He was the first Christmas present of the weekend, which we were celebrating a week late with my family. My little sister and her husband had kept his arrival a secret for two weeks so that my mother could be the first in the family to meet the latest member of the Gardner household.
Bailey came scampering into my folks’ house Friday evening, and the rest of us got to meet him when we arrived on Saturday. About three months old, this little Sheltie was bred and born on a farm on the eastern plains of Colorado, a very wholesome environment in which to be born (but a bit rank on the farm odor scent at first, I am told.)
Like many providential leadings in our family, especially recently, Bailey was meant to be. My sister Kristi and her husband Tom, who lost their two sweet Shelties, were at a point last fall where they believed they could welcome two more pups into their household. They had one picked out from one location, and he had basically picked his “brother” from among Bailey’s litter in another location.
But in November it didn’t seem to be the right time to take on the challenge of puppies in the household, and my sister and her husband relinquished their place in line for the two puppies.
In December my brother-in-law went on line just to see if there were any left of the litter that Bailey was part of. Incredibly, he was still available. And about three weeks ago now, Tom bought the little guy whose owners were willing to discount the price because he was older now.
I believe God held on to Bailey for Tom and Kristi, and the rest of us who enjoyed him immensely last weekend when we got together for our belated Christmas celebration. Well, almost everyone enjoyed him. My senior citizen dog Ebony was not thrilled. She did wag her tail upon making his acquaintance, but when he wanted to play, she just growled at him, invoking the “let sleeping dogs lie” motto with an extra phrase “especially old sleeping dogs.”
Bailey is adorable, smart and cute. He didn’t take offense to Ebony’s grumbling, but he did wonder how anybody could NOT like him! Of course we all fell in love with the little furry guy whose hair seemed to have a perpetual frizz to it and who couldn’t get enough of the tissue paper surrounding many of the gifts. Don’t have a paper shredder at home? Borrow Bailey. He’ll do the job in no time.
He was the medicine everyone needed, I think. There are still many medical issues following my family members into the new year, and I don’t expect it will be an easy year for most of those I love.
But Bailey will make it more manageable, even delightful — for all of us.