It's In Their Nature
            I should have known it was going to be a bad afternoon at Loch Haven Dog Park in Hoover, Alabama when an English Springer Spaniel came bounding out of the outer gate without an owner.  The spaniel saw a chance at freedom and took it, much to the surprise of the lady trying to get her own dog out of the gate.  Shouts of “Get that Dog!” ensued and about five minutes later the spaniel returned through the same gates she had exited, much to the relief of her owner.
            I know it is a calculated risk when I go there on Sunday afternoons and I was running later than usual.  We entered the small dog enclosure to see a multitude of dogs, small children and adults. 
            An enamored Basset Hound named Tango immediately singled out Annie (my 33-pound pit bull mix) as the object of his attention.  Surprising, Annie continuously allowed herself to be knocked down, rolling onto her back being submissive to Tango.  Annie is faster with longer legs than Tango, which I and several other dog owners repeatedly pointed out to her.
            Then Annie spotted a Whippet she enjoys playing with and they enjoyed a short interlude before Tango interrupted.  Then Annie saw Stella, a small brown scruffy terrier puppy, she couldn’t resist chasing, catching and pinning it down by the throat.  Annie would let the puppy up after doing so, but this did distress the puppy’s owner.  I assured the puppy’s owner Annie would not hurt her dog.  I passed by the group of people the owner was speaking with in time to hear her ask, “Why do they go for the neck?”  I replied, “Because it’s in their nature.” 
            Annie’s persistence after the little puppy became a nuisance and Annie wouldn’t obey me and come when called, repeatedly chasing and pinning the puppy down.  At this stage of her life, Annie is the equivalent of a moody, misbehaving teenager, so I had to follow her until she stopped and I could put the leash on her. 
            I’m sure the little scruffy puppy’s owner was glad to see Annie and I exit so her puppy could run with abandon. 
            I work with Annie with treats to encourage her to be obedient, but she is inconsistent.  I couldn’t take treats into a fenced area with two-dozen dogs and not start a fight.  With time and persistence, hopefully Annie’s training will override her natural prey drive and she’ll yield to my will and be obedient.
Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV
To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.     
Copyright January 21, 2016
Dachshund mix dog, Jack Russell mix dog, Loch Haven Dog Park, Hoover Alabama, Ephesians 4:22-24