It was a gorgeous day and I knew my dog needed to be outside. I did too, but circumstances kept preventing.  At one point, I saw a squirrel on the ground by the side yard, so I hurriedly let the pup out in hopes he’d get a little exercise.

When nothing came of the chase, he wandered back in, as lethargic as before and returned to his afternoon nap.

Some time later I noticed something move by the fence again. So out the dog went as I chided, “Get it, Judge. Get it.” I was half way joking, but, this time, before I knew it, my adorable lab had a huge furry creature clenched in his jaws and was not letting loose. Screaming like a banshee, I ran toward them and hoped to part the two. I felt terrible for the trapped ground hog and was hoping to prevent the dog from the retaliation of razor sharp claws or rabies both.

Unfortunately, the ground hog did not survive the ordeal, and my dog earned a new name: killer.

As my neighbor, who graciously came to my rescue rounded up the ruined rodent, he asked how big the dog was. I opened the screen door and out walked Judge. Staring down my hound, the man quietly spoke, “Good dog.” Then, picking up the trash bag he swaggered off and back down the drive.

If only I’d have looked twice, I said to myself. If I wouldn’t have provoked the dog until I did some closer research. I probably would have gone out back, realized a huge critter was stuck and opened the gate to let the him out. But alas, I spoke too soon. My dog, to my amazement, rose to the challenge and obeyed my command without question.

It made me wonder, how many times do we inadvertently provoke someone to respond or react to a situation a certain way. Or, we instruct them to do something that results in serious consequences. Before we truly get the facts.

It’s something to ponder.

Just my thoughts and may the ground hog rest in peace. Poor thing.