Courage: Dachshund or Deerhound?

As Kathryn Stockett famously penned, “You is smart, . . . ”

If you were a dog, where would your ‘woof’ register on the “speaking-out” spectrum? Would you be a Dachshund or a Deerhound? The Dachshund is cited by breeders as among the most, um, orally expressive and the Deerhound among the most quiet.


Okay, when you’re sitting alone at home, in the safety of your comfort zone, it really doesn’t matter whether you’re a Dachshund or a Deerhound. But what about when you step into a circumstance in which an authority (like a doctor or teacher) is advising or making decisions that will directly impact you personally or your young child? Are you courageous to share your own insights and perspectives that lend themselves to working as a “team,” or do you remain quiet and let the decision fall where it may?

Courage has been the buzz message in and around me recently. I’ve been challenged and encouraged by quiet inner thoughts and loud outer voices to “be courageous.” So, I’ve naturally been more cognizant of all the opportunities in which I lack courage in day-to-day real life and also in which I courageously woof (with love and respect, of course ♥).

If you’re more on the Dachshund end in voicing your experiences, insights, and perspectives toward “team effort” direction and decision making, read no further; this post is geared more toward us Deerhounds.

When we’re face-to-face with an authority whose job it is (in their respective field or station) to give direction and weigh in on decisions that will directly affect us or our children, that direction is one-sided if we neglect to express our own educated and experiential thoughts. The doctor, teacher, preacher, counselor, scout leader, principle, committee leader . . . do not live at home with us, within our 24/7 experiences, and they’re not so smart that they can read our minds. But out of fear, self-doubt, or self-diminishing, we keep quiet. Questions, doubts, and concerns in tandem with our experiences rise in us, but we’re too Deerhound—not Dachshund enough—to woof (speak up). We’d rather outwardly accept what we’re told than risk what we view as “rocking the boat” instead of as “team effort.” And we walk away feeling yukky, oftentimes harboring anger, resentment, and judgement—not only toward our advisers but against ourselves for not sharing our insights and perspectives, for not engaging as a team member. We’re angry with ourselves for being a “wuss” instead of woofing, having not taken up COURAGE.

It’s okay to respectfully woof our perspectives, insights, questions, concerns—(bearing the fruit of Spirit¹)—all the more so when someone else’s direction and decisions will directly impact us or our children.

Can we commit to courage together? Can we commit to stop believing the lie that our thoughts, our experiences, knowledge, insights, and perspectives don’t count, are not important enough to be shared toward a team effort environment?

Perhaps this truth will help:

God doesn’t waste a single second of your experiences, nor a smidgen of the knowledge you’ve gained through experience or training, so why should you so quickly and quietly dismiss who He’s grown you to be?


¹ “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV).

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