Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A dog for Luke

So surprisingly, we are seriously considering getting a dog. I say "surprisingly," because I personally didn't think it would ever be considered. I have gone through three dogs as I was growing up, and though I am a dog lover myself, I also know how much work they can be. Plus, we don't have a fenced in yard.

Also, we just bought new carpet a year ago. Just being practical here.

But if there is one kid that needs a best friend, it is Luke. He is my kid who breaks my heart, because he can be very difficult to understand, but he tries to hard to be good. Not too many people understand Luke.

I do. Dennis does. My mom does. And his teacher does. But that's about it.

Most of the time he can't find anyone to play with--both at school and at home. I admit, he brings a lot of this on himself with his moods. But at the same time, loneliness can make a person cranky and difficult. Like a revolving circle, Luke both seeks friends and pushes them away.

The only times you will see Luke showing a tender side of him is when he's with babies and animals. He is right there beside them to the point where you have to watch him to make sure he doesn't get carried away with his playing.  If anyone has a dog in the house, you can bet he will be right next to it. At Thanksgiving, Uncle Jerry had a gerbil and Luke was right there terrorizing it. Well, he wasn't purposely terrorizing it, he just wanted to see it. Every time the gerbil went to hide in it's house, Luke would solve the problem by simply lifting the house out of the cage so he could see it better. So the poor gerbil had no where to hide.

Luke spent the rest of the time begging for a hamster. I wasn't really ready for a rodent in the house that I knew I would end up having to take care of. After the kids went to bed, I researched "hamsters" and found that they can only tolerate up to five minutes of handling per day. That simply would not do!

I went through a list of "starter pets" and even though "pet rock" was jokingly at the top of my list, my mind kept drifting back to the very bottom of the list: dog.

There were so many reasons why I didn't want a dog in the house. The time and work it takes in order to help a dog develop into a "good dog" with good habits was something I didn't have or want.

So as I mentally crossed dog off my list, I went through every other animal that I thought my make a good pet. But each one just didn't seem to fit, because as much trouble as dogs can be, I knew that nothing would be as good as a companion to Luke as a dog. So I went to bed thinking that a cat would be our next best choice. They were low maintenance and some of them could be cute and cuddly. I decided to pray on it and let God decide if we should have a pet and what it should be.

The next morning, I talked it over with Dennis. I went through the list of animals and he voted "no" to the cat because of his allergies. So that only left hamster. At least that way, it would be manageable and it could be Luke's pet. But Dennis surprised me. He said, "Well, I hate to say it but...."

I was already nodding my head, thinking that he was going to say that this wasn't the right time to get a pet.  We had been through this discussion a hundred times over the months.

"....but if Luke is going to have a pet that will be a good companion, then I think we should get a dog."

I believe my jaw dropped open. I was not expecting "dog" to come out of his mouth. The highest maintenance and most expensive animal on my list was actually voted to be the best pet??

Well, there was one thing we could both agree on: it was the best pet because it would be a constant companion and friend for Luke. And for all the kids of course. It will be a family pet. But somehow, I think it will be a special friend to Luke.

So, we are going to go to the Animal Humane Society and schedule a time to look at dogs. We haven't yet told the kids. We plan to surprise them with a dog collar and a note telling them that we will pick out a dog together that suits the family.

I know they will be excited--except for Henry, who is afraid of dogs (but he will get over it.) But the person's face I will be watching especially will be Luke.

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