…and Thunder is his name! Who could have known what a blessing a little miniature poodle could be! I am totally a big dog person, or at lease I was until this guy came into our lives. Growing up with dogs I knew the work it takes and I was NOT looking forward to having dog hair on everything. The constant sweeping and sniffling from my dog allergy did not make having a dog one of my top priorities, but my husband wanted something to help him through those tough days. There were so many nights he would come home from a shift and he didn’t have words to express what he had seen or been through. He just wanted a dog to come and lie across his lap and be there…something to pet and hold and not have to say a word. At first I wasn’t on board but the more I saw those nights and the stress the LEO life was having on our family I gave in and the search began.
I still wanted a big dog. I knew there would be hair (everywhere) but as we did our research we started looking for a dog that did not shed and offered the least problems for my allergies. I went to the local shelter and we searched rescues all over the U.S. trying to find the right dog. I had friends looking and family wondering what we were thinking! Then the text came. One of my good friends had a dog she thought would be perfect for our needs and she found him in the one location I hadn’t looked…Craig’s List!!! I called the lady that had Thunder and got the low-down on him. He was almost 2 and was living in a home with two young kids with #3 on the way. The owner didn’t want a dog anymore so she asked this friend to take him. The friend already had two dogs of her own so as much as she liked him she just didn’t want three dogs. She sent a picture of a fluffy-headed little pup so we decided to meet.
We met at a local Petco so we all felt safe and when we walked in I saw a lady with a scrawny, shaved, black, over-sized-rat looking thing that somewhat resembled the dog in the picture. I introduced myself and she explained that after the picture was taken the kids had gotten gum in his hair and he had to be shaved to get it out. Wow…this was NOT the dog I wanted and I actually told my husband I didn’t want him, but the boys and my husband were already hooked! The smell of cigarette smoke and lack of hair was all I saw, but they obviously saw something more in this little guy and that night in November 2016, Thunder became part of our family. We took the trembling pup into our arms, bought him a new harness (I was not keeping the one that smelled like cigarette smoke!), a bed, some food and a few toys and headed home with the newest member of our family.
We had been considering names since our search began but somehow, despite the size and look of this little tyke, Thunder fit, both as his name and into the hole we didn’t know had been missing in our hearts. Today I can’t imagine our lives without him. Thunder sleeps at our feet, usually with my younger son, but sometimes with me. He knows there are four of us in the house and he is never settled for the night until he knows everyone is home. He actually paces and sits as lookout (as shown in today’s heading picture) waiting until every one of us is home safely. Only then does he rest peacefully. He waits outside the bathroom doors for us and when one of us is gone he knows and will sit by that bedroom door wondering “where are they??” It is amazing how much he takes care of us. He knows when someone isn’t felling well or something is bothering one of us. He stays at the foot of the bed (actually ON my feet) when I’m not feeling well and today is hanging with my older son, who has been sick for several weeks. He has been following me for the past 15 minutes as I did tasks around the house and he finally stopped to eat only after I was seated back at the computer. He is our protector and even if he is only 10 lbs., he has the fight of a lion and will do whatever it takes to keep us safe. My husband is out bowhunting right now, so after doing his rounds to check on the other three of us, Thunder has resumed his post on the arm of his blue recliner, faithfully watching out the window for my husband to return and that is where he will sit until he hears the garage doors open and knows that his family of four is all safely home.
What an amazing visual reminder Thunder is of the way our Heavenly Father is always aware of our needs and where we are. It is so easy to forget in the craziness of life, that just like Thunder, God knows our every need. He is there with us in good times and bad and even when we don’t have the words to express what we are feeling, He is there, like Thunder on my husband’s lap, to just BE THERE for us with no expectations! No words are needed. All we have to do is lean on Him and he already knows what we need.
I know God’s almighty love for us is much greater than what Thunder can provide but I don’t mind the cuddly little reminder every now and then, lying across my feet and just being there for me. What a warm feeling I get both from Thunder’s love and from the love provided on a much larger scale by my Father in Heaven who is also always watching over me, and my family. He’s there for you, too! All you have to do is ask.
Joshua 1:9 ~ Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.