Friday, September 27, 2013

I Can't Stop

Checotah, Oklahoma
By Shiloh the Shepherd's Sheepdog


We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. Romans 7:14-17

I know what is right. I want to do the right thing. Why don’t I do it? I try and can be good for a little while, but something builds up inside and suddenly, I’m doing what I don’t want to be doing. I can’t stop.

I Ruin Our Walks

Take our lovely walks outside. Mommy says, “Look at me. Walk with me.” At first, I walk with her. With each step, it gets harder. Finally, when I think Mommy isn’t watching, I snap and bolt as fast and hard as I can. I’ve jerked the leash out of Mommy’s hands. Usually she hangs on, which means I jerk Mommy. I jerked the leash when she was stepping down out of the camper and now her back hurts. She tried using a short leash and wrapping it around her hand. Her hand is swollen and has a red welt around it. Once, I’ve even made her bleed. When I run, I know what is coming. If Mommy holds onto the leash, when the leash runs out, that nasty collar is going to grab my neck. It hurts – really hurts. I don’t like the pain but I do it anyway. Oh – and I’ve chewed through one leash and have started chewing through another one. Mommy says she can’t afford to keep buying leashes.

I Fight the Collar

I kept slipping out of a regular collar so Mommy bought a harness collar. Not only could I get out of that harness, I chewed through it. Mommy bought a harness that clips to the leash and collar. When each metal clips clangs into place, I feel like I’m being put in shackles. It is my own fault. Why do I keep doing these things?

I Am a Bad Houseguest

We visited our new friend, Ruth. I loved her. When we got inside her house, Mommy let me go free. I know how to act in a house so why did I keep chewing things up, eating her plants, and chasing the cat?  I even knew what was coming. Mommy finally had to use the leash inside. Neither of us liked that. When she heated up her milk at night, I jerked her and the hot milk burned her. Isn’t that terrible?  I love Mommy.

I Bark Too Much

I’m supposed to help Mommy tell people about Jesus. I want to help and yet, when they walk up, all I seem to be able to do is bark. I’m a really good barker so they can’t hear Mommy talk.

Is something wrong with me?  I do the things I don’t want to do. I hurt Mommy and me. I long to be good. I agree with Mommy about what is good which makes me feel even worse when I do the wrong thing.

I got a little hope when we went to the dog park. Mommy let me go free and when she called, I came back every time. It felt good. Also, I’ve learned to potty outside. Don’t you think those are good signs? Is there hope for me?

The amazing thing is that Mommy still loves me no matter what I do. She scolds me when I do the wrong thing but she loves me anyway. She lets me sleep with her and cuddles with me when we wake up. She kisses me and buries her face in my mane. When I mind, she gives me yummy treats. When I get dirty, she washes me. She picks burrs out of my fur and checks me for vermin. She feeds me and gives me water. Now that I think about it, I love Mommy even when she scolds me.

Maybe if Mommy keeps teaching me, I will eventually be able to do what I really want to do – to delight my mommy. If you have any suggestions for me, tell my mommy, Cheryle and she’ll tell me.

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Side of the Story

By Shiloh the Shepherd’s Sheltie
 See How Dirty I Got!

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:20

First, I have to tattle. Mommy is making me write this story. I think she hopes that I will have some kind of spiritual “aha moment” and realize how wrong it was. Well, I knew it was wrong when I did it. I chose to do it anyway. Also, I want to be honest with you. It might not be right but I will do it again at the very next chance.

I do hope that this story might help some of you. My mommy is a “Worried Mommy.” I am the cause of that worry. Maybe some of you are “Worried Mommies” too. If I share my story and why I did what I did, it might help you to understand the children you are worried about.

Even though I just admitted that I did something bad on purpose, let me assure you Mommy is a good mommy. She loves dogs and knows how to train us. She has done her best. I understand what she wants me to do. The problem is, like people, dogs have free will too. I know what mommy wants me to do. I even know why. It is just that I want I want so much, I ignore her

Are you wondering what I did? I scared Mommy to death, caused her to miss church, made her so mad that she threatened to leave me at the campground, embarrassed her because she had to chase me in her pajamas, and caused her to have to clean the camper, herself, and me. Mommy would never leave me. I knew she would always be waiting for me with open arms.

She told me to “wait” and opened the camper door just wide enough to step outside. I bolted. I heard her call my name but I saw the woods, mountains, and stream. There were birds in the trees and berries to eat. I felt free. It had been raining and I’d been cooped up in a tiny camper. This was my moment and I deliberately ignored my mommy’s wail. I did feel bad about scaring her but it was too much fun to stop.

The water in the stream felt cold on my shoulders but tasted so good that I couldn’t stop drinking. Why does Mommy pay money for my water when I could drink something this wonderful? Mommy screamed as I ate berries. Didn’t she know that they were delicious?

I am bred to run up and down hills chasing sheep. It seemed crazy to waste these wonderful mountains and woods.  I was vaguely aware of things sticking to and onto me as I ran through the thick bushes but the sheer joy of racing free made the pain worth it.

Mommy got my treats and yelled, “Treats Shiloh.” Nothing was as big a treat as running up and down those stairs and teasing Mommy by hiding behind the chairs in the campground amphitheater. Occasionally, she’d throw a treat hoping I’d get distracted. I wasn’t fooled by her tricks.

She yelled things like, “Sit Shiloh!” “Here!” “Wait!” Yea, right. I knew what was going to happen if I listened to that.

I knew Mommy was desperate when she resorted to lying. “Shiloh, Daddy’s here! He has Rascal.” Sorry Mommy. I was with you when you took Rascal to the Doggy Hotel and know that daddy is on a ship in the ocean. If he can run free in an ocean, why can’t I run free in West Virginia?

I was worried that Mommy kept chasing me up and down mountains and amphitheater stairs so every few minutes, I ran back and got about 10 feet from her before running again. She accused me of taunting her, which wasn’t fair. I wanted to let her know I was OK so she would stop running.

I will admit that running through the barbed wire fence and into the warehouse parking lot wasn’t one of my better ideas. That barbed wire hurt.

I might still be free if that silly beagle hadn’t tricked me by barking to call me over. It was a total set up. I ran over to play with him and Mommy snuck up behind and grabbed me.

Mommy hugged me and scolded me all at the same time. I was muddy and covered in sticky stuff so she got muddy and covered in sticky stuff. I suddenly realized how much the thorns hurt. I was cold. Mommy tried to clean me up with a towel and water but it was hopeless. My fur had never been dirty before and I didn’t like it. Mommy had missed the 9:45 church but she dumped me in the camper and ran to the shower to get dressed for the next service. I sat there alone thinking about what I did and wondering if my romp had been worth it. I got the answer a few minutes later when Mommy opened the camper door just a tiny bit. I took off and started the fun all over again.

Mommy is mad but technically, I was still doing my job as a evange-dog. I heard Mommy stopping to talk about Jesus with the people who were helping her try to catch me. Does it really matter how I help her give the Gospel as long as I help? Without me running away, she would never have met those people.

My fun lasted an hour and a half. I played an hour before the beagle tricked me. I played thirty more minutes the second time, decided I was done, and used my free will to come home. Mommy has spent the last two days picking things out of my fur, the camper, her hair, and her pajamas. She bought special antibacterial soap and a dog brush and comb and bathed me in a hotel bathtub. 

I know Mommy is scared every time she opens the camper door. She is worried that I’ll get lost, that a car will hit me, an animal will eat me, or that I’ll eat poison berries and die. I suppose those things could happen but they didn’t so if I get the chance, I will run again. I watch that door when she goes in or out.

If you are a "Worried Mommy" too, maybe your child is like me. Maybe he or she just likes being free too much. I love my mommy. Mommy has taught me that we are only truly free in Christ but trust me, it doesn’t feel that way. It feels like I’m free when I’m running wild. It feels like I’m trapped when I’m doing what Mommy says to do. Mommy says that I’ll enjoy life more when I learn to follow directions and live right but until I figure that out for myself, I’ll just keep running free and scaring my wonderful Mommy to death.

If your child is scaring you, it probably isn’t because you did anything wrong. It isn’t personal and doesn’t mean your child doesn’t love you. It just means that doing what we want feels really good, even when it is causing us pain. I know you are probably hoping that the pain of running free will teach us a lesson but once you’ve tasted that kind of sheer freedom to living without rules, it takes a lot pain make us stop. I know it sounds dumb but it is the truth.

If you are a “Worried Mommy,” there are things you can do. You can pray. If you are really brave, ask God to do whatever it takes for us to get on the right track. Keep loving us. Stop the lectures because they don’t help and you already taught us those lessons anyway. Quite feeling like you are a bad mommy. You taught us right. If we truly come home, welcome us back with love.

If you are a “Worried Mommy” and want to talk about the child that is scaring you to death, my mommy has lots of experience with that and will be happy to talk to you. Email Cheryle
Pray for Mommy while I am growing up. I can’t promise to always do the right thing but I’ll tell you the truth about what I’m doing and learning.

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