. After a few months settling in and teaching us her routine, we adapted to her behavior. She has been in our home four years this past August. I had checked Craiglist for lost dogs and called the SPCA and we never discovered a claim for her.
I did not have a chance against my daughters’ prayers. God was just waiting to show off! I think He must just chuckle at times like these.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).