The kids were 2, 5 and 6 when it started.

“Can we have a dog? Huh mom? Huh dad? Can we? Pahleeeease?!?!”

Each time they asked (which was every night at bedtime), my insides would tighten up into a knot even as I put on my best smile. John and I had talked this over privately after the first few times the request came up. We were in complete agreement on this one. There was no way in the world we wanted one more thing to take care of. Heck, we’d already gotten rid of the fish. Not to mention dog fur all over the place and possible allergies.

Besides, I like cats.

So, we came up with a plan.

“Kids, mom and dad really don’t want a dog but here’s what we’ve come up with. If you really want a dog that badly, you’ll need to pray for one. We’ve got a list of requirements. If these requirements are met, then we’ll know that that dog is meant for us. The dog has got to:

  • Not be a puppy but not be an old dog either.
  • Be good around children.
  • Have hair, not fur, to decrease the chance of allergies and so as not to shed.
  • Be a mid-size or smaller dog.
  • Be fixed already and have all its shots.
  • And (here’s the kicker) be free and delivered to us.”

We were smug, sure that that this list would never be met and that we had squelched all future arguments of getting a dog while allowing the kids time to hope and then slowly forget about owning a pooch.

Kids, bless ’em. They were too young to be cynical or doubting. They were forever hopeful. Forever dreaming. And they wanted a dog, dang it! So, faithfully they prayed. And prayed. And prayed.

Every night.

For TWO YEARS.

And then the phone call that they had been waiting for came.

“Robin, I think I’ve found your dog!” Not my dog; I don’t want a dog, remember? “Oh really?”

“Yes! My friends are moving to a place that doesn’t allow dogs. They’ve got a 5-year-old Malt-A-Poo (maltese / poodle mix) that they need to find a home for. She’s fixed and up-to-date on her shots. The woman does day care out of her home so the dog is used to little kids. They don’t want any money for her, just a good home. Her name is Lucy and if you want her, I can bring her to you when I come up this weekend.”

Silence. This could not be. This was NOT in the plan! Not in our plan anyway.

But, we couldn’t deny it. Every single requirement was met. Malt-A-Poos are small, practically hypoallergenic dogs with hair, not fur. This one was in the prime of her life and was used to children.

It was the fact that she was free and would be delivered right to us which convinced us. We hadn’t told anyone about that part except the kids. All we had to do was say yes.

John and I looked at each other and had to admit it. We were defeated. God had provided a dog for our three kids who faithfully asked day in and day out and never gave up hope. How could we say no when God had said yes?

“We’ll take her!”

And you know, we couldn’t have been prouder parents than the day Lucy came home, a result of persistent, childlike faith.

Besides, she really is pretty cute.

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