My Dog the Teacher

Published February 18, 2013 by MENETTA OLAN

If I wrote about all the strange things my dog does I would have enough material for another monthly column.     First of all, he is a Jack Russell terrier, and for any of you who have owned one you will know that I speak the truth.   I’m not sure that there are words that can accurately describe the challenges of owning one. 

Secondly, my Jack Russell happens to be one of the smartest and active that I have heard about during comparisons with my comrades.   Aren’t I the lucky one?   Smart and active in Jack Russell language translates into “knows just what annoys you” and “to keep doing it over and over and over and over.”

I love dogs.   I love my dog.   He is a great companion and is extremely loveable.  Sadly he is now driving me into madness.   Now that I’ve explained that he is intelligent I feel that it is alright to now tell you about the least intelligent acts he has committed.

Years ago Scooter had found a little lizard that was trapped in our screened porch.  I instructed him to stay away for fear that when Scooter tried to play with him it would end up badly for his play mate.   I turned my back to open the patio door to usher my dog back inside.  When I looked at Scooter, he was cocking his head to the left and to the right continuously and below his head I saw only a lizard tail twitching.  The little lizard had run off already several feet without the dog even knowing.  I guess nature really knows what to do when it comes to Jack Russells.  I wish I could say the same for me.

The least ignorant thing I have seen him do I cannot explain no matter how hard I try.   I will fill his bowl completely full of food.  Not long after I will hear him whine as if he needs something.   I will walk over to his bowl and it will still have plenty of food even though he has eaten some.  I go  back and sit down only to hear him start again.  After a long drawn out period of days, weeks, and months, I realized how to stop him from whining after he has been eating.   I shake his food bowl so that he still has food on both sides.   You see, he only eats out of one side of the food bowl.  Not even the same side each day but only one side each day.   I merely go over to his bowl and tip it until all the food is back level again for him to continue.

What in the world?   The food is the same on either side.   He never did this the first 8 years of his life?  Why?  Why now?  and dear Lord why me?  Could he have a reason that is beyond my human understanding?  I don’t know about that.  But I do know his little eating disorder if you will has reminded me of my faith in God.

You guys know what faith is all about I don’t have to tell you.   Say, I am like Scooter, no not the whining part.   Say I only use half of my food, half of God’s resources, instead of using all of them.   It could be that fear drives me to be cautious and stingy with myself and keeps me from using all at the moment that it was given.   Faith would tell me it will be okay.   When it is all gone I am to depend on my heavenly father for my needs.   Sure I shouldn’t be a glutton, but use my faith and the holy spirit to guide me.  Not allow my fear that God’s provisions might run out be my motive.   Just as Scooter used to believe years ago that he could eat the whole bowl and know that it would be replenished . . . I as a child of God should know that when things may seem to be running out, my God will replenish and restore my needs in my life within his will.

I feel this column is more timely than the one I was going to submit originally.  We are living in such uncertainty today during this recession/depression that faith saves us not only month to month but these days you may have to rely on your faith week to week – day by day – and even hour by hour.    Many of my Christian friends will be down to the wire and may be a bit past that and some miracle completely unrelated to the norm will take care of the problem suddenly and easily.

Can I say the same for myself?   When I get to the end of my rope do I have faith that God has another half of the rope ready for me?  No matter what He is the first and last of all we are supposed to need.  His love provides for us even when we don’t know how he will.

I may not be able to explain my crazy cute dog but I can admit that I can learn from him.   He has reminded me more about my faith and how no matter what God is the ultimate provider.   I am thankful for one of Scooter’s actions helping teach me that.   I already knew about the whole lizard tail thing.



One comment on “My Dog the Teacher

  • My Jack Russell is the same way! She will look at me almost like she knows what I am thinking. Cock her head to the right then to the left and just stare. If i stare back she will start to do a whin/talking noise. Its hilarious! She also does a lot of things that drive me crazy. For instance, she has a sock fedish. LOVES to rip socks apart, but she will make it a point to show me she has a sock then run. Its like she knows shes not supposed to but tries to push her limits! Good luck!!

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