For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. Romans 8:14
Every dog approaches Nosework differently. Cory and I started Nosework four years ago. It was new to both of us, so I chose my training methods based upon the way that seemed best for her. She loves treats for her reward. Minimal praise is necessary although the higher we advance and the harder she works, she appreciates some play time after a session. I can tell that she enjoys the game of Nosework and its challenge. I had to learn that the calmer I remain the better. I don’t need to get her hyped up to work, and if she focuses on my nerves, it takes away from her ability to do her job. She likes me to stay out of her way and let her search. Until we got Lark, I thought that was the way that most dogs worked. I saw other people excite their dogs to search using toys or high-pitched voices and wondered why. Now, I know. Lark is a completely different dog. Some of it may be due to puppy brain, but even as she is growing, I understand that I will need to be more involved in her search style. She needs motivation particularly in longer and more complicated searches. “A puzzle? What’s in it for me?” she thinks. “Treats? Why not just give me one now?” She is not afraid to go to the end of her leash and search alone but has more fun when I stay engaged and encourage her. She works fast as opposed to Cory’s methodical style. She gets bored and has little patience for repetition. The other day at dog school, I put her in her crate between searches. When I went to get her, if she could have talked, she would have shrugged her shoulders and said, “I’ll sit this one out.” Though she is different from her older sister, Lark is also going to be an awesome Nosework dog. It is just going to take awareness on my part, an understanding that they are different dogs and have different needs. Recently, I have been thinking a lot about my influence on the people around me as well. With the United Methodist Church’s decision to adopt a “traditional” policy on gay marriage and gay clergy, there has been a lot of talk about what it means to be a Christian. People on both sides of the issue say that they are just trying to be Christlike. While the LBGT community feels like they have been dismissed, I also wondered if it is possible to be a Christian and to affirm, welcome, love and support those who are LBGT. Will it come to this: Chose Christ or my LGBT friends? I only wondered for a minute, because this is not a puzzle to solved with only one right answer. In God’s Kingdom, we are not defined by our race, sexuality, marital status, age or nationality. We are defined by Who we follow. And that’s all that matters.