Stay With Me
pit bull mix, dogdevotionals.com
At first, my emotional support pit bull mix, Annie, was putty in my hands – whatever I wanted was fine with her.  Then, when she got to be seven months old, she got a mind of her own.  If I didn’t have a treat as a reward for her submitting to my desired behavior, it wasn’t happening.  To complicate matters, I discovered she has numerous food allergies:  beef, chicken depending on level of processing, peanut butter, sweet potatoes, rawhide, flour and grains.  I tried healthy human foods: carrots, green beans, and zucchini – none of which she would eat.  Finally, I narrowed treats down to bison liver or duck jerky.
I take her to Loch Haven Dog Park in Hoover, Alabama daily and unleash her (provided it's not crowded) as we walk laps.  I’ve poured my heart and soul (along with the aforementioned treats) into her training.  Along with the basic sit and stay (only as long as she wants), I’ve taught her the “yip” command meaning come closer.  She frequently runs down the bank towards the stream or takes off up the hill towards the road and I have to yip for her several times until she comes running towards me at breakneck speed. 
I also find myself frequently telling her to “stay with me” to ward off the aforementioned undesired behavior.  Annie is now nine months old, which, according to an Internet search, makes her a stubborn, unpredictable teenager in the muscularly chiseled body of a 33-pound pit bull mix.
Today, as we went for a chilly, early morning walk at the thankfully deserted dog park, my heart swelled with happiness as she obeyed my “yips” and “stay with me” lap after lap.  Annie has a strong desire to please me and will now obey even when there’s no culinary delight awaiting her in my open palm.
Since this past summer, God has been pouring His love and guidance into me.  I pray I can make His heart glad by my obedience.
Job 22:21 (NIV)
Submit to God and be at peace with Him; in this way prosperity will come to you.  
Yorkshire terrier mix, dogdevotionals.com, Loch Haven Dog Park, Hoover AL, Job 22:21
pit bull puppy, dogdevotionals.com, Loch Haven Dog Park, Job 22:21