As the Christmas season approaches, I am reminded again of Brody’s response to the lawn decorations popping up in our community. On our walk today Brody and I happened upon a couple of life-size inflatable white bears. They’re a close representation of the bears found in Coca-Cola television commercials. When Brody spotted them, he launched into a barking frenzy and ignored all attempts to calm him down. In his mind these ornaments were an intrusion into his world.
Over the past several years, I have been attempting to put together a book of self-examination inspired by the dogs I’ve called my own. I observed their responses to the events in their lives, which caused me to reflect on events in my own life. I’m learning a lot “when the dogs bark.”
Today’s experience with Brody and the white bears reminds me of how my mind reacts similarly to intrusions in my life. I do not like (or want) uninvited intrusions. I rush to judge strangers and wrestle with any changes to the status quo. Fortunately for me, I have the freedom to access a book that helps me put life back into perspective. For that, I’m most thankful.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” John Grogan
All winter long Brody proved to be the most loving and cozy lap dog. Then spring came and awakened the wild beast in him. Our once manageable walks together became adventures in mayhem. There are robins to chase and lots of people and dogs to bark at. Did I mention squirrels, geese and deer? He’s now entering his third year and I had to remind myself that this behavior is not new. See post: Brody takes a walk
I’ve discovered a countermeasure, however, that has proven to be very effective. When he sees something causing him to enter a bark frenzy, I pick him up and hold him in my arms and immediately he stops barking. I can now carry on a conversation with a neighbor without trying to talk over Brody’s obnoxious barking.
Heavy winter snowfall creates unique challenges for a small short-legged dog. This does not dampen his enthusiasm however. After donning his favorite sweater, Brody begs to venture out. My snowblower creates a path, allowing him to happily bound along scooping up the icy moisture with his tongue.
One creature stands out from the others when the subject of devotion is mentioned. Man’s best friend is a model for humankind. Our furry beasts aren’t controlling and they don’t harbor hidden agendas; ever loyal, ever faithful, ever loving…
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10