By Jody Bennett

Bonus lesson from a sausage dog

Carrie, as a sausage dog, is of course very short-legged. This has some advantages for me, as she is unable to jump on my bed, reach food on the kitchen counter or pull things off the couch. However, the flip-side of that is that she needs my help a lot – every time she gets on or off anything.

She knows she needs my help with these manoeuvres and many other things, so she will scratch doors for me to open, jump against the bed for me to pick her up, whine to get down, stare at me meaningfully if her bowl is empty.

The other night she had the challenging task of trying to get me to understand that her doggy door wasn't opening and she couldn't get outside. She was dashing about like a nutcase going from one door to the other until I finally realised her problem.

sausage dog

Other times she shakes her head at night to wake me up with her ear-flapping, so that I can cover her up because she is cold. Spoilt? A little!

The point is though that Carrie knows she can't sort out these things herself. She is aware of her own limitations. On the occasions when she has tried to jump off the bed, she has smooshed her nose, banged her head and risked more serious injury.

It is absolutely no advantage to Carrie to try to do these things herself or to refuse my help out of 'pride' and it occurred to me that we should be more like my dachshund in realising our 'smallness' in the face of our problems. We should stop thinking we are doing God some sort of favour by 'not bothering Him' and tackling them on our own, and admit we need help. He already knows, anyway.

Although I am quite in tune with my dog's needs, God knows our needs even before we do. We are only kidding ourselves by not involving Him in our problems and trying to get through our days in our own strength.

Carrie knows that I will help her because I love her. And because I am consistently loving towards her, she trusts me. Maybe the first thing we should admit we need God's help with, is trusting in His goodness and love towards us.

As the old hymn based on Lamentations 3 in the Bible assures us: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord.

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