|Chloe at 9 weeks|
Fast forward 5 ½ months. Chloe is 7 months old.
|She's a lot bigger here...|
I’ve never owned a puppy before, so I didn’t really realize how much work they were. I know, I know, people told me they were a lot of work, but I didn’t realize it until she was here and I was at my wit’s end.
As soon as I get home, I’m tired. The last thing I want to do is deal with a jumping, biting, chewing puppy who can (and has!) knock me over with a thwack of her front paws hitting my chest. She gets so excited that she literally cannot contain her energy. She wiggles and jumps and springs and writhes and won’t. sit. still.
For awhile, I’d get angry. I’d yell. I’d tell her to sit (I’d kind of growl it, really). I’d grab her by the collar and throw her outside.*
Last week, I had a different idea. I grabbed her ball and threw it. She fetched it and brought it back to me. Over and over again, I threw and she retrieved. Her energy became focused on a game, and suddenly, she was the amazing dog I’d always pictured having. I thought, Yes! There’s hope!
All I had to do was pay attention to her instead of getting frustrated. Love on her. Listen to her inner cry of Spend time with me! Don’t you love me? (K, not sure dogs have insecurities, but roll with me, here.)
And then, it hit me.
I am just like my spastic, immature puppy.
I know I need something. I have so much anxiety and things inside me just bursting to get out, but it needs somewhere to go. It sometimes comes out like rants or complaints. Sometimes like tears. Other times like false joy in the wrong things, because I have to latch on to SOMETHING.
But if I can focus on the one activity I should be spending time doing, the one Person I should be spending time with, then I will blossom. Suddenly, I’ll run the straight and narrow, right after that ball, with all the intent focus of a sprinter running a race. I’ll grab that ball, bring it back to God’s feet, sit there, content and smiling, and stare up at Him, asking Him to affirm me and keep playing, keep spending time with me.
And the great, amazing thing about God?
He never gets frustrated. He never yells. He never gets angry when we jump all over, when we slobber a little, when we pout and moan and cry about life.
He just smiles, picks up a ball, and says—over and over again—“Come and spend time with me. We’ll work through those things together.”
Your Turn: Are you a dog person? Cat person? What has owning an animal taught you?
|How can you not love this face?!|
*For all of you animal lovers, please don’t hate me. I do love her…I just really didn’t know how to handle her! So glad that one week from today, she will begin obedience training!!
**Photos by my amazing mother-in-law, Nancy Harrel!