We might as well have named all the dogs “Hey”. They respond more quickly to that word than any other, except for the word “Now!” which often does grab their attention. “Now” sounds like “no”, but since they seldom pay attention to “no”, I don’t think that’s what’s snagging their hearing.
“Hey!” works for all kinds of desired behaviors:
Hey! Go into your crate. It’s time for bed. – Translation: Actually, we are exhausted. It’s time for us to go to bed and we can’t let you wander around all night, fighting with each other, plunging into the garbage, or finding other mischief. Good night!
Hey! Don’t chase the cat! – It’s loud. It’s a waste of time. She doesn’t like it, well, not much. But that game gets old fast.
Hey! Don’t eat that! – I discussed this one before. I am sure that I will again.
Hey! Put that down! – I will be pondering dogs and private property rights in a future post.
Hey! Come here! – Pretty self-explanatory.
Hey! Go there! – This works better when accompanied by finger pointing.
Hey! Get down! – Used for jumping on furniture, jumping on each other, jumping on people (they believe it is the best way to show love), and jumping on my clean pants.
And there is always the ever popular, generic
Hey! Stop that!
(There are a number of other examples; you get the idea.)
In each instance, “Hey!” is not the command. It says nothing about the desired outcome. “Hey” is the attention getter- the word that turns the dogs around, causes their ears to perk up, and their big-shouldered bulldog bodies to stop – sometimes.
I regret all the times that the LORD has had to shout at me to get my attention. Perhaps I was asleep, bored, distracted by trivia, unfocused or wrongly focused, obsessed, or just plain stupid. He had to shout to get me to look in His direction. Sometimes He had to call out more than once. And at other times He had to allow some serious event that I finally noticed. An alarm. A siren. A wake up call.
“Give ye ear, and hear My voice; hearken and hear My speech.” Isaiah 28:23 KJV
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