Lonely Dogphoto © 2008 Adan Garcia | more info (via: Wylio) I have heard friends complain about their neighbors’ barking dogs. I wonder if any of our neighbors complain about our barking dog? I don’t usually think about it too much because we are not able to see any of our neighbors’ houses from our house, but the noise probably carries. Our back yard is surrounded by woods, so we allow the dog to bark freely. She does. She barks at everything and sometimes nothing at all. We are convinced that she is sometimes barking just to hear herself bark. It is a noise that we have gotten used to, and we often tune her out.

The other day she was in the back yard, barking for all she was worth. My husband happened to look out and noticed that she was barking with reason for a change. A large snake was making its way to our garage. Our dog was doing her best to warn us that a reptilian intruder was approaching. Sometimes the barking actually means something.

Barking dogs are not the only warnings in life that we ignore. We try to ignore all sorts of warnings, from the slight twinge of pain to the niggling doubt in the back of our minds. Sometimes it truly is nothing, like when the dog barks at the wind. Yet sometimes we need to pay attention to the warnings around us. We need to be cautious about those slight pains that don’t seem to get better, question that uncomfortable feeling, and be aware of the warnings. Far too often we charge ahead without listening. We ignore the warning signs, and we find ourselves with a much larger problem. I am afraid of all snakes. If the snake had gotten into our garage, I would have probably been the one to encounter the snake. I would not have reacted well. We were able to avoid my panic and terror because we listened to the warnings. What difficult situations can you avoid by listening to the warnings in your life?

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