Saturday, August 1, 2009

For the love of new life

by Mary Erickson

It has been twenty-five years since my youngest daughter, Emily, was born and nine years since my little Scottie, Lily, came to live with us. Needless to say, I have seriously gotten out of the habit of caring for, loving and dealing with the challenges of new life. We now have the great blessing of little Gracie in our midst, a nine week old Scottish terrier puppy.

Her presence in one short week has turned our home upside down with activity, tasks to complete, messes to clean and amazing energy that I had somehow forgotten about. It is almost comical how our lives have changed. Getting ready for work in the morning has taken on a whole new level of challenge not to mention the every two hour bathroom calls in the middle of the night. I have learned that nothing stops Gracie from what she wants and needs and the existence of two adult humans in her house only adds to the interest she has in everything she encounters.

Our decision to add Gracie to our family came after great thought and consideration since our Lily is fighting liver disease and we have hoped that having a new puppy would energize Lily into prolonged life. Naturally, we knew that there would be some relationship issues but weren’t prepared for Lily’s reluctance to have an interloper in her midst. Gracie won’t give up in her quest to become Lily’s new best friend so the coming months will continue to bring challenges for all of us as Lily fights loving her baby sister at every turn.

The gifts that Gracie bestows on us are many. New life is always an open invitation to observe the miracles that God provides. Her sweet face and charming puppy breath literally take my breath away when I hold her. I am constantly made aware of how little she is yet how daring and uninhibited she is as she explores her new environment. Taking tumbles, being snapped at by Lily, being underfoot with an occasional stepping on of her feet…nothing stops her inquisitiveness to challenge this new world she has been introduced to. At this point, the great sadness in Gracie’s life is when she is corralled in a fenced environment which inhibits her racing through our home unencumbered!!

We also experience levels of frustration with Gracie but know that nature will take its course and eventually we will see a puppy that can be housebroken, can stop screeching when put in her pen and will learn the dangers of an open stairway that could result in injury. We are so incredibly blessed with Gracie’s presence that once again it gives me cause to reflect on the goodness and mystery of God in our lives. Puppies don’t come along often because they represent great challenges to their owners, but when they do, they compel us to witness the presence of God in our midst and to be grateful for new life.

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