Thursday, May 05, 2011

Sometimes the answer isn't the one that you wanted

I have mentioned once or twice before that things don't always turn out the way that we plan. God sometimes has a completely different plan in mind for our lives.

In February, Mike and I decided that we wanted to get a dog. We weren't sure that we could handle the time and work required for a brand new puppy so we thought we would look for an older dog. We submitted an application to a local organization that not only handled dog adoptions, but also trained service dogs. Emily is too young for a service dog, but we figured this organization would be able to help us find the right dog for our family. The process had some delays along the way, but we were not in a rush so we didn't mind. We were willing to wait as long as it meant we would find a good match for us.

In March, Mike had some issues with the computers at work and one of the IT guys came in to fix it. They were chatting and Mike mentioned our search for a dog. We soon found out that they had 11 puppies that were just about ready to go to new homes and they wanted to give one of them to us. They were Labrador and Golden Retriever mix pups.

I should mention, for those that may not know this, we used to have a Yellow Lab before we moved to Kentucky 7 years ago. We thought we were moving to KY to go to seminary and then we would be heading into the international mission field (one of those plans that didn't quite turn out the way we thought). We felt like we needed to get rid of our dog before we left RI since we would only have to get rid of her in 3 years anyway. Before Emily was born, giving our dog away was THE hardest thing I ever had to do. Fortunately, she is in a good home, with a family that adores her. She has a better life than she ever had with us!

Well, Emily and I went to see the pups (Mike was away for the weekend so he didn't get to come). They were adorable! They ranged in color from very light (almost blond) to a rust color. Some of the pups had long hair like a Golden (the dad) and some had shorter hair like a Lab (the mom). The owners had picked out a pup for us. He was a bit more mellow than his litter mates and very snuggly and sweet.

He was definitely going to grow into a big dog, but we were OK with that. Labs and Goldens have such great personalities that we weren't concerned about the size. We told the owners that we would be back in two weeks to pick him up. I was so excited! I could not wait to get him home with us!

I have mentioned before that we had some concerns that Emily might be allergic to strawberries. One of the pediatricians at our new practice referred her for an allergy test. We figured we might as well test her for a dog allergy while we were at it.

The test was the Monday before we were supposed to pick up our pup. She had to lay on her stomach (which she hates) while they did the "scratch" test with all of the different allergens. Thankfully, I was able to roll her onto her side while we waited the 15 minutes before they check the test. Since she was on her side, I wasn't really watching the spots, I was busy entertaining her and trying to keep her from rolling to her back.

When the doc came back in, there were 2 definite allergies and one that was in question. The question was the strawberries. They did two spots for that. The first one looked fine but the second was pretty puffy. She thought that Emily might have moved during the test and just got cut (it was the last one they did and she was getting pretty antsy about being scratched repeatedly). She recommended we follow up with blood work to be sure. The results of the blood test were negative. So we don't have to worry about a strawberry allergy.

I bet you can guess which allergens caused a reaction. It was dog and cat! The doctor advised very strongly against getting a dog (she didn't know we were supposed to pick him up in 3 days). I was SO disappointed! Mike and I had spent 2 weeks fighting debating over a name and finally agreed on Riley. We were both getting really excited about bringing the pup home. But that was not the plan that God had in mind for our family. I am thankful that we had the test before bringing the pup home. Poor Emily would have been a mess and we would have had to find a new home for the pup. God was watching over us and made sure that we got the answer we needed to make the right decision (even if it wasn't the decision we wanted to make). God always knows best.

FYI - the other items that came up negative in the allergy test were:
~ Molds
~ Ragweed
~ Grass
~ Trees
~ Weeds
~ Mites
~ Cockroach

We live in an area that is notorious for causing major issues for allergy sufferers. So I am glad that Emily did now show any reaction with the items that typically cause those issues.


Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

I'm sorry you weren't able to bring Riley home. I know how much you love dogs.

Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal said...

I'm sad for you about the dog, but you have such a great attitude about it. God has greater plans for us than we have for ourselves right? I've often found in my life that all the things that happened differently than I wanted them to, actually turned out to be blessings in disguise. I pray that this is one of those blessings for you. Have a wonderful weekend!

Big brother, Little sister. said...

Dawn, I am so sorry you cannot extend your family by adding Riley to it x perhaps a pet cockroach? ;) hope you can find a great companion for Emily very soon xo

Kristina said...

I am so sad you won't have Riley. Emma has a black Lab and she ADORES her. Actually, they adore each other. I am allergic to dogs, but got her anyway in my single days :-) I don't think we'll ever be without a dog, especially since Emma and I are so in love with them.

I thought about this post and was wondering if Emily could get a Labradoodle or other type of non-sheeding, non-allergy dog? It might be worth an option to consider it because, truthfully, I think our little ones need a dog more than anything. A dog won't leave them to go do dishes, clean the floor, etc. and will always be there looking over them and a buddy to bring other kids up to them to start a conversation. Just a thought! I hope it all works out!

Oh, and by the way, I totally have my sights set on naming our next dog Riley, because I always said my dog lives the life of Riley :-) Love the name!