For 13 years now she has been with me.
No, I’m not talking about my girls….my black lab, Savanna Molly Star Brani.
I got her when she was about 1 and brought her home for a trial visit.
At that time my oldest was 5 and I needed a child friendly dog.
Up until then I had had cocker spaniels.
“Get a real dog.” a friend of mine suggested. So I went looking.
Found a breeder who had this lab that just didn’t make it as a show dog.
Would I like to see her?
Sure, I thought. Wouldn’t hurt to look.
It was a bright day in April that my daughter and I drove to the farm
and met Savanna for the first time.
She was big….
and very black…..
but I thought she might work. So we took her for overnight
just to see.
She was anxious and easily got startled at every little sound.
Taking a dish out of the cupboard caused her to jump with fright.
I just didn’t know.
She refused to jump into the backseat of the car.
“Savanna, please” I begged pushing her from the rear.
My light weight was no match for her solid 55 pounds.
But after pulling from the front and pushing from behind
we got her in the backseat and home.
But nighttime came.
She refused to do the steps. No way was anyone going to make her go up those steps.
I looked at her and decided we would all sleep downstairs that night.
Pull out the sleeper sofa. Lights turned out.
I tried to sleep but was so uneasy with this big black dog that refused to settle down.
Morning took forever to come
and by the time it did I had decided
she was going back. I just knew it wouldn’t work.
God must have smiled at me.
Hotdogs? So I cut up a hotdog carefully placing one piece on each step
and waited to see what she would do.
All of a sudden she galloped up the stairs being careful to eat each piece of hot dog.
My heart lifted.
Could it be that she would work? Somehow?
Maybe so…maybe something good could come from this big black lab.
Well the years have passed and Savanna is now 14.
She can’t run as fast or dive into the lake as carefree as she used to.
But she still climbs the stairs wanting to stay by my side all of the time.
Whenever I sit here at my computer to work
Savanna is right at my feet.
and patient with everyone
this precious dog has found a place in my heart like none other.
God knew we needed her
Yes, He knew I needed her
to challenge my biases
to stretch me out of my comfort zone.
Doesn’t He often do that?
Loving Teacher that He is we can trust Him in every situation
to give us what we need
not what we say we want.
All of life serves to teach us lessons
and this dog
that was once rejected
is a prize we almost missed.
Thank you, dear sweet Savanna.