How YouTube Ruined My Dog's Life

So I guess it's been a few months since I have written anything...I'll explain later

First, I want to tell you about my dog. If you follow my blog, you know that he is one of my favorite 'people', I use that term lightly of course. Anyway, it all started when we got a team together to walk in the local ms walk a few months ago. We were all set to walk out the door to head to the riverfront when I got the 'look' from my sweet, but somewhat spoiled dog Ted. If you have a dog that likes to travel then you know the look I speak of. The look that says 'PLEASE take me with you, I might die if you don't'. I remembered reading the day before that dogs were allowed so I said why not, he'll love it, and he did. Although little did he know that would change the course of his life forever. You see, Ted is a little crazy about taking walks, it's obviously his most favorite past time and he does it very vivaciously, or should I say did. While we were walking with a huge mass of humanity he actually did quite well and stayed with the speed of traffic and out from under people's feet. I was pretty proud, that is until I started talking to another dog owner who had to leave her dog at home. After conversing with her for a few minutes she told me about her dog that had to stay home because he was a puller too. What?! Was she insinuating that my precious well behaved dog was a puller? Anyway, I heard her out. She told me about how her dog had bad neck and back problems from pulling too much on walks and now was confined to the house. I couldn't bare the thought of not being able to take Ted for walks, it was our most favorite thing tondo together. I had to do something!

So, back at the festivities I talk it over with my friends and family, looking for a solution to combat this impending neck issue. I come to the conclusion that I will get him a harness, there we go, problem solved. That is until my 'know it all' friend (no really, I actually think she might) states the obvious, "Why don't you just teach him how to walk on a leash? It's pretty easy, just look it up on YouTube." I think I heard a piece of Ted's soul run away that day.

She was right, YouTube had lots of how-to videos on how to train your dog to walk on a leash properly. I watched it, took notes, made a plan and off we went with a leash, my walking shoes and some little bits of roasted chicken for reward. It worked GREAT! He did fabulous, stayed right at my feet, slowed down whenever I told him to stay with me, kept his eyes on me and not his surroundings, although the chicken that I was feeding him every 10 steps didn't hurt. I was a genius, he was a genius, we were destined to avoid neck injuries and live a life of happy ever after walks in the park.

I took him a few more times before deciding that it was time to show off our great team work to my husband, so I invited him to join us on our walk. Ready for an exemplary show of Westminster proportions, I was a bit disappointed when Ted pulled at the leash when we started. It was a fluke I was sure, so I pulled out a few pieces of chicken assured that would draw him back in to our excellence. However, to my surprise, he had no recollection of the progress we had made. All the success I thought that I had, suddenly came to a screeching halt once we had someone else with us. Ted was too consumed with what my husband was doing to remember or pay attention to what we had learned and what I knew to be the best thing for him. We tried several times after that, my husband, my son, anyone that went with us, they were all just too distracting. Don't even get me started when we would see a jogger, someone on a bike or God forbid, another dog. I could just forget about him thinking about what it was I was wanting of him and basically choke him as we walked down the road. So he won't have a neck injury, a smashed larynx, but no neck injury.

I haven't given up on Ted, I still work on it every day. I want to give up. I want to go back to the carefree days of him pulling me where he wanted and me lagging behind, but I know that is not what is best for him and when we walk alone he is quite lovely. But I know that there will be days when we will take someone with us or we will come across a jogger or a giant bull dog and one day he will not be distracted and keep his eyes on the prize. But, until then I will keep taking him, keep working with him, keep loving him, keep working on something that I know will save him from suffering later.

I tell you this whole story to answer the question of why I haven't written for so long. You see, I'm just like my over excitable dog. I get distracted by people too. My problems, my job, my boss, my critics, my solutions, my laziness, my pride, what I think is right, what should or should not be done. I'm looking at what everyone else is doing instead of the One who should be guiding me, teaching me, looking out for me. All too often we (I), stop looking at God and instead get distracted by what seems so overwhelming around us. We count on men (and by men I mean humans not actually males) to solve our problems or we count on them to make us happy or make things right in our lives. We count on men to be our saviors and guess what? They never come through. Yes, they may seem to fix things for a bit but humans will ALWAYS disappoint, they will always distract us from the One who can actually make everything right. Does that mean that you should be a hermit and live in the woods by yourself? Absolutely not, God calls us to be salt and light and to be in the world but not of it. He wants us to shine His light in a dark world. But He's the one with the chicken! He has the answers, the solutions, the peace, the plan. He is the one we need to walk with alone so much that when we do walk with people, we aren't distracted from what is best for us. He is the one we should go to for answers. He is the one whose advice we should seek. He is the one whose opinion matters. He is the one that made the universe yet still cares about every hair on your head.

He hasn't given up on me even though I've been distracted and disobedient. He keeps holding tightly to what binds us together, knowing that one day I will learn what it is He is teaching me. And like Ted does to me,I will follow Him until I take my last breath because I know that what He has for me is more than I could ever find on my own. Yeah, Ted and I aren't too different I suppose. I think that is why he is in my life, to show me a little glimpse of myself. Yes, God does have a sense of humor!

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. Psalm 37:23-24 NLT

#biblicalmetaphors #dogs #christianliving #family

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© 2015 by Jennifer Coward.