For those of you who haven't visited in the last few years, you have missed the joyful experience of meeting our dog, Dingo. This is him.

A few years ago Ellis wanted a dog for his birthday. I don't just mean he wanted a dog. He WANTED a dog. We spent a few days praying that God would direct us to the right dog. It might sound funny to many of you that we would pray about a dog, but it's what we do. So we prayed.

We had searched for days for our new member of the family. We had been to the haven humane society, we had scoured Craigs List and finally made our way to the County Pound. We walked in and there was this huge dog in the corner cage and we took him outside. He was a big, quiet, beautiful Rotweiller. He seemed almost as big as Ellis. Immediately Ellis pronounced that this was 'him' and we tried to call Dad on the cell phone for final approval. We couldn't reach him. After trying several times, we drove home to find him. We all returned to the pound with a leash and a smiling boy. But the dog was gone. Someone had just adopted him. Ellis was crushed. It was his birthday, and he was leaving without a dog. David went back to work and I took Ellis to Red Robin for a birthday lunch.

It was a quiet meal, and I know Ellis was trying so hard to make the best of it. They brought him his free ice cream sundae and his obnoxious birthday song. When the group of clapping Red Robinites had moved on to another table, and Ellis was left staring silently at his ice cream, I suggested that we talk to God. So we did. I thanked God that Mr. Rotweiller had found a good home. I prayed that God would direct us to our new dog friend TODAY, on Ellis' birthday. And then Ellis prayed. He asked God for the perfect dog, and then he told God he would wait for him, even if he didn't want to.

When David got home from work, we decided to drive over to the Haven Humane Society one more time. We walked past cage after cage, talking to each dog. An hour or so later, Ellis walked sadly out to the parking lot, for none of the dogs were 'him'. I had liked a couple of the dogs, but Ellis insisted that he would "know him when I see him." We were getting into the car when Ellis noticed a dog out in the exercise yard with one of the volunteers. This white dog with brown freckles had been scheduled to be put down in Klamath County, but the rescue bus had recently brought him to the Medford shelter. During our first visit earlier in the week, Dingo had been cowering in the corner of his cage. But as this volunteer took time to play with him, his personality really came out. We stood at the fence watching for a while and then Ellis looked up at us and declared "That's him!" And it was true. Dingo came home with us that very day. And he has been a part of the family ever since.

Today Dingo left to go live with David's brother, Dale. We are downsizing, and we don't want Dingo to be cramped up in a small space. Dale has a beautiful piece of property with horses and cows and all kinds of other animals. A great pond, a big red barn, and lots of kids. It's going to be like living in Disneyland for our precious pup. But we will still miss him.

Changes are part of life. Especially lately for the Bentons. But God is good, and his blessings never cease.

And this morning I prayed and thanked God for the perfect dog.


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