Aah puppyhood! Needless to say there is never a dull moment at our house right now and that is one of the reasons for the lack of blogging. Esme’ is full of life, love, vim, vigor, energy, a huge drive to chase our cats, and more character than I could have imagined. Her antics are adorable and her kisses are unmatched. She gets a lot of attention wherever she goes…most of the time from people who mistake her for a pit bull. I think they still walk away thinking that I am wrong when I tell them she is a boxer.
Esme’ has made friends with Kody, the Husky next door, and Radar, Jen’s Boxer-mix. By far, Radar is her favorite. They can wear each other out to the point of death.
Esme’ loves her walks and I think will prove to be a faithful companion to me on our walks together.
Esme’ is deaf…did I mention that before? She has what is called the White Boxer Deaf Gene…meaning that most white boxers are born deaf for some strange reason. If they have one blue eye then they are deaf in one ear. If they have two blue eyes, then they are deaf in both ears. Esme’ has one beautiful blue eye and that puts her in the unilateral category. But I think she is effected in both ears to some extent. She can hear some things, like a whistle or a loud spoken word in the house, but you will have to repeat it for her. The first whistle will alert her that you want her, but she doesn’t have perception on the first whistle to know where it is coming from. She will stop and wait until she hears the second whistle or a hand movement to alert her to your location. Then she comes, so happy that she found you.
Because of her deafness, training has taken on a whole different look around our house, especially outside. Every precaution is taken to ensure that she doesn’t go near the street. Her biggest issue with being deaf is that she DOES NOT HEAR CARS. Walks for us are a constant training lesson. One day as I walked her I realized that she has no perception of a car until she feels the air as they fly past her. My mind started going in many directions that I did not want it to go. What would happen if she got away from us and a car was coming? She would have no idea that it was coming until it was too late. My only thought was to somehow equip her even if she didn’t know what she was being equipped for.
So training began. As we walked, if a car was approaching I would say “CAR” loud enough for her to hear it and put her into the “SIT” position. We did this every time, no exceptions. My hope was that she would start to put two and two together. Even if she didn’t understand why she needed to sit because she didn’t realize the danger, I hoped that she would start to associate the car showing up with the need to sit.
As I trained her one day, I took note to the reactions of passers-by. Some looked at me so oddly as I made my dog sit while they passed in their cars. This drew my attention to Esme’. Did she even get what I was doing? Did she realize that this discipline was for her benefit? Would she obey just because her Master was telling her to?
It was like a lightbulb went off in my head at that moment. Isn’t that just like us sometimes with God? He sees the dangers around us that we are oblivious to and He makes us sit. Do we want to? Why would we? We don’t see any dangers around us…we only see people looking at us funny because of the “SIT” that we have been put into. Wouldn’t it be easier to just go with the flow and not stop? But God sees the big picture and He knows that there are cars everywhere that we are oblivious to. He only wants the best for us and we would be wise to “SIT” when we hear “CAR”.
So is this training working with Esme’? I have had my doubts. But on our last walk which had no traffic and no chance to practice our training, one car pulled out of a driveway as we were crossing in front of it. I tried to scoot her along a little quicker to get us out of the cars way and Esme’ tugged back and….sat.
“No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
“Do not despise the Lord’s instruction, my son, and do not loathe His discipline; for the Lord disciplines the one He loves…” Proverbs 3:11,12