Tuesday, September 3, 2013
One day, I was delivering the mail out in the old part of Mesa, and I watched as a very large dog, CLIMBED up a six foot fence and jumped down to the other side not 10 feet away from where I was standing. Now, if I have learned one thing about dogs, it is that you NEVER run away. Once you turn your backside to them, you give them a pretty big target and they just can't seem to say no! :-)
Anyway, this dog ran up to me snarling, barking, growling and snapping. I had taken out my dog spray when he was on his way over the top of the fence, so I guess you could say that I was as ready for him as I was going to get. I started spraying the dog right in his face. Most dogs don't like this. The spray is a cayenne pepper in an oil base and it can sting and burn in the dog's eyes, but doesn't do any lasting harm. I sprayed the dog, he shook his head hard back and forth, (still growling and snapping), licked his lips and came at me again.
In the meantime, I had turned myself with my back in the direction I needed to go and had backed up a couple of steps toward the end of the block and the safety of my vehicle. He came at me again, I sprayed him in the face, I backed up, and we repeated the process. I used an entire can of spray on the dog and most of the second can. Suddenly, I reached a place that must have had some kind of an invisible line in his mind. He quit growling and snapping, turned around and trotted back toward home. I looked around me and realized that I was 1 1/2 blocks from where we started this fiasco. I was safe at last.
Once upon a time, many years ago, I used to be a mailman. Yep, that is right. A real, live, honest to goodness, mailman. (It is a title that everyone gets who carries the mail). Anyway, I have to admit, one of the most difficult things I faced were not the people, but their dogs. I have decided that I am not a dog person. I like them when they are little. I like them when they are nice. I am not too fond of them when they are vicious, mean, or just plain mad.
I have found in my life that nearly all the troubles I face are like this one, silly dog! You really can't turn around and run (troubles have a way of biting you in the rear if you do!). You probably won't find any extra help just waiting there to help you along and you have to face the problem or trial head on, armed with whatever weapons you have been given. Sometimes it is the scriptures, sometimes it is a book or a talk or an article in the ensign. Sometimes the weapon can be good advice, the love of friends, or answers to prayer. But you still have to face the trial and get through it.
I find that I don't always want to go through my trials. I would like to give up. I am weak and often afraid. I want to cry and murmur and complain. But I know, that if I can just persevere through the trial, there will come a point where I will find myself on the other side and the trial will be walking off into the distance at last.
Trails can feel a lot like that one dog attack did, but I have learned, if we can just work through it, even if we feel like we are going backwards, we will cover the distance and arrive home, safe at last. Everyone has trials. It is not the trial that breaks us in the end. It is how we have endured it, what have we learned from it, and how it has changed us that matters. It is learning to face it, come what may, and live the life we have promised to live. In spite of the dogs that just might get in our way.