Vicki Huffman, in Plus Living (Harold Shaw Publishers, 1989), tells about a man who loved to hunt and bought two pedigreed setters that he trained to be fine bird dogs. He kept them in a large, fenced pen in his backyard.
One morning he observed a little bulldog trotting down the alley behind his home. It saw the two dogs and squeezed under the fence. The man thought he should perhaps lock up the setters so they wouldn't hurt the little dog, but changed his mind. Maybe they would "teach that bulldog a lesson," he reasoned.
As he predicted, fur began to fly, and all of it was bulldog fur. The feisty intruder soon had enough and squeezed back under the fence to get away.
To the man's surprise, the visitor returned again the next morning. He crawled under the fence and once again took on the tag-team of setters. And like the day before, he soon quit and squeezed out of the pen.
The incident was repeated the following day, with the same results.
The man left early the next morning on a business trip and returned after several weeks. He asked his wife what finally became of the bulldog.
"You won't believe it," she replied. "At the same time every day that little dog came to the backyard and fought with our setters. He never missed a day! It has come to the point now that when our setters simply hear him snorting down the alley, they start whining and run down into the basement. Then the little bulldog struts around our backyard as if he owns it."
That bulldog inspires me when it comes to managing problems. Not that think I have to fight and impose my will on whatever is in my way. But I appreciate that little dog's perseverance. He persisted with his problem until it disappeared.
Dale Carnegie made this observation: "Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all." In the end, it's the persistent bulldog that will own the backyard.
-- Steve Goodier
Image: flickr.com/Julian King