The Dog Whisperer and Your Prayer Life.Posted: December 4, 2013
Have you guys met Chili? He’s my dog. We got him a few months ago from the animal shelter. When we said that he was The One, the lady shook her head, sighed, and said, “He’s cute, but he’s really destructive. He was adopted once from here, but the couple brought him back because he tears everything up.” We said we’d take our chances and took him home. Well, she was right. He’s a wreck! From Day 1 he would chew everything. Shoes, pillows, crayons. Today he ate the head and arms off a Barbie. Disturbing sight, really. She still kept singing “Perfect Day!”.
Anyway, after about 24 hours I told my husband that there was absolutely no way I could handle a dog like that and to please take that thing back. He requested a few days to see if he could get a grip on the situation. Now is the part where I have to tell you a little about my husband, Brandon.
He’s a bit obsessive when it comes to learning. He’ll pick a topic and it’s all consuming for a few weeks/months. He can speak Amharic. He can grow a mean garden. He can roll cigars like a Dominican. He can really master a topic, and he decided to master dog obedience. He’s up in the middle of the night watching The Dog Whisperer as a jumping off point. Have you seen it? Do you know the show? Cesar is a hero in our house now, right up there with Martin Luther and Justin Timberlake. Anyway, we started watching a lot of Dog Whisperer and here’s the main gist of it. You have to be a dominant pack leader in the eye of your dog to get them to be chill. If you don’t lead well, they become anxious, stressed, or depressed. They need you to communicate your authority. And get this: they must be calm and submissive before ever attempting to do anything. For example, what happens if your dog sees other dogs and gets all worked up? They pull on the leash trying to go their own way, do their own thing. But if you are the “pack leader” and you demonstrate that you don’t care about all that and this is the way we are going, your dog will obey. Cesar can get a dog he’s never met to do what he wants just with his leadership. Stay with me for one more dog example. I’m totally getting to the point soon, but you gotta see it play out. Say the doorbell rings. Many dogs will yap, jump, and freak out in general for a while when company arrives. What if, the doorbell rings and your dog is freaking out and you say “roll over”? Will she stop what she’s doing and roll over? Probably not at all. You can’t get them to obey when they’re in a tizzy like that. You have to get them calm and submissive first. And now we get to the point.
I was thinking about this the other day. I’m reading Whispers of Hope, Beth Moore’s new devotional. LOVE it, by the way, but I’ll review it another day. I missed a day. I woke up, literally, to someone coming in and saying “Mom, I peed the bed!” and just like that, at 5:20, I’m on. No quiet time, no thoughtful prayer time. Just popcorn “help me’s” to God all day. The Holy Spirit was certainly not manifesting in me that day, and by 10 I realized it was because I didn’t start out calm and submissive. I started out in a tizzy. Like my eyes opened when the doorbell rang. I kind of hate waking up that early, but there is SUCH a difference in my day. So much that it’s become just a necessary thing. Like my wacked out dog, I can’t take direction when I’m all worked up. It’s just not going to work then. I need to listen when I’m calm and submissive, and for me, that’s first thing in the morning. What about you? Do you notice a difference in your days when you do a devotional and when you don’t?