A year ago, our family lost our beloved St. Bernard, Benjamin. We still feel this loss; we still talk about our Ben; we still laugh about special memories; and sometimes shed tears for our boy. We always will.
But as we rounded the corner to Fall and got closer to marking the year without Ben, we began to talk about getting another Saint. Could we? Should we? There were lots of questions to be answered.
We all decided we were ready to find our next family addition; that is, one with a tail and fur and preferably one with lots of slob, like our Benjamin. We started to put out some feelers online; searching for the right breeder or perhaps a rescue, as Ben had been.
But St. Bernards are not cheap, and we're on a budget. So, after a while of looking online, sending a few emails, following a few leads that turned to dead ends, I decided it was time to put it in God's hands. I asked that He take the issue and just let us know when He had the right dog for us.
One week later, Will got an email from the breeder who had Ben's sister. Several weeks prior to this Will had emailed them when he saw that Ben's sister had died; telling the story of how we came to get Ben and to say that we had enjoyed looking at the photos on their site over the years and that we were sorry to see that Layla had died. They had replied to Will then, but this new email came with an offer.
They had recently rescued one of their dogs from a buyer who was no longer able to care for her; she was 2.5 years old; turns out she was Ben's great niece. They wanted to know, "Would we take her; no charge?"
Well, for me, this was an answer from God. She needed us; she was our dog. And so we answered a resounding "YES!" even though I thought our next dog was a male puppy. Sometimes, God has other plans though, and I could see that this was it.
So, meet our Saint Violet; as in, Violet Parr from The Incredibles. She resembles Violet Parr in more than the black mask; she was timid and unsure of herself when she came to us, needing lots of love and assurance. But over the last month, Violet has begun to build her confidence, realize that we love her and that this is her forever home.
She is the answer to our prayers as we gaze on her sprawled out on the floor and see our Ben; hear her resonating snore through the night and hear our Ben; and love on that giant, cuddly, slobbery head and feel our Benjamin's strong, but soft and gentle leaning hugs.
We needed her as much as she needed us. We're still getting used to each other, but she adores us, is protective of her boys, is working out how to play with Teddy, the kitten, and is slowly bonding with her new "sister" Abby. And we have been reminded of the challenges of living with a great, slobbery dog; the slime flip flapping everywhere, the water all over the floor, the frequency with which one must buy large bags of dog food and the urgency of picking up the yard often.
Nonetheless, on this Thanksgiving, we feel thankful for God's grace in all parts of our life this year, including our very own St. Violet. Happy Thanksgiving! Over and out...