One of them was when I went walking with my mom's two dogs and Kitty down a railroad spur behind our house to a creek area, to explore and enjoy the sense of being far away from an urban area. We lived in Lexington, Kentucky at the time, which while not huge is a city. The three animals did different things when we arrived at the creek. Kitty stayed within ten feet of me and cried if I got too far away. One dog ranged a bit further but stayed well within my sight.
The third animal who was not well trained took off on her own. She did not return when I called. She appeared more interested in the smells, sights and sounds. Soon I saw her in the creek, struggling against the current. She was going to be swept by me and under the railroad bride into parts unknown if I did no rescue her quickly. I did. I was disgusted with the spoiled dog as looking after her was robbing me of the quit time with the Lord. I told Jesus that, too.
The Lord showed me that I was like Him, a shepherd.. Our animals were like sheep or human sheep. Some sheep are like Kitty, always staying close to the Shepherd and therefore rarely getting into trouble. Some are like the first dog, staying within sight and obedient enough to seldom get into trouble.
Then there are the mavericks, who go of doing their own thing; either not listening or out of range. Over and over they have to be rescued. Once it was because this dachshund managed to get her rear end stuck in a groundhog hole in the same area, and could not get herself unstuck. It made me realize I wanted to be like Kitty – so close to the Lord I did not need rescuing except rarely, and did not make Him lose time, energy and focus just to take care o me.
I learned from Kitty that the safest and best place to be is close to my Shepherd. Also through the years I know it is easier to mentor people who stay close to me as I disciple them in Jesus. A great learning experience was that walk with our pets.