Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
A year ago, I started taking Sai, to Nosework classes. I decided Sai could benefit from the confidence Nosework builds. Though Sai is the smallest dog in our house, he acted like the biggest, picking fights over food or space. Just as human bullies act out of fear and insecurity, boosting his confidence as he excelled at Nosework did improve his behavior. He hasn’t picked a fight in many months. One thing remains that Sai still fears though: big trucks and buses. He is a country dog, so those vehicles are rare in our neighborhood, but when one passes, he trembles and cowers so much that I worry he will have a seizure. They are also a problem at dog school which is located right next to a commercial laundry. Big trucks frequently pass the school and since some of our work is outside, it can be a problem. This week at school, Sai was doing a good job hunting for scent until a semi drove past. Then, he started trembling and fell to the ground. My first instinct was to force him to work through his fear, but our instructor told me to take him back to the car to recover. I did and when I brought him back out to work, he went right to searching, finding the three hidden scents in record time. What made the difference? Sai can’t tell me, so I can only assume that it was in knowing that I would protect him from the things of which he is afraid. He could continue working even though another truck might come because he trusted that I would be there to take care of him. Doesn’t the same thing happen in our relationship with God? The knowledge that He walks with us through our trials can calm our racing hearts. This year, my goal is to turn to God when I am in distress instead of the other ways I often find comfort, food and shopping. Today, I was put to the test as several things happened that made me nervous. Cory was accepted into her first Nosework trial. I know she is ready, but I immediately started feeling anxious. What if I mess up? What if I misinterpret her signals? What if I call Alert before she tells me to? I also had some meetings that were stressful at work, meetings with some people I don’t know well and meetings that will have an impact on the future of our office. Finally, I am having surgery again tomorrow. My third in less than a year and hopefully the last. Carpel Tunnel release on my right hand, but not the thumb joint removal. I just can’t do without my right hand for so long. But, did I make the right decision? I don’t know. Tonight, I am remembering Sai and the trust he puts in me and following his example that God will protect me and care for me. Remembering, God can be trusted.