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‘Dog: Impossible’ was on the National Geographic Channel. It’s a reality show about difficult dogs.

In this episode we met a pug who was belligerent with other dogs and needed to learn to walk calmly on a leash. 

I forget that dog’s name. Wait … oh yes, it was Moneypenny.

But then we met Whiskey.

Whiskey was a beautiful Australian Shepherd, unevenly spackled with white, grey and tan colours.

Whiskey was also aggressive – so much so that he had bitten everyone in the household except the ‘man of the house’.

But the Man couldn’t control Whiskey so the dog was kept locked behind gates for everyone’s safety.  

Whiskey was so dangerous that they didn’t take him outside for walks any more. 


The dog behaviour specialist who hosted the program described Whiskey as the most vicious dog he had ever worked with.

Whiskey was so dangerous the trainer only hoped he could help, given time.

He took Whiskey to their training facility and tried to walk him around an enclosed yard.

Whiskey was muzzled for the protection of the handler and what followed made for some dramatic television moments.

Whiskey began pulling and spinning on the leash so violently that the muzzle became dislodged putting staff at risk.

Everyone evacuated the space and resolved to make another attempt at walking Whiskey the next morning.

One trainer seemed to have a better rapport with Whiskey and he was eventually able to walk the dog in cautious circles.

They slowly introduced other staff into the walking area and, over time, Whiskey began to accept their presence.


All through the program the words of the head trainer repeatedly hit me in the face.

“There are no bad dogs.”

He repeated that mantra regularly to his staff. And to the audience.

“There are no bad dogs.”

“Look at his eyes – you can see that Whiskey is scared.”

Only frightened dogs.

“Good boy, Whiskey. Yes, you’re a good boy… Yes you are!”

There are no bad dogs.


Two weeks later Whiskey returns home.

There is nervousness as they unleash him and he sniffs out the familiar house.

Whiskey tenses – the old smells trigger familiar emotions, familiar instincts.

One by one the family enter the room.

More tension, but Whiskey cautiously accepts them.

Then the ultimate test: how will Whiskey react when a visitor comes to the front door?

The husband sneaks out and goes to the front of the house to assume the role.

The doorbell rings. Whiskey barks aggressively and runs to the door.


The door opens and the husband stands in the doorway.

Whiskey quiets as the man enters the house.

Then each of them waits … waits … waits …

Until Whiskey lays down on the floor at his feet.

The man whispers affectionately and reaches down to scratch Whiskey’s ears.

Whiskey’s eyes grow limp, then close in rest.

Dangerous no more. Fearful no more.

Whiskey is part of a family.


The man excitedly tells us, “He’s a new dog. It’s like he’s born again.”

And I remember the wisdom that there are no bad dogs. Only scared dogs.

And I think, What if there are no bad people? What if there are only scared, dangerous people?

What if we just need someone who cares about us and sees our potential?

Someone to walk with us. Someone to help us be born again.

And I remember how God has been patient with me, walked with me.

And I know deep in my soul that it is true.

There are no bad dogs.



Additional Reading: Ephesians 1:3-14