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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Creature of Habit

Is it possible to look in the face of a bulldog and not know that we serve a whimsical wonderful God? Two years ago my husband surprised me with a new bulldog. My previous bulldog had to be put down several years before due to health problems. My heart was so broken by the loss I didn’t know if I could stand the risk of owning another one. Of course, before I could scoop Riley up in my arms she had me lock, stock and barrel in love with that face!!! I just love bulldogs. Riley may be a bulldog but her personality could not be been more different than my previous one. She is always just itching for trouble and as a puppy I thought “Oh my goodness, what have I gotten myself into”. She is uncharacteristically hyper for that particular breed and when she was a puppy you couldn’t just grab that face and take advantage of those beloved bully kisses or you’d come up missing a nose. She loves to wrestle but can get all caught up in the moment and cross over to the dark side like Darth Vader on steroids. At a few months old I decided I needed to lay down the boundaries and show her who was boss before she out weighed me in muscle and attitude. I had to become a no-nonsense Mom that stuck to my guns when she pushed the limit. Very quickly she figured out that I had her number and she began to calm down and settle into a routine. Having a crate is such a great tool for training. When she gets tired she’ll waddle to her crate and tuck herself in for the night. Occasionally she still gets a “wild hair” and acts like a child hyped up on sugar. When she does, her whole body wiggles seemingly uncontrollably because she’s trying to wag a tail she doesn’t have. During one of her moods she’ll get up in someone’s business, knowing that’s not where she belongs. A stern word form me will send her running as fast as her little short legs will carry her into her crate. Unfortunately because of her body mass, if she’s picked up enough speed, she can’t come to a complete stop once she enters the crate. That’s when the crate wall comes in handy. With a big bang she’ll go into time out (sometimes on her own accord) and plop down as she tries to gain her composure. Something about that crate gives her what she needs to gather herself together so others can stand to be around her and so she can stand to be around herself. Before the holidays last year I moved her crate into the dining room to give me more room in the kitchen. After several weeks of the crate being in the dining room she had “one of her spells”. I told her to go to time out at which time she ran full speed ahead into the breakfast nook (where the crate no long was) and crashed right into the wall. I laughed until I thought I was going to cry! She was just so used to running in there that she totally forgot in her moment, the location had changed. Today I was thinking…. That’s how I am with God. He is my hiding place, the place I go when the storms of life get too much for me. He is where I go when I can’t stand to be around myself. Instead of being my last resort, he is my resort. And unlike Riley’s crate, God’s location never changes. At the first sign of trouble I turn to him and run as fast as my little short legs will carry me into his protective arms…. Yes, there is nothing better than being a creature of habit.

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