Reason number 7,588 not to own a dog

I have a list of 7,586 reasons not to own a dog.  I am not a “pet person” and frequently I add more reasons to my list of why I will never own a dog.

When Todd and I were engaged, we had a serious discussion on this topic.  I told him, I would never ever, ever never want to be talked into owning non-aquatic pets.  Even if our kids begged, I was not budging, he was not marrying a pet person.  I am pretty sure that at one point I told my kids I dislike the idea of dogs as pets to the moon and back, twice, plus infinity times infinity squared. (Which is the opposite of when we say “I love you to the moon and back, twice, plus infinity times infinity squared”)  They know what I mean by that.

Then one day I decided I may not be thought of as a very nice person to dislike the idea of dogs as pets so much.  So I told my boys if dad lets us move to a house with at least 1-3 acres of land, then we can get a dog.  An outside only dog that can sleep in the garage on cold nights.  Maybe.  It really took the pressure from it being up to me to approve a dog, making it contingent on dad buying us a house with significant land. Yep, I am pretty wise, aren’t I?  I would really like to live on some acreage and own chickens, goats, lush gardens, and one day have a commune.  But that is an entirely different subject.

Kimmy is the only one with me on this.  She “hates” dogs.  Except for Teddy-Teddy and Beau-Jo, but only because they obey her when she bosses them around, and they are small.  The boys, not so much.  James REALLY wants a dog.  He would actually prefer a monkey, but in Colorado it is illegal to own a monkey.  Last month he tried to talk me into getting a pet pig.  Because pigs are not dogs.

James knows that I love him to the moon and back, twice, plus infinity times infinity squared.  What he doesn’t know, yet, is that something very strange happened to me in late October.  My friend Jenny showed up at our door with her dog.  We had planned to hike for a few hours, and the weather was perfect.  The problem is, she showed up with her dog Cassidy.  Reason number 7,587 to not own a dog.  Dogs don’t like to be left out of long hikes with their owners and non-dog people have to share the trail with a dog.

I didn’t feel like riding in the car, because pet hair would be all over the seats.  Since I live a half a mile from Hayden/Green Mountain trailhead, I suggested we just walk from my house and catch those trails instead of driving somewhere.

I was quietly impressed with the dog.  She was remarkably obedient.  Jenny let Cassidy off leash a few times, and she would return to Jenny on command if other hikers were approaching.  Not bad.  I told Jenny, I thought she was a good dog owner.  There are people like Jenny, and then there are people who think their dog owns the world.  Kimmy will be freaking out over a loose dog and the owner will stupidly say “Oh, my dog won’t hurt you, she likes kids.”   Umm, your dog may like kids and be friendly and all, but my daughter HATES dogs and is freaking out to the point of climbing my body and knocking me over, can you PLEASE call your dog back and put the leash back on.  Reason number 7,588.

Cassidy is a really pretty dog, she is athletic, lean and has a docked tail.  Jenny is athletic and adventurous, so they actually look like they belong together. No, Jenny doesn’t have a tail or pointy ears.  We hiked a total of eight and a half miles and Cassidy was in her element, content and easy going.  She didn’t sniff my you know what, jump on anyone, or bark like an idiot dog at a stranger even once.

However, at the sound of a squirrel on the trail, Cassidy stopped briefly while her nose pointed forward, raising a paw and her tail went stiff. She looked pretty regal, so I asked the obvious question of whether Cassidy is a pointer or hunting breed.  Jenny sneezed, or I thought she did, when she told me Cassidy is a Vizsla.  “God bless you, Gesundheit.  What kind of dog is she?” A Vizsla, is not a dog breed I have ever heard of, and later I mis-remembered and called her a Veasel, like Weasel with a V.

Imagine me, up to reason number 7,588 not to own a dog, going home and typing V-I-Z-S-L-A into the Google search bar.

Never mind, don’t imagine that.  Picture the look on Todd’s face two days and many hours of reading later, when I told him that I had found a breeder in South Dakota who unexpectedly had two male Vizsla puppies available.  The pups had been born the day Jenny and I went for our hike, and I had found them online a day later. The ONLY Vizsla puppies, from a good pedigree and AKA certified breeders (words I didn’t know about before Google informed me) in the entire USA, that would be available for me to pick up in December, right before Christmas.  The only reason this is possible is number one, this overnight transformation of becoming “one of those people” has been a God thing. (No one but God could ever change my mind about dogs.)  And number two, because the momma dog had a litter of nine. The seven that showed themselves via the ultrasound were already claimed and paid for before the litter was even born.  The additional males were unexpected, and if I wanted one of them I could dibs one by sending in deposit check. Like right away, there is a waiting list across America for Vizsla dogs.  I don’t believe in coincidences, but keep reading, things only get more exciting.

I hope you are still trying to picture the look on Todd’s face.  Because more confusion about if he was talking to his actual wife or a decoy, that looked a lot like me, happened when I told him I had already spoken to the breeder, and I would like to take a “secret mom mission” to South Dakota and meet the breeder, puppies, and decide if I want to choose one and mess up our life by getting a dog. Jenny had already agreed to go with me.

Oh, the things we do for love.  There are many reasons, about ten on my list so far, about why I think this specific dog is perfect for James and our family.  It actually makes me giddy thinking about how perfect it all seems.  He really wants a dog.

Two very confirming and out of the blue things (but not coincidences, I don’t believe in coincidences) happened in the last two weeks.  On Thanksgiving Day, my sister-in-law shared her family tradition of watching that famous dog show after the Macy’s parade had finished.  The one where the owners dress up, prance real funny and sometimes have hairdo’s that match their canine.  Really, it is entertaining.  My boys happened to come in from sledding as the sporting dog class was previewing after the commercial break.  I casually gave my “we have a secret” wink to Todd and said, “Hey boys, these are the kind of dogs we can choose from if we ever get a house with acreage. Let’s watch and you can each pick one out.”

The NRA-ILA 2016 calendar arrived in the mail a few days later.  The theme this year?  Hunting Dogs.  Again, I said, “Hey James, these are the kinds of dogs you could choose from if we ever get a house with acreage.  Take a look at them.”

He chose Mr. June, a Vizsla. The same dog breed he admired and chose on Thanksgiving, if owning a house with acreage was actually a possibility. He kept the calendar.

Today is the day. (Well, as I am typing this it is actually Tuesday, but I am scheduling this post for Thursday evening, which will be the day you read this, and he will have already met his Christmas present.)

I have a new list of “reasons” relating to dogs.  At 8:00 am Thursday we are pulling out of the drive way.  James will most likely not notice the overnight bags I have packed, or discover the dog stuff hidden inside.  He will surely point out that I turned the wrong way to take him to school.

To which I will tell him, “I feel like being spontaneous today.  Let’s go on a scavenger hunt and pick out a Christmas present.”  This may be the best day of his life!  I am thrilled to be the one to experience it with him.  I have the scavenger hunt planned with several stops where envelopes with instructions and puzzle pieces await him.  I hope he will allow me to share the video in a few days!

The number one reason to own a dog as a pet?  Un-measurable love for my children.  Reason number two: Understanding that childhood passes so quickly and there is probably much to learn from letting my boys have a dog. Number three: I will have a dedicated running buddy. Reason four: He is pictured below.


Keeping A Secret

I have a Christmas secret! It is such a marvelous secret. I am so good at keeping secrets!
(And to my chosen few friends who already know my secret, you are also good at keeping secrets, right? Shhhh!)
I have had this secret for seven weeks!  Since October 21st.  Two Holidays and a few family gatherings and I have joyfully kept this secret inside all this time!
Seven weeks! Tomorrow is the day that I do not have to keep this marvelous thing a secret anymore.  It is getting to the point where it will be very obvious.
I am so excited to tell this secret, that I have ALREADY written a blog post about it. Yep, it is written, edited and sitting in draft form on this blog. It is scheduled to post at 5:45PM MST Tomorrow,  Thursday December 10th.
Radio silence until then. Guess away, but there will be NO answers or hints. Sorry in advanced to all my Aunts who will be competing to guess it first.

Finishing Strong

To Everything There Is a Season

– Ecclesiastes 3:1-14

Some of the children on the campus of Northwest Haiti Christian Mission’s Miriam Center in St. Louis du Nord, Haiti

Dear Readers, I am posting this letter on my personal blog, which was also posted on our ministry blog today.

Dear courageous friends & family of Kimmy’s House/Made Known,

Since most people still know us by and call us Kimmy’s House, and the re-naming to Made Known didn’t seem to stick, please let me to keep it simple and refer to ourselves as Kimmy’s House from here on out. It is the name that we all love and identify with when we think of the lives that have been touched by compassionate disability care in India and Haiti.

I have a lot to share with you, and ask that you please take the time to read this letter to the end and celebrate with us in our final season of ministry. Continue reading

Thank you Daniel Keller for standing by your sister Anna Duggar

Dear Daniel Keller,

I don’t know you, but thank you for standing up for your sister, Anna Duggar.

You seem like a true man, and from this act, a courageous brother. This is all public after all.  Not many women receive the benefit of someone protecting her, and it is unusual for a man to do it first.  It speaks volumes.

Shame on your parents if it is true they are worried about the stigma of Anna being divorced. (I am not sure media reported this correctly) OUCHIE, if that is true.  I think they are most likely concerned for Anna, right?

To me, divorce seems like a victory for her in this matter.  She can walk away from some one who has harmed her, and did it many times, and is statistically not likely to stop.  She can protect her kids, it will be tough, but she can do it, if she chooses.


Anna deserves her brother, father, pastor, father-in-law and all the husbands of her bff’s, taking Josh out back and handling it like men should.

(Dear Josh Duggar,

Put on your padded pants, ‘cuz the boys are gonna punch hard.  You might want a helmet and baseball cup too.  You can only imagine where the first kicks will be aimed.)

Invite law enforcement officers who deal with sex crimes come to see and referee the beating Josh will get. He deserves to have someone step in if things get too rough. Really, he does.  He has rights too. I am even courageous enough to think these men, who should be beating Josh, actually have REAL LOVE FOR JOSH.  It may be buried under the emotions of anger and rage at the moment.  After they have had this man talk, beat up session, I bet they end up being the guys strong enough to help Josh back up and walk through the mess of healing.

Dear Everyone,

I am a Jesus following- Bible reading – on my knees praying-Holy spirit filled-believer in forgiveness and reconciliation -fire-breathing warrior one moment and reserved the next-kind of woman. I am prone to sin and failure despite my best attempts.  All the time, I mess up and have buckets of gratitude for the grace and mercy I do not deserve.  So I am qualified to speak to broken people, broken Christian people, as I am one.

I think his Christian belief is actually irrelevant to the situation at hand. Anyone of any religion does this type of thing.

His Christian belief is relevant to his personal salvation, and his right standing with God, which seems to be misaligned at the moment.  It seem relevant because Christians are not Christ like when they do these things, and he claims to be a Christ follower.  For anyone out there watching in skepticism of Christianity, presently, this is not the example to watch.

But, please stay tuned.  There is potential for a story of redemption, but do not hold anyone to it or set them up to fail at it if they are not ready and willing.  The only true redemption story has already happened.  It can happen in this situation between the people involved, but God is the only one who has that  power.

Josh is a repeat offender.

Josh has victimized women multiple times. In fact he has victimized the very women he is supposed to protect the most. His sisters and his wife.  These facts do not make him a “not Christian”.  But these facts bring into question his relationship with God and his ability to model Christ.

He even went a step further and prostituted himself by sexually engaging with a consenting adult, on unethical, immoral term.  Not only did he cheat on his wife, he cheated the people he slept with, from knowing how a man should treat a woman.  Josh KNOWS better.

If the media wants to throw around how Josh can act like a Christian, go to all these women and apologize for treating them the way you have.  For showing them lust and not love. Woman want to be cherished and rescued.  Often girls abused in childhood will exchange being loved for sex.  The men in their lives have a powerful role, if they choose, to rescue and repair.

He cheated his kids.  REALLY cheated them.  Kids need fathers.  Fathers who love and protect and respect women. Period.  Being a part of their life needs to be earned, not treated lightly.

Anna deserves to be treated like a woman. Daniel did it today on social media, which is the way things seem to be done.  So be it!

Anna expected a hero, a prince, a rescuer, when she said “I do”, to Josh.  Time for others to step in.

I believe in forgiveness, but I am cringing at all that have a trite answer of “Anna needs to forgive Josh.” Lets set this dialog in an analogy.  Finding out your husband is not who you thought he was, he cheated on you, your kids and possibly passed on diseases from his escapades, etc.  Let’s call of that “Getting stabbed in the heart”.

Anna has just been stabbed in the heart, you have found her bleeding, in pain, trying to put her hand on her gushing wound.  As you are calling 9-1-1 to get her help, you ask her what happened.  In a voice choked with pain, tears and heartache she mutters “Josh did this to me.”

“Oh Anna, I hope you can forgive him.  Lets pray right now for Josh, we have time before the ambulance arrives.”

For goodness sake, NO!  You get her immediate help.  It will take surgical efforts immediately.  A team of people focused just on Anna and her wounds.  It will take a very long time to recover, heal and function again.  In my opinion shouting “Pray for the man who hurt you and forgive him” is very inappropriate.  My belief and experience is that while forgiveness is a significant part of the healing process, it only happens after heroic personal recovery.  Any effort to rush that is insincere and leaves the person stuck with an impossible task resting on her shoulders.

Dear Anna,

Anna, GIVE your children protection, that is what a mama bear does. YOU ARE A WONDERFUL MOM!

Josh abused his opportunity to be a dad in an in-tact home.  Anna, that was probably your goal too. What an awful thing that this was dream stolen from you, by your husband. That is painful.

I am so sorry he did that to you Anna! What a loss, what grief. I cannot imagine the pain, grief and how alone you must feel. and all of this is public.  You are NOT ALONE.

I can feel the pressure cooker thumping.  So much pressure of what to do. You need a shot of something to knock you into a deep sleep for a couple of days so that you have energy to make decisions when you find the power to get up.

I grew up with a messed up family tree,  generations and too many branches on the tree of men victimizing women, abusing children, and women abusing children AND NO ONE STOPPED THEM. Those branches should have been cut off and BURNED, they were not producing fruit.  They produced more voiceless victims, many who unfortunately didn’t get help when needed, or when they told their pain.  Some were told to forgive and forget and don’t talk about it.  All were left with wounds so deep, and permanent scars on their souls.

Anna, I want you to know you are supported in prayer by women, strangers, who are cheering that your brother is protecting you. I hope many more will follow Daniel, to keep on protecting you, and listening to your story Anna!

It is traumatic, the kind that has potential for PTSD symptoms,  when a woman has to face the reality that you are living.

Do you know you have choices, you DO NOT HAVE TO STAY a victim of his, lies, abuse and games he is playing with you. Do not think for moment *you* are depriving your kids of a father if you leave him.  he made the choice, and left you in a really unfair place.  A place no woman wants to find herself.  What a really tough choice to make.

There is and should be a serious consequences for Josh.  One obvious one, that many Christians have fear of suggesting, is that you, his wife, can decide to LEAVE HIM, if you choose.

ANNA. It doesn’t lessen your faith,  whatever you decide.  You seem to have a place carved out in Jesus’s robes already, from visiting Him often in prayer.  I imagine this will help a bit, having a resting spot waiting for you.  Sweet Jesus, love on your daughter like never before.

I believe reconciliation is possible, and I imagine it will take a very long “peeling the layers of the onion” journey for it to happen.  But, those we have forgiven and reconciled do not have to stay a part of our lives.  We do not have to stay in relationship, attend family reunion with or stay married to people, even after we have forgiven them. Forgiveness gives power, it doesn’t weaken us.

I bet your kids are going to have so many questions. Whew, typing that, caused me to take a deep breath.  We never want to see our babies suffer,It seem like compounded pain.

Josh can still be a dad.  Thankfully it is not up to me, because I would only allow his fathering to occur with supervised visits and no sleepovers.  I bet you all wish the photo card you send at Christmas looked happier. I am sorry your husband messed that up. You didn’t do that.

Anna, you are most likely suffering much. I am so sorry for your circumstances.

You have some men standing up to protect you, the way you need.  I hope you are able to embrace it and not reject it.

Please know you have women who breathe-fire standing in the gap, praying for you!



p.s. I know I am bound to have messed up and not communicated everything well.

I wrote this because, I like using my voice, even if it is only heard through keystrokes.  It was in 2010, that I realized I had a voice to use. So, I gave myself permission to use it.

An Open Letter to Ruzan Badalyan who divorced her Husband for not Giving Up Son with Down Syndrome

Dear beautiful Ruzan,

Do you know how deeply loved you are? You are a precious woman.

I imagine things are really unclear at the moment for you.  You seem to have a lot of haters.  I want you to know, that there are some who do not hate you.  Many would like to sit with you and hear your side of things.  No judgement, just listening ears.  I would bring a box of tissues for us to share, if needed.

I feel immense sorrow over the decision you were faced with after nine months of protecting your son in the safety of your womb.  Dreaming of how perfect, and beautiful he would be. A boy!  Of course he would be perfect and beautiful, he was created by the combination of your DNA and the man you married.  His little body was formed from your egg, filled with your genetic coding. Continue reading