My dog and the tree

Let me introduce you to Abby. She is a Shepperd/Retreiver cross mix with other things we don’t know about. I found her after finding an ad on Kijiji. Her story goes like this:

A woman was driving down a back road when she saw a guy in the process of dumping 2 puppies on the side of the road. Apparently his purebred lab had an affair with a mutt down the road. Instead of trying to give them away, he was dumping them. This woman offered the guy $50 for each dog and promised not to call the cops, to which he gladly agreed. She gave him the $100, got the dogs then called the cops. So now here she was with 2 dogs. She was only asking for $50 for each dog to get her money back. Not a huge ask. So Abby was one of these dogs. She was about 6 months old at the time and was a big ball of fluff. She was named after Abby on NCIS (which I no loner watch since Abby left the show, because of a dog). My Abby is now almost 10 years old.

Abby testing out the new furniture at the new house.

The one thing about Abby is she is a runner. If you were to leave the door open she would be gone. Then I would have to chase after her for quite a while before she actually stopped long enough for me to put a leash on her and drag her home. I have done it way too many times.

We recently moved to a new house. It is bigger and has a lovely back yard that backs onto the Bruce Trail. There is nothing behind us but trees. My yard is surrounded by trees. But it is not fenced. With Abby being the runner she is, when she goes outside, we tie her to a lead which is attached to the clothes line. The clothes line runs the full length of the yard. So when we first moved in she would go to the back of the yard as far as she could, investigate everything and get wrapped around the trees and picnic table. We would have to go out and untangle her almost every single time.

Finally we decided to put a stop to the madness (plus it was winter and we didn’t want to go out every time). We went to our local Home Depot and picked up some green fencing to put around to minimize the chances of her wrapping herself around the trees. Up goes the fence. She cannot get to the trees at the back. The problem though is there is one single tree in the yard which is not within the confines of the fence. And it is well within the distance her lead can reach. this means she still gets herself wrapped around this one tree. Often. Sometimes she will get herself wrapped around the tree multiple times, to the point where she can’t move. Eventually one of us has to go out and untangle her.

Isn’t she like us though. We put strategies in place to stop us from getting snared by traps around us. As alcoholics, we take all the alcohol out of the house. As food addicts, we buy healthy foods. We keep our Bibles close at hand and make sure we have it downloaded on our phones. We plan to call our friends when we have a bad day.

But then the bad day happens. That one thing that triggers our addictions, our depression, our anxiety, the one thing we said we wouldn’t do. And we get caught around the tree. What do we do? We try to untangle ourselves from the snare. We tell ourselves we got this. I have it under control. I can fix this on my own.

What actually happens is we get ourselves more tangled. We have got ourselves wrapped around the tree so badly we can no longer move. We are stuck.

At that point we can do one of three things:

  1. Sit there and whine and complain about the mess we have gotten ourselves into but not actually do anything.
  2. Do nothing. Pretend everything is okay, fine, normal; meanwhile we are choking because the leash is so tight or feel like the walls are closing in on us.
  3. Ask for help. We cry out to God to help us. To send someone into our life to help us get untangled from our mess.

The only real option is to pray and ask for help. We often get to a point in our lives were we can no longer do it on our own. No matter what we try to do, we need help. Lean into God. Cry out to God. Then sit and watch to see how God works in your life. You do need to be an active participant in your healing but God will do amazing things! God only does exceptional work. He will do exceptional work in your life, if you let Him.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14

God knows you by name. God hears your cries. God hears your prayers. He knows your thoughts. He knows what is in your heart. Call out to him. Reach for Him. No matter what you are struggling with in your life, God will heal you. But only if you let Him. You have to want His healing and you have to ask for His healing.

3 thoughts on “My dog and the tree

  1. So clearly written. Love the analogy of how we need up our lives. If only it was so easy to get unstuck as a dog with a good owner.


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