The name of my story is “She said yes.”
Breaking News: We got a dog.
She’s cute. She’s soft. She pees a lot.
You warned me about this in your comments. In fact, I was so thoroughly swayed, dismayed, and put off by your admonitions that I said “No, sir. I just can’t do it.”
And then I had to sit there and be this big ogre of a momma while five little innocent faces (and one slightly larger and more whiskery one) blinked back at me oh-so-sadly.
“Fine,” I said, “We’ll pray a novena. St. Thérèse had a dog and knows what work they are. If she sends us…” and here I thought to pick as arbitrary and unlikely a color as possible, “Yellow roses, we’ll know she thinks that we can handle it.”
So we prayed the novena and the surprising thing is—‘cause you already know we got our answer—was that by the middle of it, my heart had softened. I wanted a dog as much as my family did! I started reading Dogs for Dummies with gusto and even stopped by PetSmart with the kids to look at rubber balls, rawhide bones, and poop scoops.
On the ninth day of the novena, I had a meeting for my homeschool co-op and couldn’t be there for the prayers. Daddy said them with the kids, though, and they all went to bed anxious. Would they wake up with a yellow rose beneath each of their pillows? Would the FTD man start pounding on our door at midnight? They just didn’t know.
They certainly didn’t know that on my way out of the meeting, which was held in the basement of our church, I stopped in the chapel to say a prayer or two. As is my habit, I made my way to the pew right in front of Mary. I sat down. I saw the roses.
Yes, Virginia, they were yellow.
As Ogre of the Hour, I was given naming rights. I chose something French—surprise surprise—in honor our celestial intercessor, yes, but also because I liked the sound of it. “Elle a dit ‘Oui” is our puppy’s name, which is French for “She said yes.”
I call her Elody while the kids like Ellie.
When I find out what the dog prefers, I’ll let you know.
Postscript: Many of you know that this story has an unhappy ending. Our Ellie died unexpectedly only 2 1/2 years later. As with so much of the suffering in our lives, we won’t know the why of her death in this lifetime…although we believe that God gives us each and every cross for a reason…should we embrace it. Just ask St. Therese!
And on that note, a happy note, I’d like to ask my faithful readers: Do you have a story to share about St. Thérèse? We would truly love to hear it.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His saints,