Friday, October 31, 2008

Knowing my Place in the Pack

Sometimes, I am surprised by the behavior of others.... sometimes pleasantly so.

Today, it was the dog. He was actually acting like a decent family member - no trying to sneak in a nibble here or there, no checking to see if I really am "Alpha". Just a quiet evening of chewing on his bone, snuggled up next to me. As it should be. There is hope.

I think back to when we got him. There he was, in the paper. "Chocolate lab pup" - 8 wks old. I went to visit him at the pound. He was so sweet, submissive, beautiful. I adopted him, and brought him home. To the vet we went, where we found out he was sick and not feeling well. A little this and a little that (and a lot of money), and he was on the mend... and his true personality poured out.

Longing for control - to be the leader of the pack - he tried trick after dominance trick. Fortunately, I am not dog-naive. But this little guy, he pressed some buttons. And, he is a lab, so he pressed some buttons... PERSISTENTLY!

Like the day - a week before we were due to leave for a week visit in New England - that he demonstrated competence in climbing the four foot chain link fence. (Fortunately, I demonstrated competence in erecting a 6 foot chain link kennel). But still....

For a while, there, it was a struggle. I wondered if I had lost my mind the day I went to the pound and brought him home. Some days I still think that... those days when he pulls his tricks.

But, overall, he is maturing into a good dog. We still have a few things to work on - but he's not done growing up yet.

That gives me hope.... for my children, and my self. We've still got a few things to work on - but we're not done growing up yet, either. There is hope...

Thank you God, ...
... for your patience, your steadfastness and your persistence in "stalking" me
... for "adopting" me
... for your gentle reminders that I am not 'Alpha' (or 'Omega').

Help me to be submissive, to trust and to follow where You lead... As it should be.

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