He Leads Me

Molly is a family hand-me-down dog. Carole’s sister Joyce inherited Molly who is a mix of Cocker and Llaso Apso. She has been in the family for 8-10 years. She likes to visit Carole, likes cauliflower and Mac-N-Cheese. She thinks we should understand her muttering, whining and barking. She likes to be with me in my office, likes to sleep with us, and watches Animal Planet—she barks at dogs and cats on TV. I think she can smell them.

Joyce did research on taking Molly for a walk:

“I learned something about walking the dog in my research today. I thought I was being nice to her by letting her set the pace and somewhat the route. Letting her stop to sniff and investigate, etc. But dogs are happiest when the walk serves one purpose. That is to relax. That can only happen if the human leads the pack. When a dog takes the lead and walks ahead, they assume the role of pack leader and therefore the responsibility of decision making and leadership. They become stimulated and aware of everything around them and react to it. To truly relax and use the walk as exercise and stress reliever they need to be relieved of that responsibility. Take the thinking and reacting out of their control and they are much more content to just enjoy the outing. Mental stimulation and dog park play are important…but not appropriate or beneficial on a walk. Today I consciously kept her lead short and kept her by my side. She seemed to “get” it and quit trying to pull me along pretty quickly. Hope it wasn’t a fluke. She came in the house and seemed quite content. What I read said that if they return home all excited and rowdy you haven’t accomplished the purpose of a good exercise/de-stressing doggy walk.”

Does this shed light on “He leads me beside still waters”…(Psalm 23)?

©2014 D. Dean Benton


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