Grace in hands

Lessons from Texas Ranger

I mentioned in a previous post that our youngest dog had to have knee surgery. As a young, active black lab, the injury he sustained is quite common. The surgery is only an hour or so long and has been done so many times that it’s almost routine, with a 95% success rate.

We have the resources to do the surgery and my husband didn’t want to lose one of his hunting buddies at 4 years old. No one warned me how much work it would be to keep an 85-pound four-year-old trained hunting black lab who loves to jump calm and quiet for four months! Even with sedation, the energy level was difficult, especially as he had healed and started to get stronger.

I have literally spent the last three months in a state of hypervigilance watching Tex’s every move and yelling at him and the older dog, Blue, when they misbehave in any way. I have learned that there is a good reason I didn’t go into healthcare! More than that, I have learned that trying to control people, places, things, and dogs is not as easy as we would like to believe.

Our dogs are both well-trained, but it is almost impossible to change the natural inclinations of a dog. Tex doesn’t understand why he can’t jump, or run, or play with his brother. His brother doesn’t understand why I have to walk them separately or why they have to be locked in separate rooms when I am gone.  The result is two dogs full of pent-up energy and anxiety and a boss lady at the end of her rope yelling (I hate yelling) and listening to whining.

As I reflect on this, I think about how we aren’t so different from Blue and Tex. Our natural inclinations and habits are comfortable. The difference is that we have a gentle, loving, and understanding Father who gets it and isn’t irritated by our fumbles, our whining, or our refusal to do as he says. He experiences sorrow and righteous anger when we fumble, but it’s different than my irritation and frustration. He gets it and understands in a way that we can’t.

Tex is trying the best he can. Blue is being as patient as he can. I am also doing the best I can in all my humanness. His grace is sufficient, even for this.

Contributed by Liz Hunt

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