In the course of training him, we didn’t just learn about the way dogs think. We learned several things about human nature, as well.
I Can’t Read Alpha’s Mind
Border Collies are very smart. Too smart, in fact. Because they’re also lazy (like humans) they will try to guess, and “work smarter, not harder”.
When the military tried to train them as tracking dogs, they found that the Border Collies wouldn’t follow the scent. Not because their noses weren’t strong enough. But because they would try to take short-cuts, and guess.
Instead of following the clear scent trail, they would try to “skip ahead” and cut the quarry off – and 50% of the time they’d guess wrong.
I’m like that, too.
I think I know what God wants. I make a plan for how I’m going to get there. Then I worry myself to sleep every night, trying to make sure I have all the bases covered, and then…
YOINK! [That’s the noise you hear when you give a good, hard, “pop” on the leash.]
Jesus didn’t ask me to go save people. He told me to follow Him. Sometimes that involves talking to others about Him, but only on His terms. Only when He decides. He is Alpha.
I Get Distracted Easily
Border Collies were bred to herd sheep. Thus, their instinct on meeting another creature is to chase and “herd” it.
The problem is, the cats don’t need to be herded (they don’t like it, either). We had to teach him that the cats are actually higher in the Pack than he is, and he may not chase/herd them.
He may not herd the bunnies, or the chickens, or the blowing leaves. Life is so hard.
What if we’re out on a walk and something fluffy bounces past? Oh, he wants to play with it and his ears turn off so he just can’t hear us and if we’re not holding onto the leash he is GONE!
I’m like that, too…
It’s so hard to concentrate sometimes. I know Daddy told me to “clean my room”, but I’d much rather “sweep the floor” instead.
Look! I gave money to feed the homeless! Now I don’t have to invite my neighbor to dinner…the neighbor who always parks in my spot. Right?
Oh, golly, I know I signed up to help in the nursery, but boy, the praise band would be fun, too, right?
Whose plan is this anyway?
Following Alpha Is Best
Dogs are pack animals. One dog is in charge, and he is Alpha. All the others obey him absolutely.
If a dog doesn’t know who’s Alpha (or doubts that Alpha can handle what’s going on) then he has to worry, “Should I be Alpha? Is someone going to take care of that suspicious cat? What was that strange noise at the door? Will they remember to feed me?”
But when the dog knows that you are Alpha, you are king, you are god, he can relax. Life is good.
A cat I don’t know? Alpha will defend me.
A new walk route? Alpha is so smart; Alpha won’t get lost.
Time to eat, yet? Alpha will feed me. He’s got it.
I’m like that, too…
The world is much too big for me to be in charge of. And yet, I keep trying to be in charge of my world!
If I would just chill out, and remember that My Alpha can rip the throat out of every other alpha, I would be fine!
Jesus knows I need to eat; He’ll feed me when it’s time. He’ll give me what I need. He won’t kick me out of the Pack, or leave me by myself. God’s got this. The Pack is in good hands.
Bark, bark, bark! Yeah, you better run, squirrel! I’m not afraid of you. My Alpha is teh awesome!
She currently lives with her family somewhere in the American midwest, bracing for the collapse of society with their hobby-farm, “guard” dog, chickens, and Mighty Hunter cats. Oh, and also all the books she writes.
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