Series Code: DT
Program Code: DT000001A
00:02 There are over 500 million of them on the planet.
00:06 There are over 300 breeds.
00:08 Our families had plenty of dogs.
00:12 Pekingese, Bull Terriers,
00:16 Rottweilers, German Shepherds,
00:20 Dobermans, our King Charles Spaniel,
00:25 and West Highland Terriers.
00:28 But my favorite is the old Lab,
00:31 in particular, the chocolate Labrador.
00:35 They love fun, they love people,
00:38 and dare I mention it, food.
00:41 This is Cyrus, or should I say Cyrus James.
00:46 He mean so much to my wife Coralie and I,
00:49 we gave him a middle name.
00:51 He came to us when he was 12 months old
00:53 as a failed guide dog.
00:56 Why did he fail?
00:57 Too much initiative.
01:00 Now that he's 12, he slowed down a bit,
01:03 in fact a fair bit.
01:05 But he still loves to come out into the bush for a walk.
01:09 Dogs spelt backwards is God.
01:13 Now the last thing we would do is make a dog into a God.
01:18 They are the created, not the creator.
01:21 But there are many practical things
01:23 my dog Cyrus has taught me
01:25 both about God and how we should live.
01:30 I once saw a sticker that said,
01:32 "Try to be the person your dog thinks you are."
01:35 They always seem to see the positive side of us,
01:39 and they just love us no matter what.
01:42 It's no wonder they're considered our best friends.
01:47 So what are some spiritual insights
01:49 our best friends can teach us about everyday life?
02:17 If there is one thing my dog Cyrus has taught me,
02:20 it's to love life.
02:25 All I need to do is push the window down
02:28 and he sticks his head right out to suck it all in.
02:32 Cyrus enjoys the world around him
02:34 through his sense of smell.
02:37 With up to 300 million scent claims,
02:40 you can just sense in feeling, wow, this is good.
02:44 I could do this all day.
02:48 If we go down to the water,
02:50 he jumps in, he just can't help himself.
02:54 Once he's in there, he swims, or should I say dog paddles.
02:58 With his head up in the air
03:00 as if to say, look at me everyone,
03:03 this is so much fun.
03:06 C'mon, boy.
03:09 Another time we took him down to the beach.
03:12 He went rushing into the water
03:14 and he was totally dumped by a huge wave.
03:18 As he came rushing back,
03:19 his eyes were virtually popping out of his head.
03:23 He had so much excitement.
03:25 Maybe there was a bit of fear in there as well.
03:28 Whatever he's feeling, this was another adventure.
03:33 If I throw a ball, he'll chase it.
03:36 Sometimes he runs around like a mad idiot.
03:40 And other times, we just hang around at the house together,
03:44 enjoying the simple things of life.
03:47 But that's how I look at Cyrus.
03:50 He gives me the impression every meal is the best one,
03:54 every walk is the best one, every day is his birthday.
03:59 He just seems to love life.
04:03 There's much we can learn from Cyrus.
04:07 God doesn't want us to walk around
04:09 with sad, drawn out faces
04:12 thinking about what's going wrong in life.
04:16 Think of all the good things that are happening.
04:18 Enjoy life.
04:20 Take some risks.
04:22 Fly a parachute.
04:24 Go deep sea diving.
04:26 Go down to the beach.
04:29 Hike for 100 kilometers through the mountains.
04:32 Stop and smell the roses.
04:35 Cyrus showed us.
04:39 Jesus said, "I have come that you may have life
04:45 and have it to the full."
04:48 Cyrus lives life to the full.
04:51 What about you?
05:06 Can you imagine a world
05:08 where humans love each other like our pets love us?
05:12 My dog Cyrus had no idea who is at this door.
05:15 But I can absolutely guarantee you something.
05:18 When I ring this bell,
05:20 he'll start to bark in excitement.
05:23 Not because he's a great watchdog
05:25 but at the joyful possibility of meeting someone new.
05:29 He'll then come rushing to the door with his tail
05:31 just about wagging off his hind legs.
05:35 When he sees it's me,
05:36 he'll wiggle around and try to lick me all over.
05:41 Now I know that's a charming thought for many of you
05:43 but let's try it out.
05:46 One of the things I love about Cyrus
05:49 is his unconditional love and acceptance.
05:52 He doesn't care what I look like,
05:54 what color I am,
05:55 whether I'm skinny or fat, young or old, tall or short,
05:59 whether I'm rich or poor.
06:01 He doesn't even care
06:02 if I forget to feed him or walk him.
06:05 Even if I accidentally tread on his tail,
06:08 he gives out a whoop
06:09 and then turns around to lick me.
06:12 He just loves me and loves to be with me.
06:16 He never expects things, never complains,
06:20 never greets me here at the door with a scowl,
06:23 no ulterior motives.
06:25 Just a wag of the tail as if to say,
06:27 it's so great to see you,
06:28 let's go and have some fun together.
06:36 I find it interesting
06:37 that quite a few people like to come to our home,
06:40 I know why.
06:42 It's not just to visit my Coralie and I,
06:45 it's always Cyrus they seek out first.
07:07 I look at him and have this big grin on their face
07:10 trying to hide the fact
07:11 that we play second fiddle to our dog.
07:14 But that's exactly what unconditional love
07:16 does to the one being loved.
07:19 You can't help but want to love back.
07:22 You feel a sense of purpose.
07:24 You love being around the person,
07:26 and you look forward to the next time
07:27 you get together.
07:35 The Bible says, "Let us love one another,
07:38 for love is of God."
07:40 God loves us no matter who we are or what we've done.
07:44 And He wants us to have the same attitude of love
07:46 towards others.
07:48 Cyrus, he loves everyone.
07:50 How about you?
08:03 It seems many of us are born warriors.
08:06 What if the stock market crashes?
08:09 What if interest rates go up?
08:11 What if I lose my job?
08:12 And the list goes on.
08:14 Sometimes when planning my day, I'll say to my wife,
08:18 I won't worry about that today.
08:20 I'll worry about that tomorrow.
08:22 She quickly stops me and says,
08:24 "Neale, would you like to rephrase that?"
08:27 "Yeah, good point," I say.
08:30 I'll think about that tomorrow,
08:32 not worry about it.
08:34 You see worry causes stress.
08:38 It just eats you up on the inside.
08:40 It can even make you feel physically sick.
08:44 But what's the point of worrying anyway?
08:48 Look at him.
08:49 Cyrus never seems to worry.
08:52 He doesn't get all stressed out about his future.
08:55 He lives in the moment.
08:56 And if you think about it,
08:58 he's got no ability to feed himself.
09:01 You'd hardly call himself sufficient.
09:04 He relies on us for everything.
09:06 We feed him, we give him a place to sleep.
09:10 If he's unwell, we take him to the vet.
09:13 We walk him every day.
09:16 No matter what he needs, we make sure he's looked after.
09:20 Cyrus trusts us to fulfill his needs
09:23 and that enables him to just enjoy life.
09:27 I guess you could say he lives in the now.
09:31 He does one thing at a time
09:33 loving what he does on each occasion.
09:44 Jesus said, "Therefore I tell you,
09:47 do not worry about your life."
09:51 The reason we don't need to worry
09:53 is because just as we look after Cyrus,
09:57 Jesus looks after us and He's the point.
10:01 Cyrus is happy
10:02 because his simple needs are met.
10:05 He doesn't get depressed worrying about
10:07 what other dogs think of him.
10:10 He doesn't look in the mirror
10:11 and think his color is not as up mark as the neighbors,
10:15 or get stressed because his hair is going gray.
10:19 He doesn't fret because of how much money
10:21 is in his bank account,
10:22 he's got none.
10:24 He doesn't even feel life is unfair
10:27 because dogs live shorter lives than humans.
10:30 He's just content,
10:32 and that allows him to sit and relax,
10:35 play, or lays around in the sun.
10:40 If Cyrus could sing, I think his favorite song would be,
10:44 "Don't worry, be happy."
10:48 That's his attitude on life.
10:50 What about you?
11:00 Have you ever failed at something?
11:04 Now I may really fail.
11:07 Maybe it was your school exams.
11:10 You're still haunted by that number.
11:13 You see that number on anything from past numbers street
11:17 or the number plates on cars.
11:21 Maybe you've had a failed marriage,
11:23 two or three of them.
11:26 Maybe you failed in your job and you've been fired.
11:31 I guess all of us have had a big F for failure
11:35 at some point in time in our life.
11:43 Today, we're going to the scene of Cyrus's greatest failure.
11:48 Hey, you remember this place boy?
11:50 This is your home.
11:51 Here we are. We're going back to your home.
11:53 This is the guard dogs training center
11:55 on the outskirts of Sydney.
11:57 Cyrus was born to be a guide dog for the blind.
12:01 He was raised here.
12:05 He was trained here.
12:09 This was his base.
12:13 But he failed.
12:29 So why did Cyrus failed as the guide dog?
12:33 The official report say he had too much initiative.
12:37 In other words, you can imagine him leading the blind person
12:41 all the way to the moldy piece of bread
12:43 he'd sniffed out in the heart of the prickly blackberry bush.
12:48 Or the end of a carrot
12:50 someone had thrown out of the car window
12:52 that got him crossing the road on a green light,
12:56 and the poor old blind person taken for the ride.
13:19 In fact, Cyrus was such a failure,
13:21 he got a name change.
13:23 He was originally called Willis but when we adopted him,
13:27 we changed his name to Cyrus
13:30 after the great Persian king, King Cyrus.
13:33 Now how would you feel if you came back
13:36 to the scene of your greatest failure?
13:43 Would you feel nervous?
13:50 Maybe a bit ashamed?
13:53 Let's see how Cyrus goes.
13:59 Although Cyrus didn't cut out as a guide dog,
14:03 he certainly has no grudges against this place.
14:06 It's like he remembers only the good things,
14:10 the good smells, the great people,
14:13 all that yummy food.
14:27 He doesn't see himself as a failure in life.
14:30 He's not a failed guide dog.
14:33 He's just a dog who is shifted from this family to our family.
14:38 Coming back here,
14:39 well, it's just like coming back to his old home.
14:43 Boy, good boy.
14:46 Come, boy.
14:52 One of the most important lessons Cyrus has taught me
14:55 is to focus on the future, not dwell on the past.
15:00 The Apostle Paul who also had a name change
15:03 after a lifetime of spiritual failure,
15:06 he said this.
15:08 "But one thing I do,
15:10 forgetting those things which are behind
15:13 and reaching forward to those things which are ahead."
15:18 The next time you feel like you failed at something,
15:21 then you just can't get it out of your mind.
15:24 Think back to Cyrus.
15:26 See the good things from the past.
15:33 Live in the moment,
15:35 and enjoy what's coming to you in the future.
15:39 That's how Cyrus see at things.
15:42 What about you?
15:45 C'mon, boy, that's how you think.
15:47 That's how you think?
15:48 Oh, yes, I see you boy, good.
15:50 Now, he is good.
16:21 This is the grave of my mother.
16:24 We can see by this plaque, she loved dogs.
16:28 She had 14 of them.
16:29 Her favorite was Macintosh, a West Highland terrier.
16:34 On the day Mom was told she had terminal cancer,
16:37 she came home and she took Macintosh in her arms.
16:41 She hugged him with all the love she could give
16:44 and that's saying something.
16:47 But tragically, the heart of Macintosh simply gave way
16:52 and he died in her arms.
16:55 Our dogs have a connection with us,
16:57 that's hard to explain.
16:59 They're so loving
17:01 and it seems like they understand our emotions
17:03 and hurt when we hurt.
17:06 I sometimes look into the eyes of Cyrus here,
17:09 and it's like looking into the eyes
17:11 of my most loyal friend.
17:13 Someone who gets
17:16 and I love to hear the stories of the love,
17:19 faithfulness, and loyalty of dogs.
17:40 I read a story from Argentina
17:42 of a German shepherd named Capitan.
17:46 His owner, like my mother,
17:48 had tragically died leaving the whole family
17:52 including the dog in morning.
17:55 When his master died, Capitan vanished.
17:59 The widow and son Damian looked for him,
18:01 but they figured he must have been run over and died as well.
18:06 A week after the funeral,
18:08 the family visited the grave site
18:10 to remember the one they loved.
18:13 Guess who beat them to the cemetery.
18:16 The heartbroken Capitan.
18:19 The news reports quoted the widow as saying,
18:21 "The following Sunday we went to the symmetry
18:24 and Damian recognized his pet.
18:27 Capitan came up to us barking and wailing
18:31 as if he were crying.
18:34 We've never taken him to the cemetery."
18:36 So it's a mystery how he managed to find the place.
18:40 Cemetery director Hector Baccega
18:42 remembers the day he first saw the dog.
18:45 He said, "He turned up here one day
18:48 and all in his own
18:50 he started wondering all around the cemetery
18:53 until he eventually found the tomb of his master."
18:58 During the day he sometimes has a walk around the cemetery,
19:02 but he always rushes back to the grave
19:05 and every day at 6 o'clock sharp,
19:08 he lies down on top of the grave
19:11 and stays there all night
19:13 and he's done this for the past six years.
19:17 You see Capitan had such love within him,
19:21 he searched and searched
19:23 until he found the one he loved.
19:30 The Bible says this of Jesus,
19:33 "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."
19:39 When I thought about that,
19:42 and I thought about the loyalty
19:45 and commitment of Capitan to the one he loved,
19:47 it made me think of my own commitment
19:50 to those I love.
19:52 I especially thought about my mother.
19:55 You see over the years
19:57 Mom's spiritual life began to drift.
20:00 Before she died, I talked with her
20:02 about the importance of being right with God.
20:06 She said to me, "Neale, I can stop you right there.
20:10 I know where you're heading and you'll be pleased to know
20:13 I've made the decision to trust God
20:15 and believe fully in Him."
20:18 Well, when I stood up here to help conduct a funeral
20:21 right here in this spot,
20:24 the comfort of those words really meant something to me.
20:29 After all, when Jesus comes again,
20:32 He won't just lie down on the graves like Capitan did.
20:36 He'll break them open
20:38 and He'll raise us from the dead.
20:42 Jesus is totally committed to finding and saving the lost.
20:49 What about you?
21:10 If there's one thing my dog Cyrus loves,
21:13 it's great big bones.
21:17 Especially ones like this.
21:26 Now you may think that what I'm about to do is cruel.
21:30 But like us humans, dogs need a bit of discipline training.
21:34 So what am I intend to do today
21:37 is to teach him how to overcome temptation.
21:41 I notice many of us fall into the trap of thinking,
21:44 I must overcome my sins.
21:47 And all we think about is our addictions and sins
21:49 when they distort instead of Jesus.
21:52 When the reality is only Jesus can give us the power
21:56 to change our life.
22:03 I'm doing this because I think all of us
22:05 can learn something from Cyrus,
22:07 you watch this.
22:17 If there is one thing Cyrus understands is this.
22:22 The best way to overcome temptation
22:24 is to take your eyes off the temptation
22:27 and look into the face of your master.
22:37 The Bible says, "Let us lay aside every weight,
22:42 and the sin which so easily ensnares us."
22:46 Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
22:52 Now of course, this is just an illustration.
22:57 So I think I should give it to him.
22:59 What do you think?
23:04 Okay, Cyrus, there you go.
23:10 And this is just a bit of fun
23:12 but in real life sin is serious,
23:15 the devil will give us poisonous spines.
23:18 His temptations lead to death.
23:21 We need to take the time to be with Jesus
23:24 and ask Him to give us the power
23:26 to overcome those deep-seated sins and addictions.
23:30 And the beauty of the gospel is this.
23:33 Though we can sin,
23:35 when armed with the power of God,
23:37 can I overcome any temptation?
23:42 Cyrus has learned how to overcome temptation.
23:46 What about you?
24:00 Dogs are amazingly loyal.
24:04 It's no wonder they're called man's best friend.
24:07 In fact I can't think of one occasion
24:09 when Cyrus has let me down
24:11 or being disloyal in any way.
24:14 He doesn't run away.
24:16 He doesn't look at me as if to say,
24:18 well, I'm not sure if I can trust you.
24:20 He never growls at me or leaves me for another owner.
24:25 He likes to just hang around.
24:27 He especially loves it when I'm out in his territory,
24:30 the great outdoors.
24:36 Sometime back I read the story about a dog
24:39 which went way past what anyone would expect
24:42 in terms of love and loyalty.
24:46 The Russian news reported
24:47 a 48 year old man feeling so depressed,
24:50 he attempted suicide.
24:52 He got drunk in one of the towns of Kazakhstan
24:55 and then he fell asleep on the railway tracks.
25:00 Luckily for the man, his pet dog followed him
25:03 to the scene of potential tragedy.
25:05 He always stuck by his side
25:08 so while would tonight be any different.
25:11 As the train approached the man on the tracks,
25:14 his pet dog could see the danger.
25:17 So what did he do?
25:19 He rushed to his master's side
25:21 just as the trains land on the emergency brakes.
25:25 The good news is that this loyal loving dog
25:29 took hold of his master with his teeth
25:31 and then he dragged him to safety.
25:34 The man had a few bruises and broken bones,
25:37 but he woke up in hospital safe and sound.
25:43 It was a different story however for his loyal friend.
25:49 He was struck by the train and killed.
25:52 Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this,
25:57 than to lay down one's life for his friends."
26:02 How much do you love those closest to you?
26:05 A faithful dog from Kazakhstan was so loyal,
26:08 he was willing to die for his friend.
26:11 Now, I don't know what Cyrus would do
26:13 if I really needed help.
26:15 I'd like to think he'd be able to come and rescue me as well.
26:19 But the key spiritual lesson I take from this story
26:23 is what Jesus has done for me.
26:26 The dog from Kazakhstan may have just acted from instinct
26:30 but Jesus chose to die from a deep-seated love.
26:34 He literally laid down His life for His friends.
26:38 God's love has no limits.
26:41 What about yours?
26:56 As you can see
26:58 there are many things we can learn from our pets.
27:01 Sure, they're lots of fun
27:03 but they are also great teachers.
27:05 They help us see what's important in life,
27:08 the simple things, the practical things,
27:11 how to love, how to enjoy life,
27:15 how to live in the moment,
27:17 the importance of friendship and loyalty,
27:20 even how to overcome temptation.
27:23 Come on, Cyrus.
27:26 Come on, Cyrus.
27:32 I keep coming back to the thought,
27:34 try to be the person your dog thinks you are.
27:38 But thinking even more about it,
27:41 we should be the person God thinks we are.
27:44 Unlike dogs, you and I are made in God's image
27:48 and we're made to be God's best friends.
27:51 Take a walk with God,
27:53 talk with Him, spend fun times together.
27:57 And never forget, He's your loving friend,
28:00 and you can trust Him with the rest of your life.
28:04 Come on. Come on, Cyrus, this way, here.