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Springer Spaniel in Heat Depicts the Drive of Sin

When I was seven, our Springer spaniel was going through her first heat. My parents, under the advice of the vet, had decided to wait to have her spayed until she was a year old. They did not, however, want her to have puppies. So when they were going out for a few hours, my older sisters and I got stern instructions from Dad: "Keep Chloe inside. No matter how badly she wants out, don't, under any circumstances, let her out."

My sisters obeyed, but I only half obeyed. I felt sorry for her as she whimpered and pawed frantically at the door. I decided to take her to the second-story porch that ran between my bedroom and the garage roof. There was a four-foot railing and a long drop to the ground, so I was sure Chloe would be corralled. But when a male boxer appeared yipping below, Chloe became frantic: circling, crying, and suddenly clawing her way up the shingles on the garage roof. I grabbed her around the middle, trying to hold on to her, but she had developed Herculean strength. She squirmed out of my grasp and leapt from the roof to the driveway. Somehow she survived, mated, and bequeathed to our family a large litter of springer-boxer puppies.

[The Old Testament prophets] point to animals in heat to show us how strong our cravings are. This is the drive that makes cats howl, salmon batter themselves against the rocks as they swim upstream, and camels leave restless tracks all over the desert.

We have an attraction to sin that is as strong as the animal sexual attraction. Let it in, and it develops a life of its own that is driven, dangerous, and destructive.

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