Sometimes you just need a little Hope.

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When Hope looks like this, who could blame you for loving it?

Ever since my dog died this past summer, I’ve felt like the house is too quiet. My mom and I both felt her absence more than we thought we might- after having a dog for 14 years, it is very strange to suddenly come home to an empty house. Never did I notice the difference more than upon my return home this fall. However, getting a puppy is a big decision- they need lots of time and attention, and we weren’t sure whether we were quite ready to move on past dear Daisy.

The other day, when I picked my mom up from work, we drove out through Mennonite country to a farm where Hope was waiting. The intention of our visit was, of course, to just have a look at the dogs. To see if a shih-poo, a markedly smaller dog than our Daisy, was right for us. Then again, do you ever really go looking at puppies and leave without one? Not when you’re my mom.

Timid and tentative, Hope walked into our lives one quivering paw at a time. Pretty as a picture, she instantly wanted to be near us. Thats the thing about dogs- the unconditional love with which a good dog showers you is irreplaceable. Sitting in my lap on the drive home, our shy little puppy began to come out of her shell and be intrigued by the smallest things- from the warm blanket around her to the jarring sound of my cellpone.

She is, like all puppies, a bit of a handful. The tragedy of us leaving the house is immense for our little drama queen. She has quite the set of lungs for a tiny pup. But when we return, she is always just about ready to burst with excitement. Without question, without expectations, she is full of love and joy.

At a difficult time in our lives, we’ve taken on another project. There are trying times in the raising of a puppy, but the times that you remember are the good ones. At at a time when I feel sad and lost, is easy to feel hopeless. In a little golden ball of fur, maybe I’ve found my Hope.

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