February 16, 2011
Everwind Ranch has an addition to their Beagle family. Everwind’s Tira’s On My Mind is a beautiful, tiny, nine-week old pup out of my Ch. Everwind’s Taylor Maid To Fit and is hopefully going to be the next ranch champion. She is a real delight to me as I play with her and teach her behavioral requirements along with the rules of the house. She is very intelligent and has learned things very quickly. A week before Tira was born, Bonnie had a litter of puppies - they have all been sold and off to new homes, with the exception of one. Due to a mix-up with the person handling arrangements on the other end of the sale, one of the puppies has had to stay here longer than usual even though she has been sold for several weeks. This situation has caused me some problems and as I try to work around them, it draws my mind to similarities with people in the same kind of situations.
You see, Tira has been in the house, close to me, her entire short life. With her being the only one to keep an eye on, I have been able to follow her around and make sure she is learning, and abiding by, the laws I have set. She has learned very quickly and has been quite easy to have around, scarcely disruptive of my life-style. While I’m sure she sees no good reason for most of the restrictions I place on her, she obediently complies. She has no way of knowing the reasoning behind my barrage of “no’s” but has learned it is just better to obey even if she doesn’t understand why.
The other pup, now alone without brothers and sisters, is obviously lonely and thus I have allowed her to spend most of her day with Tira, playing in the house. She doesn’t know the rules yet, is a bit older, and is, quite frankly, causing problems not just with herself, but in many ways, with Tira also. She hasn’t had the same one-on-one time with me, teaching her the dos and don’ts of the place thus she finds herself in trouble from time to time, getting into things she shouldn’t and doing things where she shouldn’t. The other pup chooses to ignore the puppy pads and does not bother to go outside as she did previously with her siblings, causing further concern for Tira’s potty training.
As I watch the other pup get into and do forbidden things, I see Tira now following her lead and reverting to doing some things she had been previously taught not to. For instance, Tira had been taught not to touch the live plants in the house and for obvious reasons. They could be toxic to her and cause serious problems. Tira knows not to chew the furniture. Wood splinters can be dangerous to little ones and no one wants their furniture chewed up. The other pup is large enough to go in and out through the little doggie door to the mud room where the Saint lives, but if Tira follows her out, she cannot get back in (she can tumble out but is too small to climb back in) and that could be costly in the way of physical issues. The Saint loves the pups but Tira would hardly be noticed underneath a paw of the big dog or worse yet under her body should she decide to lie down on her in play. Real dangers abound outside the protection of rules I have made for her protection.
Thinking about these two and the situation I’m in with them, my mind is drawn to words that Paul spoke in 1 Corinthians 15:33: He said, “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Unfortunately, I see a lot of this same type of destructive behavior in people. I know many people who are good people, and some even make some steps toward living the godly life Christ has in mind for them – the only life that brings Peace and satisfaction. When around Christians, they are Christians, but then, when apart from that influence, they are drawn to some who are not like minded and, just like Tira, they find themselves falling back into practices that are dangerous and destructive.
Just as with my pup, real dangers abound outside the boundaries of rules God has made for our protection. Just as I want to keep Tira from harm, so God wants to keep us from harm. When Tira stays close to me, she is protected and does well. When we stay close to God, we have that same protection and safety. I have an advantage with Tira as I can somewhat force her to comply with my wishes. Our merciful heavenly Father will not do the same to us. He has given us a free will to choose whether we want to follow Him and live a safe, peaceful life, or turn our backs on His directives and follow the path of destruction. Oh that we would all stay within the limits He has lovingly set for us to keep us safe.