Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: ANNOYED (04/05/18)
- TITLE: I'm Standing On My Inside
By Darlene Casino
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Sheba joined our family when we rescued her from a shelter. She was a miniature apricot poodle with dark roots about her head and ears. She soon laid herself across one of my husband’s forearms, a ball of fur, albeit somewhat matted. She stole our hearts.
However she had developed one irritating habit; she’s a barker! Anyone
entering her yard or her house is greeted with shrill yapping for a much longer time-frame then seems necessary. Soon after the people settle, she is happily involving them in a friendly game of ‘fetch/catch’ with her favorite ball.
Last summer we decided to bring in a dog trainer, similar in approach to a television personality who is well known. His price was a little shocking but this was Sheba and it would be worth it to get rid of her one little character defect.
The training session began with us. Seems our problem was we had not assumed our position as pack leader. We needed to gain control by teaching her to come, sit and stay on command. It didn’t matter that she often did this out of sheer love…she must obey. The instructor gave us 2 tools; a little cloth bag containing a piece of chain that made a noise when tossed in front of her, and a sound we were to bark at her when she did not obey; like a loud ‘ehhh’ sound with the authority of a growl.
My first blunder was, in my excitement, I threw the little chain bag and grazed Sheba’s head! And try as I may, that sound he wanted us to use to correct her seemed very undignified. Why couldn’t ‘no’ be used…at least it would make sense to anyone in hearing distance. Having raised 3 boys, I was well practiced at speaking the word quietly through clutched teeth or bellowing the word out as needed. Soon our session was over and we were admonished to practice until our next visit. We tried…
Then it was time for the trainer and we still had one little problem…Sheba still barked! We tried to reason with him. “All we want is for her to stop barking once she’s made us aware of an intruder.” We tried to reason with him. “All we want is for her to stop barking once she’s made us aware of an intruder.”
Our session ended with the usual, “Keep practicing.”
We never had a third session by our choosing, though we practiced. Sheba will come, sit and stay when we’re working with her. We’ve had a degree of success. But often, when she’s under command to stay, her little body starts to tremble. Under her breath, she quietly raises her protest. And I recall the story of a young child told to sit down, which he does. But within him was a quiet voice whispering, “I’m sitting on the outside, but I’m standing on my inside.”
I came to see there was lesson in this story: How do I respond when things don’t go my way, or when someone or something upsets me? My ‘Master’ has also spent much time and effort teaching me about living my life by His Grace; adjusting my attitudes when something irritates me. But every now and then, from deep within me, comes the quiet growl of rebellion; then a thought crosses my my heart…”I’m sitting on my outside, but I’m standing on my inside.”
“…The LORD doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks on a person’s thoughts and intentions.” 1 Samuel 16:7b NLT
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