How My Dog Trained Me

It was one hectic day in the spring of 1992. My husband, Doug, said he’d take our young daughters for an outing so I’d have some time on my own. I decided to buy some bright pretty flowers and plant them in the small garden plot I could see from the kitchen window. Digging in the soil, planting flowers, is heaven on earth.

Soon, Doug came driving up the driveway. I stood up, with trowel in hand, and watched 2 elated, delighted girls extricate themselves from the truck. They ran over to me and said, “Mommy, we got a puppy, and his name is Shep.”

Faster than you can snap a finger, my heaven turned to hell on earth. However, in that nanosecond of time, I proved there is an all-mighty, all-acting, merciful God. This God stopped my mouth from hollering, “I want a divorce, I don’t want a dog. We didn’t even discuss a dog. We have no dog house, no dog food and I’m the person who will have to feed, bath, and train this dog.” God also stopped my eyeballs from rolling to the back of my head before my entire body fell over backward, thud.

Even though I didn’t verbalize my livid thoughts, any blinking, breathing being could see I wasn’t thrilled with a dog. But, then there was Shep.

I grudgingly knew I needed to adjust my attitude. Instead of thinking I had to teach Shep, Why couldn’t I learn from him?

And, learn I did, until 2009, when Shep went out for his routine walk in the orchard and just didn’t come back. With wit, our Daughters figure he ascended.

In those 17 years, I learned to be Shep’s best friend. I learned to go on walks almost every day. I learned to view the same path as though it was the first time we were walking it. I learned to hone my internal clock and intuition. I learned animal instincts can be overridden with compassion and spiritual courage.

Shep made me laugh. Shep taught me to stretch and extend my views.

I am probably still learning from Shep.


From 21st Century Science and Health, “When we admit that matter (hormones, DNA, neurons, etc.), acting through the five physical senses, constitutes a person, we fail to see how physiology can distinguish between humanity and animals. Animals also have hormones, DNA, and neurons. Do some pets act more humane than people? Physiology and anatomy have a difficult time determining when people are really people….All of God’s creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, and indestructible. A realization of this excellent truth is a source of strength.”


3 thoughts on “How My Dog Trained Me

  1. holly February 15, 2010 at 12:06 am Reply

    Glad to hear that Shep ascended. Well told story.

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