Living Apostolic in San Antonio

The Official Blog of Alamo City Apostolic Church

Still Speaking of Dogs: Lessons from a Ranch Yard, Part 1

Many years ago I went along on a visit to a ranch in South Texas. While others were discussing the business at hand, I stood off to one side and got an education in life skills from a pack of ranch dogs.

By “pack” I mean at least three or four….there might have been more, but those are the only ones I really remember. Each of them was different in size, shape and personality — and all of them were walking object lessons.

First there was a Doberman. He was young, strong and feisty, and everything about him spoke of how much he would enjoy a good tussle. No doubt he had a reputation around the ranch as one who was not to be messed with. But a dog — or a man — driven by the need to build a reputation can sometimes allow ego to surpass wisdom. One of the basic rules of engagement is that you should think twice (or more times than that!) before you tangle with an opponent that is significantly bigger than you. Dobie wasn’t remembering the rules of engagement today, though.

The object of his displeasure happened to be a horse.

The horse didn’t seem to be particularly bothered by what was to him no more than a mere Chihuahua nipping at his heels — much to the consternation of the Doberman. The longer the horse went on peacefully cropping grass, the more agitated the dog became. In and out he darted, barking and snapping at the horse’s legs.

The horse never looked up. Without missing the rhythm of a single chomp of his jaws, he merely drew one hind leg up and planted a game-ending kick right in the middle of the Doberman’s chest. The dog wasn’t seriously hurt, but I’ll never forget the spectacle of him rolling across the yard like a cart wheel, end-over-end. I’ll also never forget the sudden change of attitude he experienced, or the new-found humility he displayed from that point forward.

Proverbs 26:4-5 (Contemporary English Version) says this: “Don’t make a fool of yourself by answering a fool. But if you answer any fools, show how foolish they are, so they won’t feel smart.”

The horse didn’t waste time by trying to reason with the dog. He never looked up from his business. But he also knew that the dog needed a life lesson, and the only lesson he would ever understand was one that left a hoof-shaped bruise.

Maybe “horse sense” isn’t just a saying….

Check back soon for Part 2 of “Lessons from a Ranch Yard.”


March 14, 2012 - Posted by | Reflections

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