Yella Dog Leadership

What’s That Smell?

“What is that awful smell?” My sniffer was on high alert. After a deep once over, I marked the bathroom off my list. Then I picked up my shoes and checked for dog or chicken poop. Nothing. Finally, I sniffed my clothes, assuming they were left in the washer too long. But the aroma seemed to come from somewhere else.

While the smell was stronger in the laundry room, the kitchen carried the heaviest amount of scent. I leaned over the garbage can, making sure that wasn’t the culprit. Then, I bent my face down near the drain in the sink, but still no definitive source.

Suddenly, Carter barreled through the back door. “Mama, quick! Frank and Yella Dog caught something with black fur. Where’s Daddy? We need his help.”

Black fur? Oh. No. Everything became clear as Daddy and younger brother, Daniel, stormed down the front steps, headed toward the woods.

On the porch, the stench nearly gagged me. I looked at the tree line, taking in the commotion caused by this unwanted, early morning visitor.

“Get inside. Carter. Daniel. Take the dog. But don’t touch him. Frank! Dead. Drop it! No, dead…Carter, Daniel, take the dog and get inside. Yella! Drop it. Dead. Get inside, Frank.” My husband yelled orders to all involved.

“Mama, Mama! Frank caught a skunk. Don’t touch him! He stinks bad.” Both boys and the dog charged past me into the house.

“Carter, start the tub. This dog is getting a bath.”

Two baths later, and Frank still reeked. Well, really, everything did. Closets, bedrooms, bathrooms. They all smelled like that dadgum skunk.

I changed clothes, which only helped my feelings, not the smell situation, and we made our way to the car. Even the inside of the sealed-up car held the skunk’s aroma. Places he never sprayed were experiencing the result of his pungency.

Three days. Three. Whole. Days. Everything we opened emanated with skunkiness. It even permeated the tastebuds of my tongue. I never knew skunks had such staying power.

Yella Dog Leadership

Over those three days, I did notice something interesting: Frank stopped running off into the woods with Yella Dog as often. He stayed close to the house and listened when we called him to come back. Even though he and Yella Dog are big buddies, he wasn’t ready to follow him into the woods and catch another disgusting varmint.

Frank learned a valuable lesson—all leaders aren’t worth following. Yella Dog hasn’t always made the best decisions over the years. He’s killed chickens, guineas, opossums, raccoons, birds, and squirrels, always saving the favorite skeletal parts to chew on later. Then he scratches out a hole, buries the rest of the remains, and digs it up on occasion so he can roll in the stench. No matter what the kill, he never shares, leaving Frank with all the mess and no reward.

We too can learn about leadership from Yella Dog. All leaders aren’t worth following. Many make terrible decisions and destroy everyone in their path. They revel in their victories, often digging up skeletons in others’ closets to promote their selfish platforms. These leaders take all the glory, never once acknowledging the role others played in their success. Others are left with all the mess and no reward.

Holy Spirit Leadership

But as followers of Jesus, we must consider leadership in a different light. Nothing about being a leader is for individual gain, but everything should be to glorify the name of our Father in heaven. Consider the verses below.

2 Corinthians 4:2: Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

John 13:13-17: “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Hebrews 13:17a: Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account.

Matthew 20:26b-28: Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

There is a common thread throughout every passage above. Humility. Self-sacrifice. Accountability. Faithfulness. Love. Respect. Compassion. Godliness.

As we look to those around us, let’s be careful not to chase after the Yella Dogs. Yes, they might have the loudest bark and produce the fastest followings. They might even seem to make a difference by catching the stinky skunks.

But, Yella Dog leadership isn’t the way, Holy Spirit leadership is. Let’s pray for our leaders and support the ones who are following God’s standards.

And while we are at it, let’s pray that God would grow us into leaders worthy of His calling.

© Christy Bass Adams, November 2021, All graphics from Canva, All scriptures from New International Version

Christy Bass Adams

Christy Bass Adams, is the Outreach and Connections Coordinator at Fellowship Baptist Church in Madison, Florida. She is also a writer and had her first devotional book published in summer of 2022 (Big Lessons from Little People) followed by a middle grades novel (Imagination Checkers) in the fall. Her most important role, however, is with her family as a wife of 18 years and mother to two busy boys. She worked in education for over 18 years at both the elementary and collegiate levels. Her favorite pastimes are fishing and sitting around a fire. For more from Christy, visit her blog at

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  1. This is such a good (though smelly!) real-life application! And as a lover of dogs, I can relate! Love to see God’s lessons come alive in the things He’s creates—for His glory and the good of His people… even when it comes with something other than the fragrance of Christ, at least in this case.

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