Our family has had a dog (note the singular article) since our youngest child was a baby. That baby is all grown up now, so having a dog is pretty much built into our DNA at this point.
But for some reason last fall, I got it into my head that if having one dog was so great, having two dogs would be twice as great. (No, I’ve never done drugs, so I’m certain I can’t blame this illogical progression on a flashback.) So exactly five years to the day of adopting Churchill, we adopted Pepper.
Before I go farther, let me give a little background on our dogs. Churchill is an English springer spaniel/English setter/border collie mix. He is just as beautiful as he is personable and bright. Figuring a similar mix would render similar results, we adopted Pepper, a border collie/English setter mix. From the neck down, the two dogs look practically identical. There the similarity ends.
|Churchill sleeps with his paw on Pepper.|
See, Pepper never got the memo that border collies are supposed to be intelligent. And she never got the memo that English setters are supposed to be easy-going. Instead, she is decidedly brainless and stubborn (not to mention boneless and apparently painless, considering the contortions she puts herself into).
Day after day she would find a way to escape from what I thought was our hermetically sealed yard. Day after day she would fail to obey – let alone seem to hear – the simplest command when faced with the distractions of things to explore and smell.
We consulted repeatedly with friends who understand dog behavior. We watched episodes of The Dog Whisperer. We researched online. If a particular technique was guaranteed to work quickly with a dog, it failed miserably with Pepper.
She continued to repeat the same behaviors time and again, rendering the same negative results. Persistence and patience, combined with the good example of her more intelligent brother, have finally produced some fruit, but only in the form of a reflexive response. I’ll take that.
Nearly a year later, Churchill still exploits Pepper’s stupidity. Time after time, he will let her chase him around the same clump of trees and will disappear right in front of her into the bushes. She will stop in her tracks and look around for him – in the opposite direction.
Watching her fall for Churchill’s familiar ploy again the other day, I thought about the people I know who continue to fall into the same sins as if this time it will turn out differently.
Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly. – Proverbs 26:11
Dogs do not have souls. According to Genesis 1:27, only we humans are created in God’s image. So it’s easy – though often frustrating – to overlook a dog’s idiocy. But we are without excuse.
They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . .
– Romans 2:15
Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Yielding time and again to the same temptations is an affront to God, not to mention outright crazy.
. . . on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. – Romans 2:16
Your “secret” sins will be found out, and you will have to answer for them, so stop returning to your own vomit.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
– Psalm 34:8
Our habitual sins render us tasteless and useless – two adjectives I personally wouldn’t want to see on my headstone.
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. – Matthew 5:13
Pepper is dumb. Don’t be dumb. May we all learn something from my dog.