Heywood "Snaggletooth" Elsworth III (Photo by Tim Graves)
Heywood “Snaggletooth” Elsworth III (Photo by Tim Graves)

My focus wasn’t on the beauty of the mountains in the distance or the green fields on the other side of the fencing. The crystal blue sky and early morning light were invisible to me. I was scared as the twelve-pound, brown creature darted around in quick sporadic circles on the road and the shoulders.

As we were taking our morning walk yesterday, Heywood, my new chihuahua mix, slipped out of his collar. When he realized he had no collar, he began to run around in “I’m free” circles. Heywood was oblivious to the danger of the rapidly approaching car on the roadway. His unaware joy brought terror to my being.

In our ten-days together since his adoption I have fallen deeply in love with my little friend. I cannot imagine the house without him. Who would join me on my early morning walks? Who would enthusiastically sit and shake both front paws indicating his desire to go for a walk?

I am thankful for the caution and patience of the driver heading into town yesterday. She stopped her vehicle and waited for me to encourage Heywood to come to me. I tightened the collar and carried him until we returned to the relative safety of the side streets in the small eastern Oregon town where we live. From there he walked home, clearly tired from his burst of puppy-energy.

Today I kept a close watch on him. I was stricter about his movements. I stopped and knelt down to him a couple times, held him under the chin as you might a two-year-old. “I am in charge, little man,” I told him in a stern voice. He really does want to please me, he stopped tugging to get into the road, each time I reminded him who was in charge.

I’m not all that different than Heywood. I am sometimes oblivious to the dangers that lurk nearby. Too often I run around in “I’m free” circles forgetting that I need others and the Divine to guide me along treacherous roads. My prayer today is for the wisdom and awareness that I might know when I need help.

Put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves.  My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30 CEB

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