The Little Things: ‘Thinking like a dog’

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By KELLY PRESTON, Special to The Paper

Our family adopted a puppy last month, and now I feel like I have five children instead of the four human children that God has blessed me with.

Two of these human children and I recently watched a movie called “Think Like a Dog.” It made us laugh, and coupled with having a new puppy, made me think a lot about life and some of the things we can learn from man’s best friend.

Learning to walk with a leash takes time and consistency.  Puppies instinctively don’t want to be tied to a leash following their person, yet that’s exactly what they need in order to stay safe and grow in confidence.  Aren’t we the same?  God’s Word is a “lamp to my feet, and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105), and when we are consistent in spending time reading it, we remain in closer connection to our Heavenly Father.

Take time to smell the roses.  Cooper, our puppy, loves to stop and sniff EVERYTHING.  Our walks involve a lot of starting and stopping so that he can get his smelling fix.  This is a great reminder of the importance to slow down, pause, and take time to enjoy all that is around me. 

Human touch is powerful.  Cooper loves to have his belly and ears rubbed, and we give him a lot of human touch as positive reinforcement when he obeys.  People also need safe, healthy, human touch.  Research has shown many health benefits to touch for babies and adults.  

Most things in life that are worthwhile take energy and effort.  Puppy training is not for the faint of heart.  What in your life is requiring extra measures of energy and effort?  Are you willing to do what it takes to meet your goals?  

Rest is necessary.  Puppies love to play, but they also love to sleep.  God created us to need rest, and as I get older, I am realizing the importance of rest.  Sometimes that means getting more sleep, while at other times that means slowing down to rest from all the busyness that life brings.  How can you incorporate more rest into your life?

Dogs want to please their master.  They want to hear “good boy” or “good girl.”  I believe at our core we are the same.  We deeply desire for someone, whether that be our Heavenly Master or a significant person in our life, to tell us we have what it takes and that we are doing a good job.  

Relationships matter most.  In the movie, Henry (the talking dog and star of the movie), says to his person, “We were happy because we had everything we need. Each other.” AMEN to that! 

Kelly Preston is a nurse-turned-stay-at-home-mom to four amazing and energetic children. Though she sometimes forgets to buy toilet paper amidst their busy schedules, Kelly finds time to run RACE for the Orphans, a non-profit focused on supporting adoptive families. She loves Jesus, people, a really good book, and pondering the little things. 

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