I wanted to pop in here to say a huge THANK YOU and apologize for not getting here sooner - but life has had us on a roller coaster as of late with very little time for 'normal' things - like having a minute to sit down at the computer.
First and foremost - Thank you so VERY much for all your prayers for us. We know that without God - and your prayers - we could not have made it through the last few weeks. I keep trying to remind myself -that regardless of circumstance - God IS good -- ALL the time.
For all of those who have written and shared your own stories - for those who wrote just to say "I care" -- you cannot even BEGIN to imagine how those little notes helped us get through sometimes the hour - sometimes the day. Knowing you were all praying was huge. We had one of Vicky’s clients (who had actually been hunting with my boys way back) helped us with the last little bit of money we needed to get our son in the door at Capstone Treatment Center -- he was our 'angel'. THAT was a miracle to us!
I wanted to go further to say a huge thank you to EVERYONE that I was able to speak with concerning a black female Lab puppy. Many of you may not know - but the treatment center that we were able to get our son into uses 'puppy' therapy as part of their program. When we were made aware of that piece - it was like God giving us something to let us know this was the place He intended for Ryan to be. We would have NEVER guessed that part of a treatment program would include bonding and training a Labrador!
I am going to go into a lot of detail - because I want you all to see how God used so many people from RTF over the last couple of weeks.
One of the first things the treatment center told us they would need to know was 'what color and sex of a pup does your son want?" They explained that this is a huge deal of the process in the philosophy of therapy with the dog. Our son said "Well, a black female of course" and then laughed and said "My Aunt Vicky trained me RIGHT" They wanted to know early on his choice - because sometimes they said the boy would want a yellow or chocolate - and those were sometimes harder to find. We thought we were home free with his choice -- only to realize there just weren't any BLFs ready to go anywhere. The treatment center let us know this as they had exhausted their contacts and were concerned about the days passing without him being able to start this part of his therapy. (From what we have learned since - they like the boys to have the pups soon -- because it helps to push off homesickness as well). They talked with him about taking a yellow or choc female (they had found both of those) -- but our son held his guns for a BLF. Days were ticking by - and we were having no luck.
Vicky and I went and looked on the RTF classifieds and also posted an ad in the Canine-Wanted forum for a black Lab female - and much to my surprise, we saw several litters sired by a 'pup' I knew as Cane (FC AFC WILD WINGS HURRICANE STORM). There's a long story about this. In 2001, Vicky was scheduled to attend a Lardy Workshop in WI. She was already dealing with a PICC line in her arm to administer IV antibiotics for Lyme Disease when she broke her ankle. Determined to attend the workshop, she got the OK for me to attend as her “nurse, driver and general “go-pher” since she was on crutches. This gave me the opportunity to meet Jimmy & Debbie Darnell and “puppy sit” Cane during the workshop. I got to spend some very precious time with that little 8wk old pup and came to feel that Cane’s owners, Jimmy & Debbie, were pretty wonderful people. I feel that this was all in God’s “plan” because only GOD would have known the peace and comfort that would bring to me so many years later this week.
I started making calls and although there were litters out there - there were no BLFs available or the pups were too young to be sold. I actually went through a 'phone loop' of calls that -- and again figure these odds (had to be GOD again!) – I ended up talking to a man who had a litter of Cane pups. Turns out, his litter only had yellows available, and he had also been looking for a BLF for someone, contacting some of the same people I had been contacting!! He thought that my calls were for our youngest son Jake who has been so sick, but in further conversation, we both came to realize that we had been searching for the same BLF for Ryan!! -- (Here is the irony) -- in talking to him, I came to realize he was the husband of the Clinical Director of the treatment program WERE OUR SON IS! Who would have thought that the Classified Ads on RTF would have led me back to the treatment center? Seemed like God was putting us on the right track!
Through Jimmy & Debbie and others here on RTF - we were able to get in touch with someone who has become another 'angel' to us. Tommy Fairchild has a litter with black females available - and we were able to coordinate to get one of those precious little girls out to our son. Tommy was not only willing to drive the pup half way there (about 8 hours round trip) and meet with someone from the treatment center to take the pup back to Ryan - but was also willing to accept the amount of money the treatment center paid for pups - and work the details out with us for the remainder. Had this litter been owned solely by him, he said he would've just donated the pup. WHAT AN ANGEL.
Folks, you are some INCREDIBLE people. We are blessed to have met many of you - and blessed to simply know many of you from this board. I cannot thank Chris enough for all he does - and for allowing RTF to be there for us in word -- and deed.
I hope that you will all continue to keep us in your prayers. We believe that God opened our eyes to what our son Ryan was getting into rather quickly - and are so thankful to Him for that. We believe that with his willing heart to beat this - and God's help - he will. Please keep our youngest, Jacob, in your prayers, too, as he will be undergoing surgery again very soon. We know that God has all of our kids in His hands - but we also know that your prayers, along with ours, will go a long way.
The original thread is http://www.retrievertraining.net/for...ad.php?t=31610