The rain began to fall gradually. “Grrreat,” Amanda groaned through grid-locked lips. “My first day on the road alone in Grady and it’s going to rain.”
As she climbed into her Jeep, she remembered Grant’s grimaced smile the day of the doctor’s grave news about the cancer. “Grreat,“ he had replied. Then, he gracefully added, “at least I know I’m going to heaven.”
Grant had began those sentence turn-arounds early in his fight against cancer. Each angry thought was greeted as a way to look for a sign from God. Grant had insisted Amanda see the diagnosis as God’s way of helping their young marriage grow stronger. When Amanda’s heart broke at seeing her healthy husband’s grit weakening, Grant had pointed out how God had graciously given her the talents to be a home nurse that could care for him. And before his death, Grant had grasped her hand and said that God’s greatest sign of mercy had been her love.
“Okay, then, grrreat! Rain.” She grimaced. “But thank You for letting me get all the boxes in before it started.” She backed the Jeep down the gravel path that dissected the grand yard of her new home.
As she climbed back out to open the wooden gate, she grunted, “Grrreat, God. Why did the only house on the market out here in nowhere have to have this massive yard and wooden fence?” The rain was growing stronger now, so Amanda didn’t bother to turn that thought around before she bounded back into the Jeep.
As she began the drive to her first patient, self-doubt gripped her again. Was moving so soon after Grant’s death, so far away from everything and everyone, the right decision? The tears grew larger than her eyes could hold.
“I’m trying, Grant, to find God here, but…” her thoughts were interrupted by a grueling scrap that wasn’t part of the wiper’s pattern.
“Grrreat! Broken wipers in a storm… my first day in town… alone…” before she could finish the grumble of thoughts, she saw the metal building ahead. The sign read “TIRES. BRAKES.”
“Ok, grrreat. God. No wipers. but at least it is a car shop. So, ummm, thanks.”
She pulled in and climbed out of the jeep just as a balding man walked to the door.
“Shoo,” he said, “I see you need a tire checked.”
“What!?” Amanda thought as she looked back toward the Jeep. “Grreat!” she growled when she saw that a tire was flat. “OK. I get it God, you’re in charge,” she managed, fist clenched. Aloud she shouted above the rain, “Can you fix it? And I need new wipers.”
“Shoore. Might be a few minutes though. Got a truck on the rack.”
“Grreat.” Amanda thought as she rolled her eyes toward the heavens that were finally beginning to clear. “I’ll just go for a walk.”
Amanda walked toward the far end of the building where she noticed a large painting of a dog with the letters: “GRRR” on it.
“What a strange name.” she thought as she pushed open the door.
When the bell on the door rang, a lady with grey braids, looked up and grinned.
“Welcome to Golden Retriever Rescue and Recovery. Grady called down and said you might wander in. I’m Gretchen.”
Gretchen walked toward Amanda and extended her hand. Following along behind her was a beautiful golden dog with a granite-colored beard. Despite it’s obvious age, the dog wagged a greeting.
As Amanda gripped Gretchen‘s hand, she read the sign behind the counter: “Sometimes all a dog needs is a second chance… for love, devotion, and life.”
“Just dogs?” she grunted.
“Beg your pardon?” Gretchen asked.
To cover her obvious out-spoken blunder Amanda replied, “Umm… I was wondering about adopting a dog….”
“Oh?….” Gretchen trailed off.
“Yes. You see I just moved here and I have a big place with a fenced yard and I’m all alone and I’d love a dog that I can use as a therapy pet on my home visits to my patients….” the more Amanda rambled the better the plan became in her mind. “How about this beautiful girl here? What’s her name?”
“Grant.” Gretchen broke in.
“Grant?” Amanda repeated breathlessly.
“Yeap. Her owner recently died of cancer. Her full name is, ‘Grant my prayers’ and yes she is available for adoption.”
“Grreat,” Amanda whispered towards heaven, “Thank you, God.”
Then she graciously added, “I’ll take her.”
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