To Have a Dog


Cana Fall 2009

We share our family with a dog.
This is a special dog; a black lab with a goofy grin and wagging butt and gentle mouth. She  joined us at six weeks of age from a litter of ten other pups after her show-dog mama spent an evening with the pooch next door. She was all a lab pup should be; mouthy and mischievous with oversized paws and a love of puddles. Now, four years later, she’s settled into an incredibly steady companion. She can carry a baby bird in her mouth without harming it. She can carry a toddler on her back without flinching. She can carry a secret without a word.

Our current living arrangement doesn’t work for a big country gal like Cana, so she’s waiting things out on the ranch with the new caretakers in the old cabin. We told her that she would rejoin us before too long, but lately I’m not so sure. Recently, a special opportunity came up for her to join a new home and family; a unique retreat center in a gorgeous rural setting where she would be loved on while giving her own kind of love to others. If she went there, she wouldn’t be coming back to us.

Lots to think about.

Within the conversation of Cana and what home and when and all that, some other thoughts have risen within. Mainly, what having a dog has come to mean in my life.

To have a dog, we need a home: a ‘one place’, a space with some grass, a moment for walking, a corner for her bed, a water dish…. Having a dog means we don’t expect life will turn upside down next year. Having a dog means not packing up to go overseas for extended periods. Hm…to have a dog.

It’s weird how one creature can, in a round-about way, symbolize home and stability. It makes me wonder about many things, like how often I think I know what the future holds and how eager I’ve been for answers and plans.

I’m not sure if and when we’ll bring Cana home.
In some ways, we’ll always ‘have a dog’, she’s woven too deeply into our family to feel like she’s not part of us, even if she joins another family. But I guess the next while will tell whether or not she’ll have us.

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Comments
One Response to “To Have a Dog”
  1. I get what you mean about how having a dog means having a home. There is a sense of settledness and belonging with that. When we moved to Utah and Silas died, it seemed like all roots to a home died too. Of course they didn’t… we have a heavenly home and all that… but it really brought a sense of bleakness and homelessness to our lives at that time.

    Are you guys considering overseas? We were moving a bunch of stuff around yesterday and found your support letter from when you went to Ireland! Random huh?

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