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Reflections | Dr. Leighton Ford (Mentoring)

Sunday with wrangler and red ribbons

February 6, 2015

This Sunday morning began with red birds and ended with red ribbons. Wrangler and I took our usual

Sunday morning walk in the woods by the stream. As we crossed the wooden bridge Wrangler began to

dash about back and forth. There was a flock of small red birds that had caught his attention, and as he

ran at them barking would fly from tree to tree – partly in fright I am sure, but also perhaps teasing the

big black creature upsetting their quiet Sunday morning.


Finally WBD isolated one bird in one small tree. The bird flew back and forth from branch to branch and

Wrangler circled the tree barking his head off. At least one of us had fun – me watching!


Late in the evening I took Wrangler for his final walk of the day, off his lead. I looked at the clear sky

and the stars, and focused on one particular start in the background, and as I did could see even more

dim stars surrounding and beyond it. Several minutes passed. When I looked around I could not see

WBD anyplace – so dark in the dimness around. I called and whistled, and finally saw his blue heeler

shape across the street, running again in circles.


This time it was not red birds flying in the bushes but red ribbons fluttering above our neighbor’s wall

at the front of their yard, above the glow of a lamp. He was barking furiously, jumping as high as he

could above the bushes, trying to climb the wall, determined to catch those red things flapping noisily

in the breezes. I tried to life him on the wall so he could get closer but it was too narrow for his footing.


I stepped back and watched him run and hoot, leap and fall back, all his working dog instincts at work,

determined to catch those infuriating creatures (for he must have thought these were the birds of the

morning back to torment him again) that were frustratingly out of reach. It was serious business to him,

but so comical to me that I was bent over with laughter.


In church this morning we sang praised with the “citizens of heaven” – I wonder if some of the angels

were smiling, and thinking that we would be expecting to have red birds and blue heelers in heaven?


November 2007



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