lola.


This is Lola. Lola is our 6.5 year old black lab. We have had her for nearly five of those years. And yesterday I was at my wit’s end with her.

Again.

I got Lola from a friend’s co-worker. She was about 100 lbs when she came to us. The family said they just didn’t have time for her, and that Lola spent about 21 hours per day in a kennel.

That broke my heart.

She was only a year and a half, nearly a 100 lbs, and could not move around easily.

I brought her home and over the next three weeks Lola lost almost 20 lbs. We did this by playing fetch three times a day. In the beginning Lola could only run two times across our pasture for the ball before getting too tired. As the weight shed, she was able to run longer and faster. Now I’d guess she could run for a solid 30 minutes fetching the ball before becoming winded.

Lola has an obsession with her ball. She wants to play with it at all times.  AT. ALL. TIMES.

She will drop it at your feet and bark incessantly until you chuck it for her. This is extremely obnoxious.

Lola is also pretty rude. You open the front door to go in, and she barges her way past you, often slamming into and nearly knocking you over in the process.

I wish I could say her bad traits ended there, but they don’t. Her favorite of all things to do is to get over to the neighbor’s house, knock over their garbage can, and drag the contents of that garbage can all over their yard, and into ours. 

We finally finished a fence several weeks ago. Proud of ourselves for gating her in, we stood back, hands in pockets, and felt like we won.

But that freaking dog jumps our five foot fence daily to get where she wants to go.

Yesterday I had had it. Uptohere. And so I put Lola on Craigslist.  My children sobbing, begging to not get rid of their dog.

Within an hour I had someone asking about her. I gave them information, and then they asked if they could come meet her tomorrow (which is now today). And I could not bring myself to reply at that moment. It was 9:30 pm, and I knew it would be good to just sleep on it. 

At 2:30 this morning my eyes popped open and my heart began to race.

This is pretty standard procedure for me these last few months, but normally it’s like 3 or 3:30. 

I started thinking about Lola. 

I started thinking about how loving she is to our kids, to everyone’s kids. One friend has three year old triplets, and the few times they’ve been here, all three of them have climbed on top of her and sat, and she just stays put. 

She loves kids.

I started thinking about how she gets along with all animals. And we have a lot of different animals.

I also remembered how I prayed for Lola. We had an elderly Golden Retriever for a few years that had passed away a few months earlier, and Josh had told me how he missed having a big dog around. So I prayed for one. And then came Lola.

Josh has an overnight trip coming up and I thought about how whenever he’s away, I don’t worry. Lola is pretty serious in protecting her property, and she makes me feel safe. That is probably my absolute favorite thing about her.

Last summer I bought her a shock collar. For the few weeks we had it (it took a swim in our pool and shorted out) Lola was a new dog. We put the collar on the “tone” mode and beeped her each time she was doing something unfavorable. It did not take long before she just had to see us grab the remote and she’d stop what she was doing.

So this morning, at about 3 AM, when Josh’s alarm went off, and when I do my best thinking, I decided I would buy Lola a new shock collar. A higher quality (read: waterproof) one. I decided that I would start giving Lola more positive attention. And I will start speaking more positively of her to our friends and family.

Have you ever noticed how when you focus on something negative and just talk about it over and over, it just makes that thing worse? I feel like that’s how my heart has gotten toward our dog. And that makes me sad for her, and for my kiddos, and everyone else who has had to listen to me gripe about her.

So today we start new. We start fresh. I will buy the new collar, and begin heaping a crazy amount of love into her in hopes of turning her into that dog we saw she can be. 

sometimes that’s all we need, huh? another chance. and someone heaping a crazy amount of love into us. someone who sees our potential and helps us reach it. someone to love us even when we are unlovable. someone to not give up on us even when we are at our worse.

Yep. I think this trying time with Lola has taught me an important lesson. 

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