Snoopey, why do I have to use the word “no” with you more than anyone else? One of my children was like that, too. Maybe every so many kids and dogs, one comes along who thinks that they know better than everybody, one for whom the word “No” is not translatable in any language.
“No” is a word that sets borders. “No” is a good word though most dogs and people don’t look at it that way. “No” gets ignored too often when it is the right word at the right time.
At first, I wondered if Snoopey’s hearing were impaired. She quickly disabused me of that idea. Her hearing is excellent. She picks up distant sirens, vehicles in the alley, and people at the front door before the bell rings. She simply doesn’t think the word “No” applies to her.
I invited her into the driveway while I did dog food redistribution in the garage and she struck up a conversation with the neighbor’s dogs. Not a “Hey, I didn’t realize y’all were over there” chat, but a wild back and forth running bark fest up and down the length the fence. Barking, galloping, whirling, barking, galloping, whirling.
Snoopey slid to halt and pressed her big, wide, wet muzzle against the fence slats at the level of reinforced 2x4s across the bottom. She sniffed one board and then another. On the 3rd spot, the bulldog in her showed up. She ripped at the bottom of the board with power vise lower jaw. Just one pull splintered the bottom of the board. I grabbed her collar, forcing her away from the fence. I clipped on the leash. It took my full force to move her. When I got her the fifteen feet to the driveway, she finally broke her concentration and stopped the game. She panted so hard you would have thought she had been on a mile run. Once inside, she fell asleep like a stone. I rested my strained muscles. Weight lifting is all well and good, but exercise weights don’t wrestle with you.
I lost count of the number of times I used the “No” word, all to no avail.
What would have happened had Snoopey managed to get through the fence? Not a picnic, I can tell you that. An all out free-for-all with her and the other dogs as losers.
A lot of people have the wrong idea about the Ten Commandments. They see them as a negative list of “Thou shalt nots” designed to stop our fun when really they are positive warnings of dangers to be avoided, good neighbor safety fences to keep us from causing or receiving harm. When God says “No”, He is protecting and shepherding us, not spoiling our party.
Now if Snoopey would just realize that “No” is not a dirty word.
Reference: Exodus 20:1-17
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