Last Monday while Foster, Tilly and I were out for a walk, Foster was attacked by our neighbor's dog. The dog has been stalking us for some time, and this time, he had a chance to "get" at us. Foster got bit on the back leg.
How could he attack such a cute and nice dog?
It was quite an awful scene, me being tangled up in leashes while Foster tried to fight back, Tilly completely freaked out, and a seven year old boy trying to control a dog not interested in listening.
When we (finally) extricated ourselves from the situation, Foster walked away with his usual swagger, without a limp or whimper.
I thought about how I react when I sustain an attack, though thankfully they have only been verbal ones. If Foster had been loose, he would have been fighting all-out. The other dog was bigger, stronger, younger and obviously meaner than Foster. Foster would not have won. Since both are cattle dogs, they don't stop once the fight is on. Left to his own instincts, Foster would have been in very bad shape.
And that's what happens to me too. I can get so caught up in a war of words that I go all out, striking from behind and sneaking in a nip unexpectedly like the neighbor dog did to Foster. Left to my own devices, I can get in a lot of trouble. Most often, I've not left an argument "winning", though the other person probably did not fare any better.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about how weak I can be in the area of self-control. My temper has been short, but I've finally realized I need to ask for God's power for control. And I don't use God's power, I ask God to do the battling for me because I can not. This has resulted in much more pleasant outcomes than my knee-jerk reactions.
If I hadn't pulled Foster in on a short leash that day, the fight and injuries would have been traumatic. I'm thankful that sometimes, God keeps me on a short leash too.