Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Maxie!

Several people have asked me about Maxie, so I thought I should share her story here! I tell long stories, so get comfy!

Back in 2005, I started thinking about getting a dog. I always had a dog growing up, but since I lived alone and traveled often with my job, I knew it was probably not the best environment to bring a new puppy into. But I just could not get it out of my mind.

Something kept telling me to pursue getting a dog, I really felt the push! I prayed about it and asked God that if it was the right thing to do, then I would find her. I knew I wanted something small (the smaller the dog, the smaller the messes, right?!) and actually first thought I wanted a little Yorkie...they are just so darn cute! I started my research and found that, actually, a Maltese was better for me! I soon realized that Malteses are really hard to find and you could be on waiting lists for some time. I also knew I wanted a female Maltese....yep, I am picky, but I knew what I wanted!

So the waiting game began. I was put on several waiting lists for breeders that I found on the Internet. I knew when the time was right, I would find her. On January 15, 2006, while I was in the process of taking down my Christmas tree (yes, I know, I know...it is a long story!) I decided to check the paper and see if anything was posted. I found an ad for Maltese puppies (2 males and 1 female). I called the breeder immediately to see if the female was still available. She was!

I still had that feeling of really needing a dog. So, when I found the ad and confirmed the female was still available, I knew I had to go. The breeder was in Baldwin, MS which was a 2.5 hour drive from Memphis. It was a Saturday afternoon when I found the ad, placed the call, and decided to go!

At the time, I was still traveling for work and actually would be traveling the following week. I called my parents and told them I found a dog and asked if they would be willing to watch the new puppy while I traveled the next week and a half. They said yes! I also called my sister to see if she would ride with me so she could assess the situation and make sure the puppy was healthy, etc (she is better with that stuff than I am). I would just take them all home, if I could!

Anyway, we made it to Baldwin, MS and saw Maxie for the first time. Well, that was it, I had to have her no matter what! So, we packed her up and took her home!! She rode curled up in my lap or my sister's lap the whole way home!

We stopped by my parent's house so they could meet their new granddaughter! It was about 1AM, but they didn't care!!! This is Maxie (sporting her little bow) the night we brought her home! She weighed in at 2.8 pounds! So freakin' cute!

By the way, Maxie is named after my parent's dog, Max.

Since I was not prepared for a dog, the following Sunday, I had to make a quick trip to Target to get food, food and water bowls, a kennel, toys, a sweater (it was cold!), etc. I did not know what to do with Maxie while I was gone, so I put her in the bath tub with a blanket and water until I got back home. That was the first time I knew this little baby was going to have me wrapped around her little paw! I could not get home fast enough to rescue her from the bath tub!!

This is her that Sunday in her new new kennel with her new sweater and toys!
It was sooo hard to leave her while I traveled, but my parents loved every minute of it! They were a bit tired of my MANY phone calls asking about her!

How can you resist this face?

Anyway, life was good over the few months. Things were plugging along quite nicely and I was spoiling her more and more!

In June 2006, the opportunity to move to Brussels was presented. I was immediately interested (and seriously pushed by God). You can read about it here. I knew there was not a quarantine for dogs in Belgium (I am afraid that would have been a deal breaker) and I knew Maxie was young enough to make the move without any problem. She is also small enough that she can fly on-board with me and not be placed in the cargo area of the plane.

So, in April 2007, we moved to Brussels. What I did not know at the time was how much of a blessing she was going to be during my transition and stay in Brussels. Once I moved, she was (and still is) the best thing that I could have to come home to! She was there welcoming me home from work every day and licking away my tears when I was homesick.

My first job upon arrival was finding someone to take care of her while I traveled (as traveling is a major part of my job over here). A few weeks after I arrived, I was told there was a situation in India that required my immediate attention. (I work in Internal Audit so we are there to take care of things that arise and need immediate attention.) I cannot tell you the emotions going on inside me. I had just arrived in Brussels, had not even unpacked all my boxes and certainly had not found anyone to watch Maxie. Then, I had to travel to a country that, in all honesty, scared me to death. I was in Brussels culture shock, about to be in India culture shock, and just plain homesick and worried about what I was going to do with Maxie as I did not know anyone in Brussels yet.

I had myself a little breakdown and started looking for dog-sitters. I met with a few people and if I had to leave her with them, then I would, but I was not at all comfortable. I became a member of the American Women's Club of Brussels shortly after I arrived and the week of my breakdown received an email from a lady who was starting a pet co-op. I emailed her immediately and told her my situation. She responded back saying that she may be able to help me as she had a Maltese as well.

A few days later, I met Pam and Zsa Zsa at a local park (neutral territory for both dogs!). I loved them immediately! The plan was to also have lunch! We walked to a nearby restaurant and grabbed a table outside. Once we were seated, Pam pulled out 2 baby blankets for the dogs to lie on....because we cannot have them lying on the bare ground! I immediately knew Maxie was going to be well taken care of! Seriously, anybody who carries baby blankets for the dogs to lie on would definitely treat my Maxie the way I treat her!

Ever since then, Pam and her husband, Dan, and dog Zsa Zsa have taken me in as a member of their family. They are from California. There is no other explanation than this was a "God-send"!!! I was so worried about finding someone to watch Maxie that now, looking back, I should have never worried at all. I knew God would take care of me, He always has. God knew His plan for me and knew that I would need a little furry companion to join me so far away from home. He knew the timing of Maxie's arrival and put everything in the perfect place at the perfect time for it all to work out.

I have been able to live and travel freely in Brussels knowing that Maxie is well taken care of. And, I have had the pleasure of keeping Zsa Zsa while Dan and Pam travel so it has worked out perfectly! I am blessed....so blessed!

This is just one little example how God has made it perfectly clear this was where I was supposed to be for these 2 years!

So, share with me some of your little "God-sends"!

3 comments:

  1. That face :) SO sweet!!

    You know my story. Talked about wanting a new cat for a while and found my kitten outside sitting under my neighbor's car. Talk about meant to be...

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  2. Anonymous1:16 AM

    You and your sister are my "God-sents"






    Love Mom

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  3. Oh that is such a feel good story...although I'm not gonna lie, I was getting nervous at the thought of leaving Maxie with a stranger. I am thankful for Pam too! It really is a God thing...He cares about those things that are important to us. (I also love it that you were taking down your tree when you saw the add...it's like: nope, Christmas isn't over...you have 1 more little gift coming:)
    Have a great Friday:)
    Give Maxie smooches from me~

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