When we first moved into our home we went looking for a dog. I had always had dogs growing up but for the past few years during apartment living we decided it was better to wait for a house with a yard before tackling finding a canine companion. I happened to run into a lady at the vet’s office that I had worked with doing animal rescue. While the group I worked with strictly dealt with cats, her group focused on cats and dogs. I inquired whether or not her group had any Australian Shepherds or the like currently in the program. She said they did not, but she had a lady contact her about help placing an Aussie and she would forward me the lady’s information.
I contacted the women and we arranged for a meeting with a dog named Sadie. The lady we met with was a park ranger and had found Sadie abandon in one of her parks. She said Sadie was probably there about a week before the park flooded and she felt guilty and brought Sadie home with her. She lived in an apartment with a German Shephard puppy and even though she said she would love to keep Sadie, she really didn’t think it was fair to have her in an apartment. We took Sadie home with us that afternoon.
After we had Sadie for about a month I could totally understand why someone might have abandoned her somewhere. She was about 9 months old and a super high energy Catahoula mix, which was a world of difference for me having had two low energy Pitties as my last dogs. After a half dozen pair of shoes and a few shirts were eaten we kennel trained, figured out busy toys and discovered dog parks. Later on Sadie was able to start going to work with my husband for a while and all these things helped tremendously in taming down the hyper and mischievous behavior she would display if left to her own devices for too long.
Fast forward a few years and we were blessed with a little boy. A non-sleeping, stubborn, very high energy little boy. I’ve heard more than a few times people use the turn of phrase “God never gives you more than you can handle.” Sometimes I have really questioned that phrase. When my teeny tiny baby would only nap an half an hour at a time making it near impossible to get any task completed and when it would take 2 hours to get him to go to sleep at night I really thought that line was a load of bull. Some days I really struggled. Some days I still struggle. Sometimes I wonder if I really can handle everything that’s been thrown my way. Sometimes I wonder if I have been given more than I can handle. Sometimes the thought of running away cross my mind (I don’t but sometimes the thoughts still flicker.) Why does my child seem so much more difficult than other children?
Then, I read a horror story about something a parent that has done to a child and I think maybe that phrase means something else.* Maybe I was blessed with this bouncy little high energy child because I would never do one of those things that you read about on the news or see in the paper. Maybe that’s really what that phrase means. I was sent this child because I have the temperament to deal with all the crazies. I have learned the tools that are required to deal with a child of this temperament. Maybe I was sent a crazy Catahoula mix dog as a test run and when I passed that test I was then sent a child with a similar personality. Maybe. And even if not, it helps me have a little more patience when I think about things using that mindset. Whatever the answer is I love my dog and my child and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
*In all honesty sometimes I can’t even read the stories I don’t make it past the titles before my eyes start tearing up and I get so incredibly angry.