Some fourteen years ago we got our first labrador retriever. We named him Tex- got him on the first anniversary of Janet Reno's massacre in Waco, Texas. A really handsome dog- creamy white coat, wide, flat head, enormous paws. Tex would grow up to weight 110 pounds, lean.
Tex was a gentle giant as an adult, but as a puppy he was, well, a puppy. Chewing up the furniture, knocking over trash cans and snacking on the contents, peeing on the carpet. For the first three years of his life he was incorrigible. It drove us nuts.
One day my husband went to a party in D.C. He struck up a conversation with a tall, pleasant man with easygoing manner and friendly eyes- a real Lab type if ever he saw one, the spouse said later. And his instincts turned out to be correct- the man was also a Lab lover, and also had yellow Labs. "I'll tell you one thing I've learned," he said. "Labradors have absolutely no nerve endings. It's a waste of time trying to teach them anything by force. The key is patience."
I have borne this advice in mind all these years. I find it applies to every living thing, from plants to people. I'm glad I got the message when I did.
The man with the kind eyes was Tony Snow. I think he must have understood a great deal about how God wants us to live.
Please pray for his soul, and for his family. Dog-lovers are good folk.