by Shelley Shepard Gray
This isn’t something I normally do! Every other time I bought a dog, my husband and I carefully weighed the pros and cons. We discussed our decision for hours. We prayed about it. We interviewed breeders. We’ve even been interviewed by dachshund rescue workers. But a couple of things happened that made me think that this was all meant to be.
The first thing that happened was that one of our two dachshunds passed away a couple of weeks ago. Butch was my husband’s dog. He was a darling little twelve pound black dachshund that we rescued four years ago. About five months ago, we learned he was sick. Then we discovered he had cancer. We tried our best to save him, but it wasn’t meant to be. Since then, we’ve been mourning his loss. Sadie, our other dog, has been missing him, too.
My husband Tom and I knew that one day, eventually, the time would be right to get another dog and give Sadie a friend. Maybe in a year or so.
But it seemed God had another plan. Right before I left to drive up to Holmes County, Tom mentioned that his perfect new dog would be half dachshund and half beagle. I laughed, saying I didn’t know how we were going to find one of those! Then, I hopped in the car and headed north.
Then, on Friday, I was with a group of ladies in my girlfriend getaway and we were touring an Amish farm. To be honest, I was a little bored. I’ve been on lots of Amish farms and in several Amish homes. Then we went to the barn.
Inside the barn, spring was in the air! There were piglets and lambs. Baby goats and tiny baby bunnies. An eight day old colt and a box full of kittens. And, a female dachshund walking around.
She was a pretty thing. She seemed happy and interested in the visitors and I was interested in her. It was also obvious that she was nursing some puppies. One of the ladies asked Roman, the Amish man who was walking around with us, about that dog’s puppies. He pointed to a stall.
And there they were! Seven half beagle/half dachshund pups! When Roman said I could pick up the puppies and cuddle them, I didn’t hesitate. Off I went! Oh, they were so cute. I picked each up. The mother dachshund came right by me and wagged her tail, just as if she was happy to show off her pups.
After realizing I’d been playing with those dogs for far too long, I walked out of the stall and kind of joked with Roman, saying I sure wished I could have one. That’s when he told me that five of them still needed homes. I then found out that they weren’t going to be all that expensive either.
Amish puppies? Beagle-dachshund mix dogs for a price we could afford? I excused myself from the group, darted out to the parking lot and called my husband. As you might imagine, at first he thought I was being silly. But then I started sending him photos. Then he said he loved the one that looked like Eddie Munster. We could get that one.
I darted back into the barn. By this time, some of the readers I was with had heard about my phone call. When I told them what my husband said, they helped me start trying to find which puppy was the one my husband liked. I started posing with puppies and they took my picture and we’d send it to Tom.
Everyone gathered around, and when my husband texted me back and said that was the dog he wanted, we all cheered!
Later, Roman told me that I was going to have to come back in two weeks. The pups were just a little too young to leave their mom. But he took a good look at ‘Eddie’ and promised that he’d remember that he was spoken for. Soon after, I paid my deposit and gave the office my phone number. I had a new puppy!
I would say I can’t believe how it all worked out, but I certainly can. This past weekend, the Lord guided me to an Amish farm that I would have never gone to if I wasn’t a writer. He placed puppies in my path that would have never seen if my new book A Daughter’s Dream hadn’t gone on sale and I wasn’t promoting it. He also gave me a very kind and patient Amish man to help me get over Butch’s loss, and a group of very sweet women who were willing to help me figure out which pup was the right one for us! It really was a moment when I knew the Lord was shining in my life and answering prayers.
It was also a very good reminder that just like in my book, some dreams really do come true.
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Shelley's Newest Release: A Daughter's Dream
Rebecca Kinsinger has always dreamed of being a teacher. But when she’s given the opportunity she’s been waiting for at Charm Amish School, she’s dismayed to discover that teaching is hard work—work she’s afraid she’s not very good at.
That is, until Lilly Yoder joins the class. A thirteen-year old who’s just lost her parents, Lilly is in need of someone like Rebecca. For the first time since starting her new job, Rebecca feels a sense of purpose. But when she meets Lilly’s uncle, Jacob, his good looks and sweet, easy-going temperament are hard to ignore. How can she even entertain romantic thoughts of Jacob when his niece is her student?
Suddenly becoming Lily’s sole caregiver, Jacob Yoder never thought he’d be a single parent—or a farmer. Having been living in Florida as a carpenter, Jacob feels more at home wielding a hammer than a backhoe. The only bright spot in his life is Rebecca Kinsinger. As Lily and Rebecca develop a bond, Jacob’s fondness for the pretty teacher grows, too.
But when a fateful accident brings them together, Rebecca and Jacob must choose between duty and desire. Will they follow the path before them? Or set out to find true happiness…and true love?
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