I’m becoming convinced that God brought Rudy into my life to teach me about my relationship with Him. In a previous post, I introduced my Golden Retriever, adopted from a rescue group about two and a half years ago. Now I’m wondering if he might have a direct line to God, showing me how to walk a spiritual path?
Our subdivision doesn’t have sidewalks, and Rudy doesn’t like walking in the street. It’s possible he had a run-in with a car or truck in his previous life, although he loves riding in the car. Every morning, he leaps into my van and claims the front passenger seat as I drive to neighborhood park that has sidewalks. Occasionally, he gets excited about another dog and lunges at them. I try to be aware of anything that might grab his attention, because at 75 lbs., he has no trouble pulling me off my feet if I’m not prepared for the jolt.
One morning this summer, an acquaintance was walking her two dogs as I pulled up to the the park. I left Rudy while I chatted with her for a couple minutes, but of course, Rudy barked and put up a fuss until I came to let him out. I opened the door and tried to grab the leash before he bounded out to meet the other dogs. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a strong enough grip and, as the leash tore through my hand, the plastic clip on the end ripped the skin off two fingertips, gouged a chunk out of a third finger, sprained two knuckles and re-sprained another whole finger. I watched my blood drip into the grass, and asked myself, what am I going to do with this dog?
I called a trainer. In one hour, she showed me how to hold the leash to avoid having my arm yanked out of the socket, when to correct, and how to persuade Rudy to keep his attention focused on me. I’m still practicing, but what a joy to be able to walk Rudy without having him pull every which way, including (sometimes) loose. I determine where we go, when we stop and where we turn. When we’re walking in sync together–when he’s alongside me and keeps his head at an angle so he can see what I’m doing–that’s when walking him becomes a joy and not a chore.
Recently, during one of those joyful moments, I observed Rudy and thought, isn’t that how I should be walking with the Lord? Not heading off in my own direction. Not bounding after one distraction or another, but walking alongside, my attention always focused on what He’s doing, where He’s going, eager to follow at a moment’s notice.
What am I going to do with this dog? I’m going to keep watching, to see what else God shows me.