Some of you may remember a few years ago the joy our family experienced in being able to bring a dog into our family for Christopher, who had dreamed and hoped to have one since he could say the word "dog". Due to Christopher's pet allergies it was not something we could consider for many years, and because of his simple hope and strong faith we began to work with his (and our) diets and doing as many things as we could to prepare his immune system to be able to handle a dog. For many months we looked at and planned to adopt a greyhound, or another short haired dog. We lived in Moorhead at the time and could not even consider an outside type dog and had a small house, so we needed something small, or at least lazy. God as always, had other plans for us though...
Our very dear friend is a strong animal advocate and volunteers much of her time to the organization "Adopt A Pet". She often fosters various dogs and shares stories with us about her experiences, so my kids would often view the Adopt-A-Pet website to see the animals up for adoption and be able to converse with her about them - but we did not plan to adopt from them. One day, for some reason I cannot recall I decided to take a peak at the site for fun and saw a photo and brief description of a sheltie mix named Pepper, I cannot explain why, but I knew that this dog was THE dog. When these experiences happen to me, I can only attribute them to God's leading.. which this certainly was.
When we learned about Pepper, she sounded like the perfect personality we needed, but what about all that hair... and dander?? When we met her we all agreed she was wonderful and she was perfect, except for..all that hair... and dander? When we had her come stay with us things started off well, but slowly Christopher's allergies began to creep up on him until Mike and I were very concerned that this was not going to work out and that the trial period would be just that...a trial period that would end with a broken hearted little boy, a risk we had been hesitant to take. I remember praying for my little boy, whom I would find sleeping beside his new best friend on the linoleum floor in the kitchen in the middle of the night - he had already come to love her so. How could we take her away after he had waited for so long for her?
We tried it all, special shampoos, sprays, the list was long and none of it very effective. Then my dear friend on a whim ran into a woman who treats animals naturally and also worked with their owners for the very type of problems we were experiencing. We decided to make an appointment. To make a long story short, her work was nothing but miraculous and after a week of treatment Christopher was able to coexist with HIS dog w/o problems and was remarkably improved around other animals for short periods. Pepper was with us to stay, and it was an answer to Christopher's longest, dearest prayer.
Now Pepper has been a member of our family for almost three years and it is hard to imagine life without her. She has become an outside dog since our move to Brainerd and now thinks she's a wolf... continually patrolling our property and scaring the pants off of anyone who dares step foot on our borders (human or animal). She has become a second mother to the children and escorts them on all their bike rides and hikes, making certain they are safe. Her favorite game is Pepper- soccer, in which she is the star and doesn't like to share the ball. Her current naughty habit is "haul the shoes and boots out of the garage & into the yard and hide them from the owner"... we all just love that!??
As for Christopher, I am always proud of him and admire his tender care of her; daily changing her water - 3-4 times in the cold months due to freezing, feeding her happily, checking for and removing ticks, taking time to play with her even in nasty cold weather, and always and forever being her advocate. His loyalty and love for her is paralleled only by hers for him. They are truly... a match made in heaven. God hears the prayers of even the youngest who come to him in faith.