The Love Behind the Leash
By Kay Wilson-Bolton
October 6, 2013
Like sheep, we tend to stray.
A few months ago, we adopted a young dog we named Bear, Jr. He was brought into a household with two seasoned rescued poodles and it didn’t take but a few days for the household to get re-organized. The cats, Toni and Theo, embraced their familiar places and learned to steer clear of Bear, Jr.’s food and pathways. They were scarce at mealtime and bedtime but were on cordial terms during the day.
Bear, Jr. came to us with very few social skills. He had never walked on a leash or knew what going for a walk meant. He was housebroken but had been crated a lot during the day and struggled with handling his new freedom.
When we adopted KD several years ago, after losing our “first” Bear, the rescue worker advised us to keep him on a leash for a while. It seemed odd and unnatural to us, but I can’t remember better advice.
Looking back, KD might not have been with us long without that leash. He saw the cats as sport, wouldn’t eat his food and shot like a bullet out the pet door after anything that moved.
We decided to try the same leash technique with Bear, Jr. It kept him close to Howard during the day and close to us at night. Keeping him close kept him out of trouble and we discovered that it added an element of security to his new surroundings.
At night, we keep both KD and Bear on leashes to prevent them from going off to the races at the sound of a feather in the wind or a squirrel on the roof. When lights out arrives, they seem to welcome the latch of the leash. He knows that everyone is in for a good night’s sleep and they will be in everyone’s good graces.
Oddly enough, rescue number three is Jonathan, and he goes nowhere without us so the leash for him is unnecessary. He obeys us on loving, natural instinct.
While the idea of being on a leash is not popular these days with the exercise of free will ranking high, I think we can all relate to having gone too far in some areas of our lives which triggered consequences we wish we could undo. When I get off my leash, I get off balance too. I learned a lot from KD –short for King David by the way, who is like a brother to his best friend Jonathan, and now to Bear, Jr. Some of us handle freedom and multiple choices better than others.
The Bible says in Psalm 119:176, “And should I wander off like a lost sheep—seek me! I’ll recognize the sound of your voice.” Learning this later is infinitely better than learning it never.