Saturday, June 5, 2010

Milk Bones and Poop Bags

I went running this morning in my new neighbourhood. I had scoped out the roads yesterday and felt like I could find a route without getting too lost. Yesterday's mission was also about finding where the scary dogs live and which ones come out on to the road to tell you to get away. I have to admit, I love love love dogs however some of these scare me. Determined to not be intimidated I armed myself with milk bones, an iron will and and off I went. I was only about 10 minutes into the run when I encountered the first two dogs.. yikes..I had not planned for a tag team. I brought Deegon (my dog) tightly to my side, upped my pace just a bit, not enough to look like I wanted a chase but enough to get out faster and stayed the course. The two barking dogs not only approached the property line they crossed it and went right on to the street. I was scared now. As our two groups got closer I decided to use my only line of defense, milk bones. I threw a bone to each of the dogs, unfortunately one of them bonked the smaller dog in the head. Oops, I thought, now I am done and I prepared myself to be eaten or at least chased. A strange thing happened then, the dogs stopped moving, they still barked like wild animals but they stopped their approach and as we ran by one of the dogs (still barking of course) actually sat down, almost like the godfather in the mafia giving us the head nod of approval. The sniffed the milk bones but did not eat them, they let us pass with a very quizzical look on their faces. Cool, I thought, I have dog power!

So I continued on in my run knowing that at some point on my way back home I would need to see those dogs again and thankful I had more milk bones in my hand. The run continued without incident and as a approached the godfather dog and his lackey, they let us pass with no problem. In fact they did not even bark at us this time. I was very happy, still very aware that the wrong move could prove scary again but very happy. So I threw down two more
milk bones to show my appreciation and off I went to finish the run.

Then, just as I felt like nothing could dent my pride Deegon needed to take a dump. Super. I stopped and let her do her thing, knowing that within seconds all I had accomplished, all the power I had earned by taming the godfather dog was about to fade into oblivion for in my truly Canadian way I had to lean over and with a bag on my hand pick up that poop and carry it home. I am fairly sure I will not see other Bahamian dog owners doing this, most dogs just poop and go, but I in good conscience could not. My last few minutes of my run where done with poop bag in hand and the last milk bone in the other. One hand holding true power, the other my ultimate shame. How strange that mixture was, however I believe,that will be how I run in the Bahamas so I had better get used to those confusing emotions.

What I hope today has taught me is that people (and dogs) can change when they encounter kindness (or milk bones). It might be scary to show kindness or go to places where kindness is needed but God has called us all to shine for Him and when He does we need to be ready. I have also learned that showing kindness (like not leaving dog poop on a neighbours yard), can be humbling but when we are called to do things for God it is not our pride we should look out for it is for God's glory. What I hope was accomplished today was that people (or dogs) noticed something different being done, that it caught their attention and made them think and most of all that I did shine for God in this lovely little neighbourhood of the Bahamas.

shine on my friends

p.s the dog in this picture is one of my new neighbours who incidentally has also been taken aback my the milk bone approach.

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