Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stickin' with it ...

Yesterday my dog Buddy treed a squirrel. His non-stop barking got pretty hard to ignore, so I went out to take a look. There was Buddy, totally focused on the furry resident perched atop the telephone pole.

Let me give you a little insight on just what that involved. Buddy stands no more than 12-14 inches high at the shoulder, and there he was -- jumping and lunging at a 20' pole. He refused to leave, even for the treat I offered --and he does love his treats!

It was quite comical to watch. The squirrel would come part way down, then change his mind and scuttle back to the top. When he did decide to risk it, he crash-landed inches in front of Buddy and tore off across the yard.

I wasn't sure just who would come out on top. The squirrel made a flying leap for the trunk of an old oak tree, and he barely escaped by the "fur of his tail." I think Buddy would have sat at the base of that tree barking all evening if I hadn't put the leash on him and brought him around to the front porch. He doesn't give up easily!

Buddy may not be big, but he's got determination and the ability to keep stickin' with it ... whatever "it" might be. In the short time since we adopted him, we've learned he's not intimidated by much of anything -- larger dogs, snarling cats, loud noises or what-have-you. When Buddy's doing something, he's totally focused and will stick with it until it's finished ... or I put a leash on him.

As our children were growing up, their Daddy taught them to stick with a job until it was finished. Mowing grass, raking leaves, stacking hay bales, weeding the garden or what-have-you. Perserverance or stickin' with it shows character, self-discipline and maturity.

Our children learn best when we set the example before them. I'll confess I'm not a natural at stickin' with certain things. Being a parent, however, meant I was on stage 24/7, so I learned to discipline myself and hang in there.

Now that the children are grown and gone, there are times I'm tempted to slack up and quit on a project. That's when I need to go outdoors and stir up some squirrels for Buddy. No matter how big a job or how high the mountain looks, I need to pull up my determination and settle in for the long haul.

Buddy may be short and squatty, but he's got a big heart and a healthy dose of determination. Sometimes, it just takes a little dog to teach a big lesson.

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