Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Jeremy and Connor

A recent newspaper article told the story of a special bond between Jeremy and his 195-pound Great Dane, Connor. Jeremy has two other dogs, but what makes the story of Jeremy and Connor newsworthy is that Jeremy was born with one handicapped arm and Connor is deaf – possibly born that way.

Jeremy communicates with Connor through sign language. The dog knows approximately ten signed commands.

Dogs love to play tug of war. One of my dogs is so overzealous in playing tug, he thinks growling is happy talk. With Buddy, losing the toy to the other player is not an option, which is why the other dogs enjoy the game with him. He’s a formidable and determined opponent. I won’t play tug with him because I don’t want to encourage him to play that way with any human, especially a child. He is so into the game – the words “zoned out” come to mind – it takes something to startle him to get his attention. He weighs about forty-five pounds.

As I read the article, I envisioned Connor, who is nearly four times my dog’s weight, getting too aggressive in a tug with Jeremy, who has only one “normal” arm. This does happen. How does Jeremy resolve this? He waves two fingers and Connor backs off.

For a while the only way to get Buddy’s attention was to cup his nose with one hand and yell (yes, I said yell) over his excited growling before he heard me. So I am impressed with Jeremy and Connor, who are able to work so well together that Connor can “hear” Jeremy in the midst of energized play.

The question of the day is, in your relationship with God, are you a Buddy or a Connor? Are you so “zoned out” in some area of your life God would need to grab you by the nose and yell to get your attention? Or would he need to merely wave two fingers in your direction for you to hear him?


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