When God Does What Only He Can

Have you ever looked back on a tough situation and realized how God had his hand in every single circumstance and moment along the way? This happened for me recently, and I can’t stop marveling at how detail-oriented God is.

We had a situation last week. Mavis bit Sadie’s face.

Dog bite on face of baby

Ever since Mavis was attacked by our neighbor’s dog just a few weeks after we brought her home in 2017, she has struggled with fear. Usually, the fear would come out as aggression. If we woke her up while she was sleeping, it startled her and she would growl. If someone came too close to her food, she was afraid it would be taken away, so she would growl.

As Sadie has grown into a toddler, I think her presence kind of scared Mavis. I can imagine she was a little freaked out at Sadie being in her space and wanting to touch and play with her all the time once she could walk and reach Mavis on the couch.

Cocker spaniel and baby on couch together

Things started to get worse over the past few months. If Mavis was on the couch and Sadie walked past her, she would growl. If she touched her, she would snap. Last week, Sadie simply walked past Mavis and I guess she had enough and just decided to bite Sadie’s face.

It happened while I was in the same room, and hearing Sadie’s cry was horrible. It brings tears to my eyes as I type this. It was one of those cries that a parent absolutely dreads, that cry of pain. I picked her up, hugged her like a mama bear, and checked her over. The bite wasn’t bad, but Mavis did break the skin.

White and brown American Cocker Spaniel

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably know how much time, energy, and love we invested in Mavis since the day we brought her home.

I’m pretty sure I did more updates on Mavis as a puppy than I did for Sadie as a baby, lol. We socialized Mavis, took her to training classes, she earned her AKC Star Puppy title, and we had big dreams of her becoming a therapy dog.

Over time, I started to realize she might not be cut out for therapy work, and I was okay with that. She had some fear issues, as I mentioned above. To see her bite Sadie, though, really freaked me out and Jimmy and I decided that she needed a different home. Sadie was bothering her, and we didn’t want another bite incident.

The first time I met Mavis, when she was five-weeks-old.

My heart aches. I met little May May when she was five weeks old and brought her home when she was eight weeks. Rehoming her was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make. This is where God came in and took care of things like only He can.

When we decided to find a new home for Mavis, a woman in our neighborhood immediately came to mind. She is retired and has a few dogs, three of which are cocker spaniels. She makes and sells homemade dog food (which we’ve actually bought and Lola and Mavis loved!), too.

I texted her and explained what happened and asked if she wanted to adopt Mavis. She said yes immediately. She told me had been looking to adopt a cocker spaniel but each time she found one that seemed like a good fit, it was spoken for at the shelter already. She put the matter aside, and then I texted her. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it!

So, Mavis has a new family. She now lives just two streets away from us and is getting so much love. The whole situation just fit together like a puzzle.

Cocker spaniels in sweaters

I could not have chosen a better owner for her. She knows her stuff with dogs, and especially with Mavis’ breed. I know she’s in good hands, and we’ll still be in her life.

We miss Mavis so much. I’ve cried. A lot. I’ve felt like a failure. Our culture tells us that if we work hard enough, we will earn what we’re working for. I tried so hard with Mavis and feel like I failed, but Jimmy keeps reminding me that if she’s happy with her new family, then we have succeeded.

Things didn’t turn out that way I had dreamed of and worked towards, and I just need to accept that. I know Mavis is being taken care of, and she’s adjusting incredibly well. All the other dogs have accepted her, which is no easy feat since all but one of them are females, they are varying ages, and come from different situations. The only explanation is that God worked it all out.

Cocker spaniels sleeping together

I’m continually learning to keep a loose grip on the things in my life. Mavis was our fur baby for almost three years, and now she’s not. God gave us so many fun and rewarding moments with her since we brought her home, and I know He has a plan that is far better than anything I can try to dream up ❤

14 comments

  1. Great post babe! It wasn’t an easy decision by any means. Even for me! We have a lot of Awesome memories with May, and she was a really good dog! You trained her very well no matter what you think! I know this was a tough post for you, but I’m proud of you for how you are able to deal with unfortunate situations like this. You’re awesome 😎 and I love you!

  2. I’m so sorry you had to go through this. Thank goodness the bite wasn’t serious but it would be so scary. You’re right that God had a hand in this situation the entire time and Mavis is in a good home which I hope is something you can take comfort in.

  3. This is a lot to experience. I’m so glad to hear that the bite wasn’t bad but that is still terrifying for you and I’m sure Sadie too. I think this is probably the best “ending” for this, for Mavis to be in a new home that you feel comfortable and confident in.

  4. Oh my, that is SO heartbreaking… and yet so amazing all at the same time. I think it’s amazing that you were able to put aside your own feelings (and love for this precious dog) and to make a decision that was best for her and for your little girl, EVEN though it broke your own heart. I am a pet owner, so I completely know how hard that must have been! At the same time, I LOVE that God opened up the doors so that you know the owner… and she is so nearby. That is so great!
    Sending you so much love and hugs!
    And goodness, you are not a failure! I feel as though your ability to do what was best for your dog and child shows just how strong and incredible you are! Not everyone would have that strength. You are such an incredible person!! xoxo

    1. Exactly my thoughts! It has hard and also amazing how God worked everything out in a way that only He could! It totally broke my heart, but something had to be done. And we are so blessed that Mavis’ new owner is nearby!! Thanks for the virtual love and hugs!! 🙂

  5. Oh Allie! I am so sorry. My heart hurts for you so much. I’m so so so glad that Sadie is okay! I know just how hard this decision had to be for you, but it sounds like it was the right decision for everyone. And what a blessing that the bite wasn’t worse and such a blessing that Mavis was able to go to someone who wanted her so much and will take such great care of her. So wonderful that she’ll be so close by so you can still visit.

    And hey, you put your heart and soul into helping Mavis deal with her fear issues. Can you imagine if she had been in a home where she hadn’t gotten that sort of one-on-one help and attention after the attack? She would have never had the wonderful years with you guys that she had. You have done so much right by her, including finding her a home where she feels safe. You are so strong, my friend. Love you!

    1. Thank you so much, Rach! It was just all around SO hard. Seeing Sadie get bit.. having to give Mavis up. Just tough! In the end, I think it was the right decision and God really had His hand in it all! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your kind words! ❤

  6. You have to do what you have to do. My Dad has a story that when I was small – maybe 2? – one of the cattle-dogs took a snap at me. It was a dog he liked, but he figured that, with me and my little sister about, he couldn’t risk having a kelpy that might savage two small children. So, farmers being practical people, the dog had to be shot. You’ve given Mavis a much better outcome and kept your little one safe, and that sounds like a good outcome to me

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