This is our little feather-duster-of-a-pup named Blackberry. She's a Shih-Poo (Shih Tzu / Poodle). Blackberry joined our family in late November primarily to be a companion for our other "pup" a spunky, twelve-year-old Lhatese (Lhaso Apso / Maltese) named Hemmers - short for Hemingway. Technically, Hemmers is our "Grandpup," since he actually belongs to our son. But we've had the joy of raising him, because his "Dad" lives in a town and feels Hemmers is better suited for the country life.
Hemmers had a sister out here on "the farm" until a very unfortunate thing happened Memorial Weekend this past year. Sister Nilla was a big Lab / Hound Dog - and who knows what else! Nilla was a goofball who absolutely lived to play. Hemmers and Nilla weren't just "siblings," they were best buds and "partners in crime" who had grown up together for eleven years!
So, when Nilla died after eating some rodent that had been poisoned, Hemmers was depressed - to put it mildly - for months! He was "lost" without Nilla. We deliberated whether or not we should get him another sister - until we saw how happy he was on a "play date" with a friend's new pup. So, after checking puppies.com for possible new sisters we came across a litter of ShihPoos a couple hours away from here. There was one pup in particular that we had our eye on. But how do you pick a new dog that will be part of your family for years to come? How do you know from just a five-minute "meet and greet" which one is the "right" dog? I certainly didn't know, so we prayed that God would lead us to the right one!
After a snowy, two-hour trip to check out the three ShihPoos, the owner asked Violet if she had one she'd like to hold. She pointed to Blackberry and instantly fell in love with her. I wrote out a check, and we hopped back in the car with our new member of the family. A few miles out of town I asked Violet why she had picked that particular pup. She said, "It's the one we had our eye on in the picture." I said, "Ummm. No. It isn't," then got out my phone to show her the picture. Violet's response: "Oh, no! We got the wrong dog! Should be take her back?"
Having prayed for God to lead us to the right one, I said, "No. This is the one we're supposed to have."
And, oh my goodness! We definitely got the right, wrong dog! Blackberry's a goofball another level up even from Nilla! We call her "The Smile Machine." She has got to be the happiest pup I've ever seen. You just cannot help but smile when she's in the room. She's a perfect fit for our family!
Our "Right, wrong dog" experience reminded me of a simple truth from God's Word found in the book of Proverbs: "Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails." (Proverbs 19:21). We had planned to get a different pup, but God directed us to the one He knew was best for us - and for Hemmers!
Pastor David Dauk