After nearly ruining Easter by chasing my toddling niece and nephew around the yard during the Egg hunt, Tilly came home to a week of being on her best behavior yet.

She sat when asked, kept her jumping to a minimum, and only occasionally snuck up on the couch for a nap. For more than a week there’s been very little yelling and begging in my house, with just a few exceptions. (I HATE it when she jumps up on the counter while I’m cooking.)

That all ended Tuesday when I was trying to watch the results show of Dancing with the Stars, just minding my own business sitting in the recliner. Out of nowhere, Tilly comes flying through the air and actually lands on my lap – this from a dog who is too chicken to jump out of the car by herself. When I pushed her off of me, she jumped up again, getting her too-long claws tangled in my hair.

When I tried to get her off of me the second time, she threw her head back nearly busting open my lip, and then she turned around and swiped those same paws with the too-long claws right down my face. I pushed her off, and when she tried to come back for more – she was having a great time with this play – I stood up and said in my very-mean-don’t-push-me-any-further voice, “Sit.”

So, for the next few minutes, we played that game. I say, “Sit.” Tilly sits. I say, “Stay.” Tilly looks at me like I’m crazy and jumps on me. When we were both exhausted, I gave in and let her sit on my lap in the chair – all 45 pounds of her. But after just a couple of minutes, I remembered that I am the boss of her, and she went back on the floor.

It wasn’t the first time I thought about adding a note to the “House for Sale” sign in my front yard that would read something like, “Puppy included.”

Writer Amy Sorrells found herself similarly flustered in a column she wrote for the Zionsville Times Sentinel and featured on her blog. Only it wasn’t just one puppy she was ready to give up; she was at her wits end with her THREE golden retrievers.

“I threatened our three dogs with this column a few weeks ago, hoping I’d never really need to write it. But alas, the time has come. I’m not sure exactly what put me over the edge,” she wrote before listing about 20 of the recent antics of those three canines. From the stereotypical eating of the shoes to the day her dogs pulled a stack of dirty dishes out of the sink, the evidence stacked up tall against them. Her conclusion: three beautiful dogs, “free to a good home.”

But then, of course, came the problem all dog lovers face when they can’t take it anymore. The dogs turn completely lovable again. Here’s how Amy described it:

Problem is, as I write this column, the youngest pup sleeps pressed against my thigh, the rise and fall of his heart-shaped rib cage lulling and calming my nerves.

The white one sleeps with his head resting on his paws, hanging over the arm of the couch, which is where he fell asleep gazing at me like Romeo at Juliet.

The oldest one is curled up on the pillow next to me, slightly more aloof than the others, since she is the only lady of the bunch, and as such, deserves some much-earned alone time.

It would be difficult to give all that up.

So for now, the three Goldens who live with the Sorrells are safe from the classifieds. And really, the precocious black lab puppy who owns me has nothing to worry about either.

I guess there’s always obedience school.

Go THERE and then come back HERE again!

Join me for regular jaunts around The High Calling network, randomly visiting fellow bloggers, soaking up their words and ideas, and then coming back here to write about them from my perspective. This is what The High Calling network is all about, after all.

Our site is about casting a vision that is clear enough and inspiring enough that our readers can run with it on their own sites. We then spend the majority of our editorial time listening to them on their sites and helping them shine as writers. We believe in the power of the laity so much that we are relying on them and their audiences to help spread the vision that has been given to us. – Marcus Goodyear, senior editor, (from “The Challenge, Strategy, and Execution of Combining Web Properties” by Dan King on

Each Thursday, consider going “There and Back Again” yourself. It’s simple.

1.) Choose another High Calling Blogger to visit. It can be someone you have “met” before, or do what I do, and work your way through the “Member Posts” section of to meet someone new.
2.) Visit his blog, digesting the message until it becomes something that you can write about.
3.) Go back to your blog and write about it, being sure to link to the post that gave you the idea so that your readers can visit, too.
4.) Add the button above to your blog so your readers know you are participating in “There and Back Again.”
5.) Go back to the Network blog and leave a comment so your new friend can feel the link love!
6.) Complete the journey by returning here, to Wide Open Spaces, and enter your link so that we all can benefit from the new High Calling connection you have made.