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Puzzle Pieces

6. The Answer

 

Grandpa cared for Sam the dog for the next week. He was real careful about not letting the dog get out when he wasn’t supposed to. Of course dogs need to be walked and exercised. Grandpa was finding that it was just a little bit more than he was able to do, but he took care of the dog as long as he needed to.

 

When Grandpa’s friend called him, he found out something that he really was concerned about. His friend, who was the owner of Sam, had not gone on vacation. He told Grandpa he didn’t want Grandpa to worry about him. Actually, the friend had to have an operation on his hip.

 

The hip operation didn’t go so well. His friend asked Grandpa if he could keep the dog a little while longer, or maybe permanently. Grandpa said that he would do the best he could to take care of the dog. If he didn’t think he could continue to take care of the dog, he would find somebody else to adopt him. Sam was going to be taken care of.

 

While all this was going on, Lisa was still trying to figure out what she was going to do to help her friend, Frieda, feel a little more secure about her new home. Lisa knew that there were some things that just were never gonna be the same, but she thought maybe there might be something that she could do.

 

Grandpa invited a few of the kids over to his house to talk about Sam.

 

Grandpa said, “I really love Sam. He is a really nice dog. And he seems to like a lot of you as well. But the bottom line is: I think I’m going to have to find another home for Sam. I just don’t have the energy to be able to take care of him.”

 

Larry said, “Grandpa, Sam is a really neat dog. I hope we can find somebody nearby that will adopt him, because we all like to play with him.“

 

Lisa said, “I have an idea. I’m gonna have to go talk to some people first. I don’t wanna commit somebody and then find out they say they can’t do it.“

 

The next day, Lisa went over to Frieda’s house to talk to her and her parents.

 

Lisa said, “When you were in your old neighborhood, where was the dog that looks like Sam?”

 

Frieda said, “The people who owned the dog that we now know is Sam’s mother lived right next-door to us. I played with the dog almost every single day. Maybe that’s part of what I am missing.”

 

Frieda’s mom asked Lisa, “Are you suggesting that we be the ones to adopt Sam?”

 

Frieda interrupted, “I don’t know Mom and Dad. We did talk about getting a dog once, but for some reason, it just didn’t seem like it was working out.”

 

Frieda’s dad said, “Frieda, your mom and I wanted to make sure that you were responsible enough to take care of a pet by yourself, because we just don’t feel like we have the time or the energy to be able to do it ourselves. It’s not like we don’t want you to have a pet. We have noticed recently that you are becoming a lot more responsible.”

 

Frieda’s mom agreed, “Yes. We have noticed that. But we want to make sure that you really want the dog yourself. It’s not like it’ll be the neighbor’s dog that you can go over and play with once in a while. You will need to take care of the dog yourself.”

 

Frieda’s dad added, “Of course, we will help you. We don’t want you to think you’ll have to do everything all by yourself, but we wanted to make sure that having a dog is really something that you want.”

 

Frieda responded, “Thanks, Mom and Dad. I really appreciate the level of confidence that you have in me. One thing I would like to do… I would like to ask Lisa something.”

 

Lisa said, “Go ahead, Frieda.”

 

Frieda asked, “Are you sure that you and Larry don’t want to adopt Sam? It seems like Sam really is kind of attached to you two. I don’t want to take the dog away from you. You’re my good friend. It seemed like Sam came to your family. I’m wondering if that’s really what God wants. I’m wondering if God really wants Sam to be your dog.”

 

Lisa usually has no problem responding, even when she’s starting to get emotional. But this time it was a little too much for her. Lisa started to cry, and she didn’t try to hide it.

 

Frieda’s parents were amazed with what Frieda said.

 

Frieda’s mom said to Frieda, “That’s a very nice thing for you to do for your friend. She came over here to offer the dog to you, but you decided that it was better for Lisa and Larry to have the dog. That says a lot about your friendship.”

 

Frieda was about ready to say some thing, but then she stopped. It was like she ran out of something to say.

 

Frieda’s dad said to Frieda, “I think you need a hug.“

 

Frieda’s mom and dad both gave Frieda a hug. And then, Frieda’s mom gave Lisa a hug.

 

Finally, Lisa said, “I think I’m starting to understand what God has been trying to tell me all along. Sometimes when you’re willing to give something up for the benefit of your friend, you find that you really haven’t lost anything at all.“

 

Frieda’s dad said, “Thank you for sharing that. We always knew that God had given you a special gift of kindness. Continue to trust God and He will make it even more mature in you.”

 

Lisa said, “Sounds like things are going really well for you, Frieda. I’m really glad to have you as a friend. If it works out that Sam can be our dog, you can come over anytime and play with him. Sam likes just about everybody, but I know he really likes you a lot!“

 

Lisa went home and talked to her family about adopting Sam. It seemed like it was going to work out just fine. Lisa and Larry’s parents were very supportive of them having Sam. And there was no question that Sam was going to be very happy in their family, just as long as he gets a little bit of Larry’s dinner once in a while.

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