Bark, Please

November 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Robin J. Steinweg –

The front door stood open a few inches. I knew I’d locked it that morning. As we returned after dark, our son saw someone in the living-room, hunched over. I backed out and called 9-1-1. From a safe distance I watched two police officers enter my shadowy house with guns drawn.

They came out with good news. Nobody there, nothing harmed. How to avoid this in the future? Have a locksmith refigure the locks and get a dog. Barking dogs are a great deterrent to intruders.

At the humane shelter, Buddy sat politely in the midst of the other dogs’ frenzied barking, gazing at us. We brought home our canine alarm system.

But Buddy didn’t bark. I determined to train him. How does one train a dog to bark?

One barks.

I barked. Buddy and our boys watched. When I’d barked enough, I gave myself a treat (cookie). If Buddy even looked like he was interested, I gave him a treat (bone). I barked daily. Weekly. Monthly. I barked myself hoarse. We went through boxes of expensive treats for people and dogs with no sign of progress. I felt pretty foolish barking when there really was someone at the door. But I didn’t want my sons to see me give up. I wanted them to learn perseverance (I also wanted the dog to bark).

Finally Buddy’s lip twitched. I praised and petted him. When his lip curled, I praised him more. When he snorted a bit as his lip curled, I fawned over him. Eventually, he vocalized the tiniest bit. I went nuts. When he finally did bark, I rolled over, howled, sat up, everything but play dead. He knew he’d done something great. And he kept on doing it (in a week or so we’d trained him to quit barking when asked).

Someone has said, “The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running.”

What do you face today that you’re tempted to abandon? Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who endured the cross—so that you won’t grow weary and lose heart.

QUOTE: “The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground” (unknown).

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).

Today’s devotional is by Robin J. Steinweg. Robin’s life might be described using the game Twister: the colored dots are all occupied, limbs intertwine (hopefully not to the point of tangling), and you never know which dot the arrow will point to next, but it sure is fun getting there!

About Robin Steinweg

Today’s devotional is by Robin J. Steinweg. Robin’s life might be described using the game Twister: the colored dots are all occupied, limbs intertwine (hopefully not to the point of tangling), and you never know which dot the arrow will point to next, but it sure is fun getting there!

Comments

6 Responses to “Bark, Please”
  1. Lori Lipsky says:

    Robin,

    You are willing to embarrass yourself in front of all the readers to make this valuable point. I admire that about you.

    The message is a gem and worth the trouble, I think. Thanks for the encouraging words from someone who needs all the encouragement she can get.

  2. Robin J. Steinweg says:

    Thank you, Lori. Let’s be the “little nuts” who hold their ground. In the end maybe we’ll be “oaks of righteousness,” a planting for the glory of the Lord.

  3. Debbie Hanchek says:

    Hi Robin,

    That is a cute way of remembering your “Buddy”!

    Love you

  4. Robin J. Steinweg says:

    Thanks, Debbie! Our critters can show good persistence too, can’t they?

  5. Joan Shawhan says:

    Love it, Robin! Buddy was a good dog even if he never learned a proper bark!
    Your persistence is remarkable!

  6. Robin J. Steinweg says:

    Thanks, Joanie. I’m happy to say he became a good barker. So did I. It’s been a good lesson in reaping a harvest, and has translated over into matters of faith, praise God!

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