June 2, 2021

Early in our border collie’s life, Kiko decided that the ironing board was a threat to house and home. Maybe because of the squeaky noise it makes when Rod sets it up, or because of its size, he quickly became fixated on it. The behavior is so deeply embedded in his brain and body that as soon as Rod grabs a stack of hangers and a pile of folded shirts and pants, Kiko grabs the nearest ball and like iron to a magnet, follows Rod to the family room.  When Rod gets the ironing board out of the laundry room closet, Kiko, with ball in mouth, growls and shakes his head back and forth in what seems to be a threatening, “I’m going to defend my pack from all enemies,” innate behavior. Nothing, not even red meat, can pull him away from his task.

Case in point: before dinner last night, Rod gathered up his ironing and put it in the family room. Kiko grabbed his ball, and lay down in the middle of the room, waiting.

The hamburgers I was grilling for dinner usually brings Kiko running to the kitchen, nose up and nostrils flaring, salivating with the hope that I might give him a bite. Rod and I ate dinner while Kiko kept watch over the stack of ironing. I filled his dog dish and called him with my most commanding voice. Only then did he grudgingly trot over. Just as quickly he turned tail on the food and hustled back to stand guard over the ironing.

Two hours later, clothes neatly ironed and put away, ironing board safely driven back into the laundry room closet by his defending behavior, he finally abandoned his post and ate his dinner.

His focus and fixation on the ironing, his call to protect his pack from danger is truly remarkable. Last night I found myself wondering what would happen if I were that intent on God? The Psalmist put it this way, “My eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge—do not give me over to death.” (Psalm 141:8)

May my eyes be fixed on God ~ Anne

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