Of course, this refers to the "I'm-eight-years-old-but-still-act-like-I'm-six-months-old" Matilda.
Happily, I do not know which boy-band character that toy is supposed to resemble. And of course Tilly doesn't care whose face she chews. This applies to humans as well as stuffed animals.
Despite a basic obedience class and eight years of consistent rule reinforcement, Tilly knows when she can ignore very specific instructions. She's smart enough to know the expectation, and savvy enough to know that if I'm not hovering over her and following her around, she can get away with devouring that which is not food. So what if it may result in parasites, not to mention toxic fumes, she wants what she wants.
I no longer need coffee because every day begins with my calm tone quickly turning to shrill and barely contained shrieks and hisses at Tilly provide enough adrenalin to wake me up. It's exhausting and it doesn't exactly do much for creating and maintaining a warm bond.
"Why do you insist on doing what you know you should not do?" I ask, only to hear the same question echo back to me. Hasn't God asked me the same thing? Why DO I choose to follow my own way, specifically ignoring that which may harm me, because it's not what I want?
Unlike me, God, having that whole long-suffering thing, doesn't lose his temper, yell shrill comments and come unglued (ahem). He knows we are weak. Hopefully, we realize he is forgiving. Hopefully, we realize that real change only comes from relying on Him to create the internal work we can't really do ourselves.
While I, at times (many), can't understand why Tilly willfully disobeys me, it doesn't take much for me to realize I am guilty of the same tendencies. It's not one of the things I'd like to have in common with my dog. I'd rather it be charm and enthusiasm, though she has very little of the first and too much of the second.
The good news is there is hope for Tilly, like a shorter leash and supervision. There's hope for me too, like keeping myself more closely tethered to God. There's hope for you too.