Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness

Lead like Lola

40 Reflections: 40 days of raw recollections during the Lenten Season

No. 14

Throwback Thursday! This is a post about our sweet dogs and how the minds of our four-legged family members find joy in every walk, every meal, every hello.

My plan was to walk our dogs this morning…


but Lola, our fluffy, tailless Border Collie, yanked me and Sancha (lab/golden mix) through the neighborhood instead. Her tugging seemed to say, “Come on! We’re missing all the good stuff!” So just like obedient sheep, we followed along as she plowed through the world nose up, eyes straight ahead, one ear forward the other pointing at me like a periscope.


Poor Lola. I feel the life of a suburban Border Collie is mentally more labor-intensive than a farm dog. There are no sheep or livestock to organize, no big fields to hunt and explore, and barely one unamused squirrel in our backyard.


Basically, Lola is left to plan her whole day like the rest of us. Dog breeders will swear you have to exercise them at least 37 times a day or they will get bored and expend their energy otherwise. Oh, it’s true, I feel guilty as heck when I come home to a scene from The Killing Fields with stuffed animals strewn about and plastic noses and eyes carefully dislodged from their stuffed owners.

But Lola, much like our kids, came without assembly and upkeep instructions. She was rescued from inside a screened porch somewhere in North Georgia, surrounded by her own poop and no food or water. In retrospect, we often wonder if Lola was a little bummed when driven away from all that land. For all we know, she could have built the porch herself and was just drawing up the bathroom plans. She’s THAT smart.

Bottom line. I hope our children channel their inner Lola in life.

Lola is a worker and a leader.

Give her a washcloth and she’ll wipe the face of Facebook clean again. Pass her a laptop and she’ll have a business reorganized and gleaming with success. Lola would be a blur on the corporate ladder as she escalated to the top while others envied her drive, agility, and vertical leap. She efficiently pees on all the spots necessary to make her way through life.

Border Collies like Lola, are smart and driven – a good breed. She has just the right amount of affection with a smidge of jealousy woven in her fluffy coat.

If Lola had her own flock, here’s how she would lead.



1. Leave your mark:

Pee several times throughout your life and all over the place. Just always remember where you’re food is and eat fast.

2. Take a stand:

Showing you believe in something is like pooping, do it when and where you need to…holding it in will just lead to bad feelings (especially if you ate a sock).

3. Listen and observe:

Always be ready to change directions. Lead your herd wisely.

4. Keep your paws clean:

Be honest and wipe your feet even if you have plans to go out again.

5. Wag your tail:

Exude positivity and wag like mad, even if you only have a stub of a tail.

6. Use your speed and strength:

No matter the setting, be the hardest worker in the room.

7. Beware of shiny objects:

Don’t let your sheep go astray, stay focused and on point.

8. REST on top of tables (or whatever works for you):


Stop and look at life from other perspectives. Truly, things are clearer from above – said, God and Lola.


Lola is a sweet girl. She and Sancha make every day better. But in a pinch, if you need a CEO, look for the Lola’s of the world. If you’re in need of a social worker-type, Sancha is your gal. She’s your lifer, she’ll stay with the company and be faithful for years. On walks, she pees for a long time in one place ONLY…much like the small town plumber in a Hallmark movie that is happy living in the same place for life.

Like people, every dog is different. But unlike some people, dogs love unconditionally, are forgiving, and ever-loyal. Let’s learn from them.

As Anne Lamott said, “Having a good dog is the closest some of us are ever going to come to knowing the direct love of a mother or God.”

Let them lead you home like Lola, comfort you like Sancha andalways “stick” together.


Pray for Ukraine.

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