About a month ago, Angela and I got our puppy, Nala. She is a Jack Russell Terrier, and is pretty much the cutest thing you have ever seen. I got Nala when she was only seven weeks old as an early Christmas present for Angela. One of our first priorities was to teach her that she needed to use the bathroom outside and not in the house. The first night, despite our best efforts to take her out every couple hours, Nala still pooped in her crate. We found out that not only would she go in the crate, but she liked to then play in it. So we would have to let her out, clean the crate, and give her a bath. This was not my favorite thing to do at three in the morning. After a few days we decided that we would leave her out in the kitchen and just close off the entryway so she couldn’t get out. This way if she used the bathroom on the floor, hopefully she wouldn’t mess with it. This method worked well with her not getting herself dirty, but she seemed content with just using the bathroom in the kitchen and there were times she would refuse to go outside.
It seemed like no matter how many times we stuck her nose near it and told her “no ma’am” that she just wasn’t getting it. We were even rewarding her with treats when she used the bathroom outside. It was starting to get really frustrating. I knew she was a puppy and that it wasn’t malicious, but it was starting to get hard to be patient with her. I don’t care how cute the puppy is, poop on the floor is not fun. I’ve cleaned the kitchen floor more in the past month than I have in the past three years. Even though I was frustrated, I knew had to be patient and just keep trying.
Since Nala was a few weeks older and had grown almost twice the size since we got her, we decided to transition her back into her crate. She was not happy at first, but this time around she was determined not to poop in it. She will still occasionally pee in it, or somewhere on the floor when she is out, but it finally seems like we are getting somewhere with the training. There is still a lot of work to be done, but it feels good to be making progress.
I’ve started to wonder if I do similar things in my life. Are there things that God is trying to tell me that I am just not getting. Are there things that are making a mess in my life that God is trying to help me with? I’m sure there are. Thankfully God has a similar attitude that I have towards Nala, He is patient and forgiving. Numbers 14:18 tells us, “The Lord is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion.” Lucky for us, God will never give up trying to teach us. We just have to be open and willing to follow His instruction.
until next time…