Bulldogs claim things. Bulldogs claim people. They do this in various ways, but most often by placing their front paws, either one or both, on the person they are claiming. They make a demand, insisting on continued attention, more attention. Don’t get up. Don’t walk away. Those dishes can wait. Everything else can wait. I am here. You are mine.
It sounds a little like a sweet Valentine’s Day card. It’s encouraging. They love me so much that they pound me heavily with their straight, stout legs. When they keep hitting me, they bruise my legs and arms.
These dogs were not trained as puppies to keep their paws off people. That was a human failure. Since they are bulldogs, their legs are spring-loaded, perpetual motion machines.
Here is our typical conversation:
(Insane barking for no reason at all.)
(All barking ceases while they stare at the nutty woman standing in the middle of the room.)
Snoopey walks up and paws at my feet, leaving a highlighted mark on my bare foot.
I give her a touch. “No!”
Paw springs up.
Paw springs up.
Other paw springs up.
First paw springs up again.
And so on and so on and so forth. “No” has become the most ubiquitous word in our household.
I can’t let them think that I am doing anything just because they are demanding it. Then all they will have to do is throw a fit to get their way, sort of like young children. I am in charge (whether or not I really want to be).
I start on one of my guilt trips – if I were a better guardian, a better steward of these animals, I wouldn’t be having these bad behaviors. But God reminds me that His humans have not consistently obeyed Him either, AND HE IS GOD. And He reminds me of something else.
If it hurts another, it’s not love. If it’s selfish, it’s not love.
“Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Roman 13:10 KJV
Copyright H.J. Hill 2016 All Rights Reserved