Monday, January 9, 2012

Training a Dog…and Training Ourselves

Just a week ago my husband and I adopted our newest member of the family - a collie mix named Katie. As is par for the course, she was extremely overweight, had little in the way of exercise, and yes, was severely untrained. I decided to use the Command Collar – a Perfect Dog system developed by Don Sullivan to help train the dog to commands and develop an understanding of its role in family. We had used it with our blue tick, Eve, and after many, many months (blue ticks are very stubborn animals and bred to hunt on the run) she is now able to wander about with minimal supervision and correction.

Our blue tick coonhound Eve
The command collar is a useful tool to help a dog learn basic obedience. According to Don, the most important thing you can teach your dog is to lie down on command. Of course Katie does not like the idea of lying down, for that means submitting in the order of a dog’s mind. Lying down before the master is allowing the other person to take authority over one’s life. It is an act of true submission.

Wow, what a metaphor! I have felt for many weeks now the gentle tug of a command collar on me as God is trying to get me to “lie down” and make Him master over the things in my life. Wow, and do I put up a fuss, much like Katie is doing now. She has nipped at me and growled, not wanting to let go of her lease on life and allow me to take control over her. I guess in many ways we also find ourselves nipping, arguing, and getting angry when God wants to take control.

But in the end the “command collar” has given our first dog, Eve, the ability to run free within the boundaries we set for her so she is not in danger. So it will be with Katie.  And so it can be in our lives. Lie down in our Master’s presence. Find rest in Him. And experience true freedom you’ve never known. 

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