Getting a dog is a big decision. One of the most important factors potential dog owners miss is once they get little Fido or Fifi, how are they going to store it? Someone needs to tell them up-front that all dogs are wired to run and jump and play. You can’t keep it in the house 24/7.
It doesn’t take long before the reality sets in that taking your new puppy on a couple of short walks a day on a leash is just enough to tick them off. For a few people I know, Plan B is popping open the patio door and letting Fido “go outside.” You know, be free to run the ‘hood. And that is exactly what Fido does. He also chases cats, digs holes, and poops in neighbor’s yards. If you are that dog owner, know that outside Fido is testing the theory that all dogs go to heaven, and will continue to do so until one day he licks up enough antifreeze to go home to be with the Lord.
Most dog owners are not comfortable with that plan. Their solution is outside but on a tether. Dogs may have an amazing sense of smell, but they stink at judging distance. How many times have you walked down a sidewalk to have a barking dog charge and lunge at you, completing a full-speed, mid-air flip at the end of the tether. Repeatedly witnessing this near-decapitation is enough to make a compassionate dog owner plop down big bucks for a chain link dog run. I suggest you save your money. In all my years of neighborhood strolls, I have never met a dog in a run that was anything but gloomy or grumpy.
Dogs allowed to run the ‘hood are seldom healthy. Dogs tethered or incarcerated in chain link cages are seldom happy. Yet Fido and Fifi are created to run and jump and play and poop. For a loving dog owner, there just HAS to be another way. And there is. Invisible fence. Slap a battery-operated collar on your pooch. Bury a wire cable around the perimeter of your yard. Pop little flags into the yard over the cable. And viola! Little Fido goes out to run and jump and play. When he gets near the flags, the cable sends a signal to his collar to beep. When he crosses the boundary, it gives him a zap. Soon he knows stopping at the beep prevents the zap. In just days he learns the beep boundaries. Eventually you can remove the flags, and even the collar!
Where am I going with this? God made us to run and jump and play, too (start with Galatians 5:1, 13-15 and chase this truth down in Scripture from there). If we run the ‘hood with no rules, we will upset others and eventually hurt ourselves. But if we are tethered or caged up with rigid rules, we are gloomy and grumpy. The answer is invisible fence – joyful freedom within the boundaries our Master has specified for each one of us.