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Posted by on May. 5, 2015 at 8:06 PM
  • 176 Replies

The Wild & Woolly Will

By Dr. James Dobson

AT ONE TIME, the Dobson household consisted of a mother and a father, a boy and a girl, one hamster, one parakeet, one lonely goldfish, and two hopelessly neurotic cats. We all lived together in relative harmony with a minimum of conflict and strife. But there was another member of our family who was less congenial and cooperative. He was a stubborn, twelve-pound dachshund named Sigmund Freud (Siggie), who honestly believed that he owned the place. All dachshunds tend to be independent, I'm told, but Siggie was a confirmed revolutionary. He was not vicious or mean; he just wanted to run things—and the two of us engaged in a power struggle throughout his lifetime.

Please don't misunderstand me: Siggie was a member of our family and we loved him dearly. And despite his anarchistic nature, I did finally teach him to obey a few simple commands. However, we had some classic battles before he reluctantly yielded to my authority. The greatest confrontation occurred when I had been in Miami for a three-day conference. I returned to observe that Siggie had become boss of the house while I was gone. But I didn't realize until later that evening just how strongly he felt about his new position as captain.

At eleven o'clock that night, I told Siggie to go get into his bed, which was a permanent enclosure in the family room. For six years, I had given him that order at the end of each day, and for six years Siggie had obeyed. On that occasion, however, he refused to budge. He was in the bathroom, seated comfortably on the furry lid of the toilet seat. That was his favorite spot in the house, because it allowed him to bask in the warmth of a nearby electric heater.

Incidentally, Siggie had to learn the hard way that it was extremely important that the lid be down before he left the ground. I'll never forget the night he learned that lesson. He came thundering in from the cold and sailed through the air—and nearly drowned before I could get him out.

On the night of our great battle, I told Sigmund to leave his warm seat and go to bed. Instead, he flattened his ears and slowly turned his head toward me. He braced himself by placing one paw on the edge of the furry lid, then hunched his shoulders, raised his lips to reveal the molars on both sides, and uttered his most threatening growl. That was Siggie's way of saying, "Get lost!"

I had seen this defiant mood before and knew that I had to deal with it. The only way to make Siggie obey was to threaten him with destruction. Nothing else worked. I turned and went to my closet and got a small belt to help me "reason" with 'ol Sig. My wife, who was watching this drama unfold, told me that as soon as I left the room, Siggie jumped from his perch and looked down the hall to see where I had gone. Then he got behind her and growled.

When I returned, I held up the belt and again told the angry dog to get into his bed. He stood his ground so I gave him a firm swat across the rear end, and he tried to bite the belt. I popped him again and he tried to bite me. What developed next is impossible to describe. That tiny dog and I had the most vicious fight ever staged between man and beast. I fought him up one wall and down the other. Inch by inch I moved him toward the family room and his bed. As a final desperate maneuver, Siggie jumped on the couch and backed into the corner for one last snarling stand. I eventually got him into his bed, but only because I outweighed him two hundred to twelve!

The following night I expected another siege of combat at Siggie's bedtime. To my surprise, however, he accepted my command without debate or complaint and simply trotted toward the family room in perfect submission. In fact, Siggie and I never had another "go for broke" stand.


He couldn't think of a better way to handle this with an old dog who was trying to stay warm by the electric heater? And to think that some Christians take parenting advice from him! How is the way that he treated his dog showing grace, and mercy? He's an embarrassment to Christians, IMO. Your opinion?

by on May. 5, 2015 at 8:06 PM
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by Emerald Member on May. 5, 2015 at 8:13 PM
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Dr.Dobson is a big believer in establishing authority and training a strong willed personality to respect that authority. I was raised with this theory, as my mom was a huge fan of his back in the day. I honestly see no issue with this. I've read several of his books in raising my own children.
by Ruby Member on May. 5, 2015 at 8:18 PM
5 moms liked this
Stop. Just stop. You're realm reaching in your attempt to insult Christians.
by Anonymous 1 on May. 5, 2015 at 8:20 PM
3 moms liked this

Run out of spanking stories about kids?

by on May. 5, 2015 at 8:22 PM
1 mom liked this
Lol at you. Heck, I'm always laughing at you.
by Ruby Member on May. 5, 2015 at 8:25 PM
5 moms liked this

 Uh, I am a Christian and I'm smart enough to dismiss any and everything said by Dobson.  It's unfortunate that others listen to him for any reason.  He's extremist, that's for sure.

by on May. 5, 2015 at 8:27 PM
1 mom liked this
You need a hobby. Preferably one that doesn't involve the internet.
by Ruby Member on May. 5, 2015 at 8:28 PM
2 moms liked this
Omg. That is hardly animal abuse. Maybe not the best way to handle it, but not abuse. When a dog assumes an alpha role in the household, sometimes a little force and assertion is needed to regain control.

And incidentally, I'm pretty sure Michael Vick claims to be "Christian". Why don't we talk about that in outrage?
by Emerald Member on May. 5, 2015 at 8:28 PM
2 moms liked this
With the awful advice he gives parents, I am not surprised that he had to beat a 12 pound dog to get him to obey.

I find him loathsome.
by Ruby Member on May. 5, 2015 at 8:29 PM

Sorry, I just can't get worked up about this.

by Meanie Pants on May. 5, 2015 at 8:29 PM
Lol. That's what I thought when I saw the SN and title. She always posts about someone or something being abused.

FTR. I don't think hitting dogs, or any animal to get them to do what you want is the right thing to do. However, given who posted, I think if the guy had said he grabbed the dog by the collar and plopped him in his designated "spot" she'd be calling it abuse. Gosh. I'd hate to see her reaction to me kicking my dog off the bed a while ago.

Quoting Anonymous 1:

Run out of spanking stories about kids?

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