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My Thorn In My Flesh


My nemesis, my infliction, my torment, my thorn in my flesh is a dog. Go ahead and think I’m horrible for saying this, four years ago, I would have thought that too. Growing up, I always had dogs. They were very misbehaved, but lovable, and I adored each and every one of them. I could NEVER have imagined straight up resenting a dog.


Fast forward to 2020, and I met Samson.


Within the first couple weeks of dating Erik, he left me to babysit his beloved dog Samson while he went to the city for work. Samson didn’t listen to a word I said, so I had to have him on a leash.


I was sitting with him outside trying to let him enjoy the sunshine, but he decided he wanted to go chase after another dog. He pulled so hard, I fell forward on my belly, and he proceeded to drag me across the lawn. I wasn’t about to let go and lose this guy’s dog. Talk about a new relationship ender. “Oh sorry, I lost your dog.” Or, “My bad, I couldn’t control your dog, and he got hit by a car.” If my brother hadn’t been there to save me, I genuinely don’t know what I would have done.


I thought, “whatever, he’s just a big strong dog. I would eventually break through, and we’d become friends.”




Fast forward to 2024, and we are not friends. That first experience was an excellent foreshadowing of my future to come.


Despite 4 years of me being the one to sneak him treats throughout the day when Erik wants to cut him off, take him out, take him to the vet when he’s not well, bring him to my parents’ house to swim, run, and burn energy during the day, spend hours researching about his various issues, brush him 2x a day and apply oil to his problematic skin, when I sit next to the dog to pet him, he gets up and walks away.... or rams into me, even on stairs, knocking me off balance when he feels I am in his way.


Samson has been a huge source of stress and a thorn in my side. Erik got the dog with his ex-wife, and I’m 90% sure this dog looks at me and goes, “Screw you, you’re not my real mom.”  


Even when I am home with him all day, at the first moment of time out of my direct presence, he is getting into something. He tears apart the garbage including spreading poop diapers, used tampons, and pads across my carpet, ripping apart tissues, paper towels, and anything else in his path, stealing and eating my coconut oil based beauty products off the bathroom counter, jumping on the table, stealing food, and knocking over whatever drinks may be up there. He barks with his insanely loud bark as soon as Eli starts napping. These are just the most recent examples off the top of my head. I could go on and on.

Caring for Samson is much much harder and much more work than having a newborn, a baby of any stage, or a toddler, and I reap zero rewards. I am not going to lie, on top of being pregnant and taking care of a toddler, I am absolutely at my wits end, and I have become quite resentful of the lot that I have been dealt. I have been feeling hopeless, drained, stressed, angry, tired etc., yet I feel too sorry for a large active animal to crate him until Erik comes home from work like Erik suggests.


I am a take charge and fix your situation kind of girl. I don’t support being miserable, whining, and complaining about the same thing for long periods of time. We aren’t trees. We aren’t stuck, so I get up and solve my problems.

Fight hasn't worked. The numerous dog training books I’ve read, the countless hours of training videos I’ve watched, and the hours and hours of attempts to bond and train him have not helped.


 Flight isn't really an option. Personally, I am more than ready to admit defeat, ship Samson off to a farm where he can go be free, happy, terrorize some chickens, and steal barn cats’ food or something. Anything else other than destroying my house and making me miserable on a daily basis.


 However, the love of my life, loves this terror of a dog that he raised, so I am stuck here. I hate feeling stuck and cagey. If you know me well, you know I typically avoid that feeling at all costs. For years, I couldn’t even commit to plans in advance because I didn’t want to feel trapped into doing something I didn’t want to do. I HATE being pressured into things, and usually flake out when I feel pressured.  I don’t like being told how to live my life. I love freedom…. I sound like a redneck…MERICA.


It’s been four years, and I keep hitting this same wall with this dog. The inner rage and anger that I am feeling about my situation is not healthy. It hit me that there has to be a lesson here for me. I am sure that God is trying to teach me something, and there has to be some way for me to find peace, but I’ve been extremely resistant toggling between fight and flight reactions.


I keep trying to solve the problem, and when that fails, I want to get rid of him. I have not found the river of balance. I have hatred in my heart towards a dog….

This is not who I am, and this is not my character. I don’t even hate creepy bugs and spiders that come in my house. Much to Erik's frustration, I refuse to kill them and try to save every single one of them.

So what's a desperate, overtired, over-stimulated, mama to do?


The words, "thorn in my flesh" kept coming to mind, so I decided to break out my Bible. I read 2 Corinthians. Paul warns about how we need to stay humble and not boast about ourselves or our relationships with God as if we are holier, wiser, or more arrived than anyone else. He says that the thorns in our flesh are in our paths to keep us real.


In the spirit of keeping it honest and real, I'm going to admit that I angrily whispered to the dog yesterday that I “f*cking hated him.” Yep, Kelsea on the worship team, yoga loving Kelsea, gentle parenting promoter Kelsea, bug saving Kelsea is swearing at and feeling hatred towards a dog.

What kind of monster hates a dog anyway?


On top of running out of patience with the dog, I am frustrated with myself for not being able to unconditionally love and have compassion for one of God’s creatures. It makes me feel guilty and like a bad person.


As I read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, which says:


“Because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


 I super related to the beginning and laughed out loud at the part that says, I was given a “thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.” As stupid as it sounds, I literally feel like this! I have been begging God and Erik to find a family member or someone else to take care of Samson for us at least part of the time because I’m over here losing my ever loving shit, but here I am trapped in my situation….


God literally just said to me, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” “My grace is sufficient for you.”


 I’ve tried fight and flight. It’s not been working.


I’m going to try surrender.


Lord help me.


Accepting prayers…

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Well Becky, if he doesn’t like you after 4 years you need to get a professional trainer that deals with that. I know one if you are interested. I think she is $50 an hour. ❤️ you.

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