Just Being a Dog

>> Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Charlie, our dog, has been with our family about two months. It took him awhile to adjust from life in a kennel as a stud dog to life in a house with a family. We’ve had our moments, but none quite as attention getting as Wednesday morning. I was busy around the house, getting ready to go to work. My husband, John, kissed me goodbye and headed out through the laundry room to the garage so he could go to work. Charlie always stands and stares at the door for ten minutes waiting for his best friend to come back.

On my way through the kitchen to go make the bed, the laundry room door slammed shut. Was this a new trick Charlie had learned? Before I could get to the laundry room, I heard John yelling, “Charlie come. Come Charlie.”

I catch on quick.

Charlie was loose in the neighborhood. As I ran past his stash of treats, I grabbed some. By the time I got to John, he was half a block away and Charlie was headed for the walkway we have through our planned neighborhood. It’s a walk we’ve taken many times with Charlie, but he was always on a leash.

This time he was free … and loving every minute of it.

There were smells everywhere. Charlie paid absolutely no attention to our calls to “come” or our offer of food. He would pause, look at us and seemingly grin. Did we think he was a fool? No way was he coming back.

It was the smelling part that did him in. We weren’t stopping to smell, so we caught up with him. That’s when he got a whiff of the treats in our hands. I was a bit closer so he came to eat out of my hand first. Boy did I grab hold of his collar. Instantly he realized his error, but too late. I had a death grip on it.

Only then could John and I discuss the fact that it was cold and we had no jackets on. Luckily we were dressed for work. Otherwise, I might have been running through the neighborhood with my housecoat and slippers.

Apparently when John left, the door from the laundry room to the garage didn’t quite latch. As Charlie stood and stared at it, waiting for John to return, John opened the garage door which made enough of a breeze to blow the door to the laundry room open. It was the door from the laundry room to the kitchen that had slammed shut.

Charlie saw his chance … and took it. He was a dog … being a dog.

How like humans. We go on smelling sprees, checking out the new houses, cars, boats, televisions or whatever might seem like a good smell to us. We might have parents or spouses saying, “Come” but we just grin and go on our merry way. In our world today, a huge percentage of families are in debt over their heads. But they think they are free … and loving every minute of it.

It may not be someone quite as gentle as I was with Charlie that takes you by the collar and brings you to a screaming halt. The IRS can do that. So can the police. Are you grinning at them as you run?

Charlie has a good life at our home. He is fed and watered, loved on and scratched. So what’s his problem? He’s a dog … being a dog.

Do you have someone who loves you and waits for you to come home? So what’s with all the running away … spending too much … drinking too much? Do you think you are just a human being a human? Think again.

You see, that’s the difference. Dogs can’t think.

“Do you hear Lady Wisdom calling? Can you hear Madame Insight raising her voice?
She's taken her stand at First and Main,
   at the busiest intersection.
Right in the city square
   where the traffic is thickest, she shouts,
"You—I'm talking to all of you,
   everyone out here on the streets!
Listen, you idiots—learn good sense!
   You blockheads—shape up!

Don't miss a word of this—I'm telling you how to live well,
   I'm telling you how to live at your best.”
Proverbs 8:1-6 (MSG)


Joanne Sher May 31, 2011 at 6:26 AM  

Super analogy, Joy! We are like that too often.

Joy Bach May 31, 2011 at 6:32 AM  

Joanne, thanks for the kind words. I speak from experience.

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