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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Creatures of Habit

That's Millie sitting in her van, ready to go home (Hi Millie! Millie? Over here, Millie! Okay, fine).
When Millie arrives at the kennel, she's less than enthusiastic. She looks at her owner with her sad eyes, pleading with them to change their minds. After making them feel sufficiently awful for their cruel, cruel treatment, they drive off to enjoy their vacation. Only then will Millie acknowledge my presence.

Each time Millie has been here, she always stays in the same kennel run. But due to an unfortunate scheduling conflict, there were two rat terriers in "her" suite. She was indignant. She looked at me for an explanation.

This must be how Martha Stewart's jailers felt.

Even though I put Millie in a "room with a view," she always went back to HER suite when she came in from outside. She glared at the other dogs with disdain. How could they? Reluctantly, she went into her cell, I mean run, but she wasn't happy about it.

When Millie's owner showed up, she went back to pretending I didn't exist. The owner and I discussed how Millie is not unlike the old lady (or young lady, or middle-aged man, or child) who gets mad that someone (often an innocent visitor) is sitting in HER pew on Sunday morning. How dare they?

It can be debated whether we pick our routines because we lack creativity or because it's just easier not to make one more decision in our already harried lives. Either way, when circumstances don't go the way we expect, it throws us off our game, which often upsets us.

Getting shaken out of our routine can be a good thing every now and then. People who go on vacation are usually happy to "get back into their routines." It's comfortable, and generally there's nothing wrong with that.

But we can't get too comfortable. We aren't going to feel God leading us into anything different and exciting if we settle in too strongly. We have to go into manual overdrive to have a good attitude and be open to whatever the new opportunity may present.

Next time you find another dog in your cage, be happy about it. You'll get to know a new space.

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