Our Dog Whisperer!

Many of us have seen movies and shows on television where a horse or dog whisperer is featured. These trainers are gifted in dealing with animals. Famed dog trainer, Cesar Millan has been helping dog owners with their pets through his syndicated television series for years. Sometimes, I think it is the owner that needed more behavior modification than the pet needed training in basic manners! 😉

We have an unlikely “dog whisperer” in the family these days. Charlie, our eight-and-a-half-year-old grandson, has evolved in the last two years to become very adept at caring for his full-blooded boxer, Groot. Charlie hasn’t always been fond of dogs. In fact, he was petrified by the sight of them just a couple of years ago. I have an uncomfortable memory of one incident that happened near our home.

The Whisperer and cousin, Eloise,
getting acquainted with
Mocha, the littlest New Mexican.

Charlie and his siblings were riding their scooters on the nearby church parking lot when all at once he threw his ride aside and broke for the street to our house and nearly ran into the path of a car. All of this because Charlie saw a hunting dog being exercised by his owner and he panicked in response. So filled with fear, he did this every time a canine was within sight. He couldn’t help himself!

After these nearly two years of having Groot in their home, Charlie has become the family go-to guy. He uses his intuitiveness to sense when something needs to be done and he kicks into action to let the dog out for his business and eagerly fills his dog bowls with food and water. He even commands Groot to get into his kennel while grabbing him gently by the neck to guide this 100-pound, beloved beast into the fold! It’s hard to imagine that this kid was once so afraid of dogs he ran from them!

Jesus spent three years training His closest disciples. At first, they were a motley, ragged crew of discontents and zealots with many misguided ambitions and bad behaviors that needed addressing. On more than one occasion, Jesus had to reign in their ideas about kingdom greatness with this challenge, “Whoever wants to be first must take the last place and be servant of everyone else.” (Mark 9:35, NLT).  Like the ultimate “Disciple Whisperer,” Jesus patiently molded and shaped His disciples into an elite force of servant leaders who would change the world!

Sometimes, I think we overtly resist discipline and instruction. I stream a popular television series that features some high-powered and independent thinking corporate lawyers. They often push back and challenge an especially gifted and intuitive manager with this complaint, “Don’t pull that ‘whisperer stuff’ with me!” I laugh every time as they discover what their colleague is trying to accomplish. But this kind of resistance is counter-productive to personal growth and development.

When Jesus called His disciples, he said, “Follow me (13 times in the gospels!), be with and learn from me! I will make you, my disciples.” This process of training would be a work in progress. Discipleship would be “caught and taught” as they watched Jesus in action and sat at His feet for instruction. Are you willing to submit to the Master Whisperer today? If so, there is change on the way!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com


  1. If we would just follow His leadership daily what a great , abundant life we would have. Love and prayers,Texas Wanda


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