Rev Cheryl Meban
Good morning. I recently adopted a new dog, Goldie. She’s elderly and affectionate. Unfortunately, my other dog, five year old, Tristan, hasn’t adopted her yet. He was great for the first ten days. Then he realised she was staying. A cloud came over his eyes, and a sideways look of envy into his heart. When I am calling him to me, he is looking sideways to see what SHE is doing.
I want him to relax and enjoy his time with me, but his eyes are following Goldie. He claims to want to have me all to himself, but ignores me, fixates on Goldie and stares her out, letting her know she shouldn’t try to be within reach of my affections.
It’s odd to watch the sweet dog I love become so full of hatred. It’s painful to have to withdraw from him in order to make him understand that his aggressive behaviour is unacceptable, his jealousy out of place. I have to be cross with him, to reestablish myself as the leader of the pack, so my dog can learn how to enjoy being my dog again.
Sometimes I think I should give up on this peace process. Dogs will be dogs, and they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but I believe in reconciliation, and I know that each dog is precious and good in its own right. They just haven’t yet learned to share the same living space. Or rather, they haven’t worked out that they are both safe in my care, both valued, and both enriched by the presence of the other.
Living God, help us trust you for all we need, so we can share; set us free from jealousy and covetousness, to enjoy the wealth of loving relationships you offer us in your household. Amen