This one's a doozy. Let me tell you. So I'm just going to jump right in.
First you need some background. I'll try to make it brief.
Aaron and I 'officially' started dating June of 2003. The first week of July, 2003, Aaron had been itching for a dog, and we packed up and went to a little pet store in a nearby mall. Aaron had been looking for a dog for months, and when we walked into that little pet store, there were two little puppies sharing a kennel in the back. One was lying peacefully in the crate. The other was jumping over the peaceful one over and over again and barking. I knew what was coming, I could see it in his eyes.
"I want that one," he said. He was referring to the hyper one that wouldn't calm down.
We walked the rest of the mall before he finally made the decision. He rode on my lap the entire way home, and when we reached DeSoto we'd chosen a name: Ezekiel.
Zeke has been there from, quite literally, our beginning... and has been through everything with us. He kept Aaron company while I did Wild Week Camps over the summer of '04. He was a staple at the skating rink that Aaron owned. He had a squeaky boxing glove that he'd chase across the rink floor after hours. When Aaron was serving under his first Pastor, Zeke frequented the office with him every day. (And years after we'd left that church, and then come back, Zeke remembered exactly where his office was!) He was in our lives when we got married... when we went on the road he lived with Aaron's parents (and with us whenever we were 'around'), he moved with us to Northern Illinois, and then back to Du Quoin with us. He was there when we brought Bryton home. He was there in every house we've ever owned. He was there when Ansley came home.
He's been through everything with us.
He was also there when we found out we'd be moving to Texas.
Our living arrangements were up in the air when we moved, and it meant not taking one vital part of our family with us. The one who'd been there through all of it with us. We reluctantly gave him away. That was about a year ago.
Four weeks ago I planned a spur of the moment trip to our old home town to attend a wedding. Yesterday, my last day in our old hometown, as I was meandering through facebook a picture of a dog comes across my newsfeed. He was lost. I knew immediately it was him.
I commented on the picture immediatley. I knew the dog. I noticed Aaron had already commented on it, too, from Texas. After a short conversation with the friend of mine who posted the picture, Aaron and I decided I should go see him. If the picture wasn't enough confirmation that he was who we thought he was, so was the description of an active dog with a little pink spot on his nose.
I made the drive over, and when he saw me he ran immediately to me, jumped on myself and Bryton, and then leaned against my leg while I petted him. He hadn't been claimed... until then.
This morning we picked Zeke up to come home with us. He still has the little white goatee, the little pink spot on his nose, and knows all of the tricks we'd taught him so many years ago. He knew the turns to get to Aaron's parent's house. He ran immediately to where he knew his water and food would be. He peed on all of the same things ;)
And today is our anniversary. What a gift to be given, than the only other living being that has been there with us through it all, and is now with us here again.
People say they believe in luck, or chance, or even fate, but I don't. I believe in God, and though he is 'just a dog', a lot of factors had to align to bring Zeke back into our lives in such a way. I had to be at the right place, at precisely the right time, looking at facebook at the right time, and be in a position to be able to act. To say God has incredibly blessed us would be an understatement. Some have said that this makes it obvious that God cares about dogs too, and though that is true, I'd say in this situation He was thinking a lot about the family who has loved him from the beginning.