My son grew up terrified of dogs, and we never knew why. He’d insist that his friends put them behind a closed door or gate before going in their home, and encountering one in a public setting would send him scurrying. Then, in one afternoon in August 2013, that all changed.
We were holding a back-to-school event at our church; the local Humane Society was invited to show off their adoptables. Our cat had been put down back in the spring; Ben was asking as we drove there about a kitten, or maybe even two: “My friend told me it’s better if they have a playmate,” he offered helpfully. We made no promises, and a quick look over what our friend from the Humane Society had brought showed there were a few kittens and three or so dogs.
Martha and I were individually busy working games and trying to make sure things in our spheres ran as smoothly as possible. I wasn’t paying any attention to what Ben was doing, and was pretty surprised when Martha came over about halfway through the event to point out that Ben was walking one of the dogs! She grabbed her camera to capture the moment. Before the afternoon was over, he was petting and giving this 60+ pound collie mix all sorts of loving.
Our friends at church knew Ben’s history, and of course many of them were now telling us, “You have to take this dog!” We weren’t convinced, but by mid-week, the idea of taking him on for a couple of weeks “as a trial” began to seem inevitable. Four years ago today, we welcomed Buddy (he came named– a bit unfortunate, since this was also one of our nicknames for Ben!) into our home, and he’s become one of the family. Based on how I know my son, I figured there would be a breakthrough moment of some sort eventually. I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to share and enjoy life with the dog responsible for it.