Here is the next devotional from Sita’s book which was in the church E-news. I have added a picture from her younger days on the playground being a dog and showing her playful self!
Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you… Deuteronomy 6:3
One of Sita’s favorite people at the nursing home was LuAnn, who worked at the receptionist desk. LuAnn always kept treats for visiting dogs in a special drawer. Sita was just tall enough to reach the desk. She would place her front paws on the desk and LuAnn would give her a bone.
This all looked very cute until I took Sita to a pharmacy where she placed her front paws on the counter. The pharmacist did not think it was funny and I was horrified.
I still had a lot to learn about service dogs. One thought of dog training is that if you allow the dog to do something in one place, they think they can do it everywhere. They are not able to transition behavior from one place to another.
After our visit to the pharmacy, I never allowed her to put her paws on the counter again. She had to go around the desk and LuAnn would hand the bone to her. Sita would eagerly eat her little bone and LuAnn would pet her. Then we would go on to see my mother.
We missed going to see Mom for several days because I was out of town. When we did
go, Sita became very excited as we approached the building. She realized she was close to LuAnn and her treat. I entered the large foyer with Sita. I dropped the leash. Sita saw LuAnn and she took off like a rocket.
What I didn’t realize was that the automatic doors did not open as fast as Sita moved. Sita took off and slammed into the doors. I gasped. Sita was knocked back on her haunches. She then picked herself up and hurled through the doors, which by then had opened. I scrambled after Sita to see if she had been hurt. Thank goodness she was fine. But again, I should have kept Sita with me until we reached the desk.
There was a problem, however. Sita had knocked the doors off the track. The doors would not automatically open or close, but stayed partially open. I was horrified that Sita had broken the doors of the assisted living facility!
LuAnn laughed and said, “Wheelchairs do it all the time. I will have the maintenance man fix it. No one will know.”
I began to understand that Sita’s training helped to keep her safe and I needed to observe the rules. I thought about how God gave us the Ten Commandments to follow and that I was grateful for His wisdom.
“Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws and you will live safely in the land.” Leviticus 25:18
Help me to remember that the life rules you’ve given us and the rules given to Sita are put in place to help us be safe and live the best life. Amen.