Welcome, Marley, the therapy dog!

by Robin on August 3, 2012

therapy dog Marley with his master, Robin Khoury

Marley is a gift from God. God cares about stuff like dogs, children, and other things that some people think aren’t important. But I know it’s true because God just opened up the windows of heaven and provided Marley for the Little Light Christian School. It all started last year when God gave me a vision for the school. He impressed on me that we should have a homey atmosphere at the school. You know, soft places and rugs and a plant here and there. The children need a garden to care for and plenty of art and music after academics are finished. And of course, an on site therapy and literacy dog! When I wrote the overview I included all of those things.

So a few weeks ago I googled “price of a therapy dog” and found that they generally cost anywhere from 3 to 5 thousand dollars! That’s when the Lord and I had our real serious talk. “You did tell me to put that in the overview, Lord. Now I need you to help me get one!”  I started looking on Craigslist. I visited a labradoodle that his owners wanted a 300.00 rehoming fee. He was a little rambunctious.  I said, “Lord, if he is our dog, let the lady offer to give him to us.” Not only did she not offer to give him to us, but she decided to keep him! Back to Craigslist. Four days later I saw this post: Licensed therapy dog: up to date on shots, basic obedience, canine good citizen, loves children and well socialized with other animals. This dog will be free to the right home.

I started frantically emailing Ann, the owner of Service Dog Training Center in Piedmont. There were already people in line for the dog ahead of me.  I told Ann about Little Light Christian School, our school for children with incarcerated parents, and how they really need a dog. She said, “I would be honored to find you a dog, but Marley is probably going to some handicapped children.”  She  did make an appointment for me to come out and look at a labradoodle that she thought might be available.  When I got to my appointment the next week, I knocked on the door of the big garage-like center. It was like entering an episode of the Dog Whisperer! (I really think this was a test. Ann can be sneaky.)  My mother and I greeted the crew of dogs, and especially started petting the yellow lab and shepherd mix.

I asked where the labradoodle was. “She isn’t available,” Ann said.  I almost started crying. “Why did she bring me all the way out here?” I wondered.  Then she said, “This is Marley.”

“But I thought you were giving him to the handicapped children!”

“Well, I don’t think they are quite ready for a dog. I don’t think it was a fit for Marley.”

Well, we fell in love, and Ann decided that my home and the Little Light Christian School was the right place of service for Marley.  That’s how God answers prayer!  Next time I will tell you about Marley’s history.  It is a real redemption story!

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