Our puppy drives me crazy.
He nips when I want him to sit. He jumps when I want him to lie down. He eats paperback books for lunch and toilet paper rolls for dinner.
We’ve done what we can.
We’ve placed spray bottles in strategic locations around the house. We’ve watched YouTube videos on dog obedience.
“Sit, Ubu, sit!”
I read one website that said Australian Shepherds need a job to do in order to feel happy and fulfilled.
I made him do the dishes.
He hated it.
Nothing has worked…
Except relentless, unending exercise.
Brian and I have gone on multiple 14 mile hikes since we became puppy owners.
On those evenings, when Max is totally wiped out after a long hike, he is darn near close to lovable.
But every other day, I’ve had bad thoughts and terrible fantasies:
Pack him up and send him to Australia with the words “You may have cute accents, but you make bad dogs.”
Or catch the ice cream truck that goes by every afternoon and barter him in exchange for a Bomb Pop.
Then this morning, I took Max on a walk. It was five a.m. and he was already driving me bonkers. I plugged in my i-pod, put on some worship tunes and walked down the street, asking God’s forgiveness for my propensity for puppy cruelty.
Max pulled on his leash.
Chased a moth into the street.
Peed on a recently planted bed of flowers.
I walked him hard. Walked him fast. The sun started cresting over the horizon. Worship music blared in my ears. And then, just over the trees, came a hot air balloon.
It was beautiful. It caught my breath.
I found my whole body relaxing, and a smile cracked through the grump lines.
I knew I wouldn’t be out here if it weren’t for Max.
I knew I wouldn’t have the exercise or the beauty or the worship…
I bent down and scratched him behind his ears.
Silly Max. God knew what He was doing when He put you in my world after all.