I have noticed that I tend to use a lot of exclamation points in these blog posts. Many advise against them. Those many are not writing about bulldogs.
All the dogs I have ever owned or dealt with have walked on leads or leashes without much trouble. There was the introduction phase, the training phase, and things proceeded pretty easily from there. Of course, the one Great Pyrenees we had years ago (weighing in at 100 pounds in the winter) knew when she was going to the vet, and no leash could persuade her to move once we got to the parking lot. From that point on I did a lot of picking up the front paws, then picking up the back paws, then picking up the front paws, etc. It went that way until we inched our way forward. And I do mean ‘inched’.
None of our Olde English Bulldogges came to us leash-trained. What does that mean during transportation or walking? They walk when they want to and stop when they want to and there is a lot of cajoling, commanding (hence the exclamation points), and less cooperation than I would like.
And then there’s the pulling, and I mean pulling as in we could win a tug of war against a group of Marines. When one of our dogs makes up her bulldoggy mind to head in a certain direction, she heads in that certain direction which is not, of course, my certain direction. We wage a war of wills, or more to the point, a war of muscles, and that is where I often come up short.
I give a lot of lip service to following the will of God for my life, but when it comes to following His lead, I strain in my own direction, hoping that He will change His mind and go with me or that I heard Him wrong. He loves me enough not to give up on me. He knows my stubbornness. Sometimes He lets me pull in my own way down the wrong path until I stop and turn around with a confused look on my face. Then we start over.
When the bulldogs fight the lead, I hold on with a mighty hand. For a time, the battle is on. But I love them too much to let them run across a busy street, stray off on their own to get lost, or aggressively charge another dog. And that’s how the Lord loves me (though truthfully I have never been known to charge at dogs).
“Teach me to do Thy will; for Thou are my God: Thy Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” Psalm 143:10 KJV
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