Sometimes You Need a Friend

Claire and Janna 2

For the past few years, Claire has been asking for a puppy. She’s done her research, and even volunteers at a veterinary clinic. Life was too full and difficult to consider adding one more thing to our lives, so we said no.

Janna

Then the accident happened and we lost Kalkidan, Claire’s closest companion. Kalkidan had bunk beds and most nights found Claire sleeping on the top bunk. Claire read aloud to Kalkidan before bed, they listened to music, and talked. On Saturday mornings they made crepes.

Over the past year we had a few people we respect encourage us to let Claire get a dog. Last fall we began “sort of” looking. After the accident it became even more important, but I had no energy to make it happen. I asked the Lord to bring us a dog, knowing that it would nearly need to be dropped in our laps – and that’s what happened. Our friend, Gretchen, called to say she found Claire the perfect puppy, and bought it. She assured me that if Claire didn’t want this puppy, she would keep it herself.

Claire and Janna

Two minutes after they met, Claire said, “Mom, I think she’s the one.”

She is doing a great job with her puppy, which is no small task. Crate training, getting up in the middle of the night and taking her to her “potty place,” puppy-proofing the house, and walking her are a lot of work, and I’m so proud of Claire. Bedtime is easier when you’re exhausted and you have a companion by your side. They’re both a little worn out.

Crate training

Most of all, the puppy is filling an aching place in Claire’s heart, which is just what she needs.

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

43 Comments

  1. Marlene White
    April 10, 2015

    So happy for Claire, and the puppy!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 10, 2015

      Me too – they are so cute.

      Reply
  2. Chantelle
    April 10, 2015

    This made me so happy. There is truly something so special about the bond between a dog and a human. Unlike anything else. What a wonderful, life changing gift you've allowed her. <3 ((hug))

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 10, 2015

      I think you're right, Chantelle – this is a huge thing in Claire's life.

      Reply
  3. Susan Gutting
    April 10, 2015

    Gretchen, you are really something special. And the puppy is adorable. Happy for you, Claire.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 10, 2015

      So true, Susan; and she knows how to pick a cute puppy.

      Reply
  4. Leslie
    April 10, 2015

    I'm so happy for Claire. I was never a dog person until G got hers. Dogs are very sweet companions. Hugs to all of you.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 10, 2015

      I think there are therapeutic benefits for kids – and families!

      Reply
  5. KarenP
    April 10, 2015

    This is so wonderful…What a special friend Gretchen must be!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 10, 2015

      Gretchen is very special – she and hannah have been the best of friends since they were young teens.

      Reply
  6. Kelly
    April 10, 2015

    Such a sweet puppy!! Super fun they have each other!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 10, 2015

      Thanks, Kelly. I'm sure Claire would be glad to show her to your kids sometime.

      Reply
  7. Luann Yarrow Doman
    April 10, 2015

    Congratulations on your new addition! I hope she brings Claire many days of happiness. (My own little dog has been very helpful during the hard times.) Have you chosen a name yet?

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 10, 2015

      Claire named her Janna (pronounced Yawn-na) which means God is gracious. Very sweet.

      Reply
  8. Joelle
    April 10, 2015

    I wish I could have sent you our little maltese. I would like a new family for her! And by the way, the little bit of dining room showing thru is so pretty! Happy for Clare and Iove the name.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 10, 2015

      I'll tell Claire you like the puppy's name. I love the dining room color – it is perfect. I keep meaning to send you pictures.

      Reply
  9. jentompkins
    April 10, 2015

    Oh this is so wonderful! I'm so thrilled for Claire. I imagine that despite the annoyances of a puppy, she'll also bring some welcomed fun and joy to the rest of the family as well!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 10, 2015

      She's definitely getting us all outside a lot!

      Reply
  10. MommaFoster
    April 10, 2015

    That's wonderful!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 10, 2015

      Thanks!

      Reply
  11. Emily
    April 10, 2015

    I absolutely love this. So happy for Claire. Love you guys so much.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 10, 2015

      Love you too, Emily.

      Reply
  12. Laine
    April 10, 2015

    Wonderful! I've been training my little terrier mix pup for the past 6 months so we can volunteer as a pet-assisted therapy team. We have 4 months to go before we take the test. The difference animals can make in people's lives is amazing. This little pup of Claire's will help you all feel joy and find healing.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 10, 2015

      I think this puppy is already bringing so much healing to Claire. We're thankful.

      Reply
  13. Kate Germany
    April 10, 2015

    Seeing Claire happy is wonderful!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 12, 2015

      It really is – and she has so much purpose.

      Reply
  14. Jeri
    April 11, 2015

    I believe in animals for healing. Last year we lost 2 of our 3 golden retrievers in an accident. Last year also found our 3 4month old kittens pregnant. Ga! We allow each of our kids to have a cat, someone that is just theirs, someone to hold and cuddle. Then we went from owning 7 cats to 18 with 3 litters born. What do you do with 18 cats!!!!???? As we discussed finding homes for them, tears flowed and flowed. It didn't have to do with not keeping the cute little furballs. It went deeper but they couldn't tell me why. 5 kids crying, imagine. It came with all kinds of questions like what if they didn't take care of them, what if the new person left them, what if what if what if. The one late night it hit me. This had to do with being adopted and things that had either happened to my kids or things that floated thru their minds but they had not expressed to me ever. We now own 17 cats. One tragically died this week on our farm in a farm related accident. All of our cats are loved, all of kids have full hearts. We now own 17 cats, 2 dogs, 1 guard dog, 2 guinea pigs, 17 alpaca, and about 50 chickens that the kids also pick up and cuddle. Animals are a good thing. Wishing Claire years of happiness with her new baby Janna.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 12, 2015

      Jeri, you are amazing – that is a lot of animals! This puppy is touching some deep places in all of us.

      Reply
  15. Robin
    April 11, 2015

    So happy for Claire! What a wonderful friend Gretchen is!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 12, 2015

      Thanks, Robin.

      Reply
  16. Nancy Meyer
    April 11, 2015

    What a treasure of a gift for your obviously sweet girl. So happy it can give her some extra happiness and smiles.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 12, 2015

      Thank you, Nancy.

      Reply
  17. Ann
    April 11, 2015

    Love! Great therapy for Claire and it will bring joy and laughter to the other children too. When our son died we bought a "therapy car" for another son who was really struggling. He spent so many hours working on fixing up that old car-an old Nova. He still has that car. In some ways I think it saved his life. It can be very, very good to have distractions and joy when grieving!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 12, 2015

      That's my hope, Ann. Right now the puppy is loads of work, but it's good work. I love that your son had a therapy-car.

      Reply
  18. Kelsey
    April 11, 2015

    What a testimony to your willingness to respond to Claire's grief in a way that would uniquely minister to her. Meeting our kids exactly where they are at can be so challenging for us- and so healing for them. What a blessing this puppy is sure to be for her. Praise God for Gretchen and her generous and understanding heart for your family.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 12, 2015

      Some "yes-es" are harder than others – especially when I'm up early with the puppy so Claire can get a little more sleep 🙂

      Reply
  19. Abbey Bisschop
    April 11, 2015

    You did it! Yay! So happy for Claire! Looking forward to catching up soon so I can hear all about it. Love you!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 12, 2015

      I'll tell you all about the puppy in great detail this week.

      Reply
  20. Michelle
    April 11, 2015

    After seeing how God has used our dog in healing kiddos, this makes my heart so happy for Claire. Love you giving this yes. A hard one to give but so beautiful.

    Side note. We just hosted ETC and thought of you so much.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 12, 2015

      I'm praying this will be healing for Claire – and so glad to hear you hosted ETC.

      Reply
  21. Hollie
    April 15, 2015

    I like seeing Claire smile!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 15, 2015

      Me too, Hollie!

      Reply
  22. yomi
    June 24, 2015

    The puppy came into Claire's life at the right time.

    Reply

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