Hey all! Kristina here. It’s been a minute since I popped in, but I wanted to share what I was feeling today.
I wanted to tell you about my Lou and how she helped me realize a great little nugget of truth today. She is a feisty, soon-to-be 6 year old bagle hound. Right now she is on probation from our backyard, as you can see from her leash in the image below.
We have new neighbors and with those new neighbors came two very large dogs. At first, one of them was particularly aggressive against our adjoining fence when our dogs were outside. We chose to live in a city closely near people, so this doesn’t bother me since he is contained in his own yard.
However, Lou has become TERRIFIED of this dog. He’s about three times her size, but not to sound cliché, he’s all bark and no bite. Instead of just shying away from the fence when she has to pass by to get to the grassy area of our yard, she has started retaliating anytime he comes near her… even though there’s a privacy fence.
Now, if you have never heard the thunder in the voice of a hound, you probably wouldn’t know that they don’t bark. It’s long, incredibly loud bay. Basically, it’s like a horn blowing. Repeatedly. Without warning.
Needless to say, for the past couple of weeks, I have gone as far as running outside barefoot in the snow to prevent her from waking up the entire neighborhood at 7 a.m… or midnight…. It seems only to happen at very inconvenient times. Every single time she comes back in the house she is SO proud of her accomplishment. She looks at me, wagging her tail like, “Did ya see that?? I told the big doggo off for being mean to me, mawm.”
Lou has NO idea that her baying does her absolutely no good. The big dog simply doesn’t care what Lou has to say, and he’s going to go about his business. It’s his yard and that side of the fence is his fence. Even though her intentions are to protect her own yard, Lou gets in trouble for baying while the other dog is virtually unaffected.
I think this is so relatable when you think about the world of social media. This morning I woke up to less than desirable comments plastered on my newsfeed, and my initial reaction was to retaliate. It wasn’t even my post. In fact, it wasn’t even a friend of mine, but I still wanted to give them a piece of my mind because I felt I knew more to the story than what was being told. My initial reaction was to protect, to tell them off for being mean. Maybe even “bay” at them a little bit. Emotions are good like that.
Luckily, I was able to calm myself down, finish my coffee, and take my dogs out without saying anything. It wasn’t until I was coming up the steps to our completely fenced in backyard that I realized that I knew exactly how Lou feels. This is her yard… her life. She should be able to protect it. But at the same time, does the other dog’s barks truly have any affect on her?
Nah. She gets to come back in her nice, warm home to people and other critters that love her and care for her. The other dog has zero control over her life, but sometimes it’s hard for her to see past that. Again, emotions are good like that.
You know what happens when I walk outside with Lou on a leash? Not only does she stay quiet, but the other dog does as well. He’s simply bored now that there’s no ammunition coming from Lou. She has guidance.
My guidance when it comes to social media just happens to be a scripture. I probably say way more than I should, but I’m pretty good at not needlessly fighting for a virtual battle I can’t win. According to the New Living Translation, Psalm 21:23 says, “Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.” Wow… That one line is so straightforward, right? Stay on my side of the fence. Good stuff!
I would like to point out that there are times when you should absolutely speak up, especially if someone is being hurt or bullied. However, if it’s not one of those situations
or it doesn’t directly impact our everyday life, perhaps it would be easier on our mental health if we could just let people bark. It’s not easy, but if you find a good leash and practice shying away from the fence, you’ll be able to control the amount of stress allowed into your mind… To move on and go about your life.
I truly hope that someone else can helped by thoughts as much as I have today. Until next time, friends!