Where my dog rests her head & what it taught me about following God


By Mark Ellis –

Kaely with Santa

I have a morning routine with my little dog Kaely, a Springer Spaniel now 11-years-old and slowing a bit. I’ve learned a few things about my walk with God by observing her patterns.

We’ve had Golden Retrievers, which are a wonderful breed, but one of the unique things about Kaely is where she chooses to rest her head. Being highly affectionate and loyal toward me, her master – knowing she is dependent on me for her daily sustenance – she will often rest her head directly on one of my feet while I’m doing my morning devotional.

Kaely resting her head on my foot

If she happens to fall asleep and I get up from my chair to move to another area of the house, she knows immediately and follows closely.

How important it is for me to stay close to my Master, Jesus, resting at his feet, following his path throughout the day.

Sometimes Kaely will rest her head on the windowsill, looking outside for any signs of activity in the backyard. She would be quick to alert me if there were any dangers.

Kaely looking through the window

Dr. Frank Seekins wrote a book called “Hebrew Word Pictures,” which is a study of the ancient Hebrew language. The Old Testament, of course, is written in Hebrew, but the most ancient Hebrew form doesn’t look like modern letters. It more closely resembles Egyptian hieroglyphics, where little pictures are used to describe a word.

The word for shepherd shows three pictures: a head, an eye, and a window. Together they reveal the shepherd as a person who is looking out the window, or one who watches intently over his flock.

As I watch Kaely looking out the window, it reminds me of my role as a shepherd, watching over those entrusted to my care.

On other occasions, Kaely rests her head directly on a Bible I happen to have left on the floor. While she may not be able to absorb much of God’s Word this way, her unknowing devotional pose prompts me once again to consider a valuable practice, of resting in and on God’s enduring truths, filling my mind with his Word, finding the Lord’s perspective to meet the challenges of my day.