Last week we welcomed a new family member into our home; little miss Ruby Sue. She started out shy, timid and unsure of her new environment. We of course smothered her with love and carefully introduced her around the house as we tried to assure her we were trustworthy.
Both of the kids were interested in her and eager to pet and play with her the first few days. They had been excited to get her, though nobody was more excited than I. She seemed very mellow and calm until day three. All of a sudden she trusted us, knew she was going to get nothing but love from us and began to show off how excited that made her.
This boy had reservations about dogs before getting her. Over Thanksgiving he was bit on the leg and since then had become petrified of the creatures. It had become a bit crippling when we would go on walks or over to friends houses who had inside dogs. Our thought was that a puppy would be a good way for him to learn about dogs, love them, and conquer his fears. Little sis has always been obsessed with dogs, really any animal at all, and so we knew she would adore having a dog in our home.
As Ruby began to open up and become playful Henry retreated into a state of fear. Though she was only five pounds of fluff her puppy bites, nips and claws were too much for him to handle. She loved Henry from day one so she of course only wanted to smother him in attention, turns out that sent him into panic mode. For two days Henry would not leave the couch. He wouldn't walk into a room where she was and screamed hysterically, demanding that we pick her up, crate her, or pick him up. The situation left me unsure what to do. I knew his fears were legitimate but I also knew if he could get over them they would be buddies for all of his childhood. We prayed together at night, I prayed during the day, our neighbor and fellow dog lover talked with him about having the strength of David and we waited.
On day 5 of Ruby Sue in our home Henry walked downstairs from his quiet time and decided he wanted to look at her and play with her, from a distance. We praised him for his courage and attitude and thanked God for helping him get there. From there we have made two steps forward and one step back as he requests to pet her sometimes, runs from her screaming at other moments, and then wants to tell her goodnight. At one week he chose to pick up one of her toys and play with her for about 5 minutes and told her she was a good dog. There were times this week where I thought I was crazy for getting a puppy and disappointed that something I thought would fill our family with joy had instead brought fear and stress. We waited and watched God move and are once again amazed at the ways he can teach us. He is taking a family pet and showing our sweet Henry how to rely on him to take away his fears and to be courageous in Christ.
Mallie Lynn is overjoyed that she has something to play mother to in our house and loves nothing more than to get down on the floor and hug Ruby. Of course she is helping us boss her around too when puppy teeth meet skin or toys where they don't belong. She is quick to grab one of Ruby's toys and hold onto it for her while she chews.
Oh Ruby Sue you're going to have so much love in this life you're not going to know what to do.