I was ready to leave the humid Florida panhandle, damp maps tucked under my arm for my long journey home to Missouri. In preparing for my trip, my friend’s brother was kind enough to help me with directions and also suggested that I stop at this specific gas station in Alabama before the long trip home for some low-cost quality gasoline. I was then delayed because I was headed in the wrong direction but found my way back, arriving at the designated gas station. While filling up my tank, an elderly man standing next to my car asked, “Do you want to see my puppies?”
I peered over to see a weathered cage on his wooded trailer, big enough to carry his five young puppies, a mixture of Boston terrier and Chinese pug. “Why, yes!” I quickly replied. They were nestled together on this warm day, experiencing life for the first time away from their mother. I held the puppy. I couldn’t resist how adorable it was and responded, “You’ll just have to give me one”. He said, “No, they’re all taken. But you can ask my wife.” His wife walking from the building looked at me and said yes. I hastily gathered all of the puppy’s information from her owners, found a box and bought some food and went happily on my way, just me and my puppy.
As my new friend lay on my lap, I was thinking of what just happened! With all the excitement of being lost, arriving at the gas station, meeting this kind man with all his puppies, and now I find myself with an innocent, furry, black little puppy. What just happened? I didn’t recall wanting a puppy but it happened so fast and I decided just to have faith. I trusted that at some point it will all make sense.
It was a long day so I decided to find a place to stay overnight, even though it would be falling short of my expected destination to Huntsville, Alabama. The hotel made accommodations for the two of us in the same area with the rest of the pets and their guests. At the back of the building, there were many acres of grass, small mounds and trees. I dutifully found the small grassy area where tired animals exercised after a long trip. I noticed an older lady sitting nearby; noticeably upset and we began to talk. She said she was passing through town for a short time to rest with her daughter and grandson, heading for Mississippi. They were ready to leave, loading up their van then unexpectedly their dog ran out the door! As I listened, I felt so bad and said I would pray for its’ safe return.
As we were talking, we watched my tiny puppy frolicking in the grass. I was commenting on just how precious her pug nose was and how it had a “teddy bear’s face”. She looked up and tearfully said that Teddy Bear was her lost dog’s name. When I said those words, it was then I realized the dog belonged to her. I quietly said, “I want you to have this puppy”. Her joyful look on her face told me that I may have come, unknowingly, this far to deliver this puppy to her. All this made sense now. I handed the puppy over to her. Having said my goodbyes, I was on the highway heading home. I was reflecting on everything that happened at the hotel. I see how it all fell into place; leaving Florida at the time that I left; getting lost; arriving at the gas station at that particular time to meet that certain man who gave me this specific puppy, and arriving to this particular hotel at the right moment to meet the lady who lost her dog and having had the opportunity to give her this gift! Maybe I was the messenger. Maybe it all fell into place just the way it was suppose to happen. It may be that all along it was their puppy to have. I was the one to deliver it.