Freya’s brother Jupiter needs a home. Over the weekend, Keith and I received an email from volunteers at Nelson County SPCA. Jupiter’s adoption last year had been successful, but the family is moving and cannot take him. And Keith and I cannot either because three dogs would be a crowd.

It’s a heart-breaking decision because we love our rescue dogs Heathcliff from the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria and Freya from Almost Home in Nelson County and would love Jupiter, too. His picture and profile match Freya’s, except her flopped ear is the opposite of her brother’s.

Our ‘three’s a crowd’ decision encompasses time, money, space and relationships. Two big dogs are almost more than Keith and I can handle: taking care of them is physically demanding, time-consuming and expensive. Heathcliff and Freya take up almost as much space as we do, eat almost as much as we do and are at least as messy as we are. In so saying, they are just like family, and Keith and I are richer in time, money, space and relationship for having them.

Our decision is mostly about the pack. Heathcliff and Freya are buddies. They run and play bitey-face together, eat and sleep side-by-side, and sit for their food with tails wagging like matching windshield wipers. What would happen if we introduced Jupiter? Would Freya play with her littermate and drop poor Heathcliff, or would Jupiter be the odd man out, or would the boys exclude our girl?

Two’s company, Three’s a crowd – and that’s true in human relationships, too. A marriage can be very crowded if more than two are involved. In fact, all relationships – family, friends or colleagues – become more complicated when there are three or more with various agendas. And in complex, crowded relationships, we might lose connection with the most important relationship of all. We might lose sight of our greatest gift, perhaps the most difficult to accept: trust.

I think about my friend Sarah’s Noontimes post: As I watch my life and that of others, as I observe the sun and the stars and the moon, as I watch a flock of birds lift in unison, or trees bend before the force of a hurricane, I am stunned by how little I trust. The simplest and greatest of God’s creation trust better than I. (Humble Trust in God)

I humbly trust that someone will see Jupiter’s picture and read about his intelligence and desire to learn, his love of space and water, his affectionate nature even in the face of past abandonment and abuse. I humbly trust that God will find him a good home.

Jupiter trusts, too. Amen.


  1. Keith Kenny

    Certainly the labor of handling three major size dogs would be intimidating let along the uncertain group dynamics. The ‘more the merrier’ crowd I suspect have not been fully tested. If Jupiter is as lovable as Freya, his sister, someone can have a very winsome doggie.

    • Carole Duff

      And I trust someone will have Jupiter and hope it is soon.


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