The Nose Knows

"Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you. 8 For each one who asks receives; and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened."
Matt 7:7

Strange title for a discussion of the above verse? Well perhaps, but, I happen to be owned by a 5.5 lb., one-year old, black and tan Yorkshire terrier named Milo. We reside on a well-trafficked, corner lot and have constructed a scooped, picket fence to border it. It was built with our Lhasa, Topper, in mind. And so, the between-slat spacing was designed to protect him.

But, since we first brought Milo home he has been able to slip through these slats. At first it was simple exploration, since then it has become compulsion. He can't go into the front yard without trying all places for openings.

Initially I bought some chicken wire and
 strung it up to the inside of the fence. This blocked him at first until ... Well I admit that I took the quick way out. I didn't bury the tail end of the fencing.  The wire was 30" wide and covered more than Milo could reach on hind legs. Then one aspect of his terrier nature asserted itself. He began to dig. So I began placing blocks of wood, limbs and 2x4's at the bottom of the fence. I thought we were safe. Then another aspect of terrierness arose.

Once again we found him outside the fence. I couldn't figure out how. All the blocks I had placed remained and there were no holes under the fence. Then I saw a point where the bottom of the chicken wire was pulled away. He'd tugged away the bottom and shimmied under it to freedom. From this time onward he persisted in finding a new spot and I would plug it. Then I'd look for other similar spots and block those. But, I couldn't figure out how he sniffed out his targets.

Only recently have I become aware that his nose knows. He has found that if the nose will fit into a spot the remainder of the dog can follow. It makes no difference to Milo whether it requires hours or days to accomplish the task. And when I am successful in blocking him he yelps in frustration, dashing back and forth from target site to site, clasping the fence in his terrier maw. Perhaps a spot may have changed from the last time he looked.

Here's where the verse above comes into play. Milo never gives up. It's as though he's pestering the powers-that-be to release him. And he keeps on plugging away, daily, hourly and momentarily. He never stops or gives in!
This is also the verb tense of the verse in Matthew. Ask, and keep on asking. Knock and keep on knocking. Seek and keep on seeking. Never give up!

Like me blocking the fence holes, my Father blocks any request I pester Him with when it is not for my best good. Much as I do not censure Milo for being a Terrier, neither does my Father censure me nor does He allow me my absolute freedom. It seems that the very process of keeping on keeping on actually trains our desires and life goals. Perhaps one day Milo will learn this lesson ... but probably not. Only the nose knows.


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