A Boy & His Dog – Some Things Are Just Meant To Be

Neo the wonder dog | thisscatteredlife.com

“So what would you like for your birthday?”. He hesitated a mere second before responding that he wanted either a rat or a snake. Neither of these things had I expected to be on my soon to be 9-year-old Zach’s birthday wishlist. I would have bet big that he would have requested the latest video game or a new bike. Rat or a snake??

I probed a bit deeper as we walked the well-traveled path from the lake to the house. “Uh – why do you want a rat or a snake?”

“Because daddy won’t let me get a dog and I want a pet of my own.”

“Oh. Right. Well, maybe we can talk about a dog again with daddy.”

We went into the house and got busy with the usual things – like making dinner and talking about the day. We never did discuss the pet topic with his daddy that night. Zach didn’t even bring it up again before he went to bed.

So you can imagine my surprise when I looked out my bedroom window the next day and saw a yellow dog sitting in the middle of our long driveway.

I figured the dog would be gone by the time I told Zach and he made a beeline for the driveway. But he wasn’t. That dog looked like he thought he had always belonged there. He was well-nourished and not a hair out of place. Just happy as could be that we had come out to play with him. In his driveway.

Neo - world's best dog! | thisscatteredlife.com

The boy-dog chemistry was instant. Such a sweet pup. No harm in letting them play until we found his owners. Uh-huh.

When daddy returned from work, he was greeted by a fully bonded boy and his dog. And, of course, the repeated pleas of “Can we keep him? Can we? Can we??”

Faced with the most adorable puppy that he didn’t want and the hopeful face that would still be 8 for two more days, Jeff did what any quick-thinking daddy would do. He suggested we all go out for ice cream – believing the dog would be gone by the time we returned.

To date, I’m pretty sure that is the only time that kid has turned down ice cream. He was dedicated to the cause.

So instead of ice cream, the boy, his dad and the dog visited the few local businesses and neighbors asking if anyone had lost the poor little pup. Nobody knew who he belonged to – and one neighbor even remarked that every boy needs a dog and that Zach should keep him.

Jeff was convinced by this time that I had something to do with the arrival of this stray coinciding with our son’s birthday preparations. I didn’t. But I did advise Zach not to keep begging to keep the dog – just play and take care of him – and let daddy come to the conclusion on his own that it was just meant to be.

And he did.

Zach got his true birthday wish that year. His very own dog. Neo – named for his favorite movie at the time. The best dog in the world to be exact.

Neo the wonder dog | thisscatteredlife.com

Neo on the road

The pet “rat or snake” was never again mentioned, but every once in awhile Jeff will tell me the statute of limitations has run out and I can confess to having orchestrated Neo’s arrival.

I didn’t.

Maybe there was a slight breeze on that long ago April day that carried Zach’s wishes into the atmosphere. Maybe it was divine intervention. We will probably never know. Some things are just meant to be.

Neo & Ripley - Zach's rescue dog from Charlie's Place

Neo & Ripley – Zach’s rescue dog from Charlie’s Place

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