Monday, February 27, 2012

Dog-matic Musings

The phire has seemed rather intense for a few weeks…seems like the world is going to hell in a hand basket! My little brain has been working overtime, and I decided I needed to write about something less cerebral. Like…my dogs!

Here are three of the current four dogs we own:
Left to right: Misty, Luke, and Lady

And lo and behold, this morning I stumbled upon a post at the Catholic Spiritual Direction blog entitled “I like dogs better than people; am I off base?” In answering the question, author Dan Burke quotes a Lenten meditation by a 19th-century priest:

Some profess to have much love for our Lord, but a strong dislike for men. We hear them say that dogs and horses are much more loveable than Christians. Against such thoughts we must have ready the words of St. John who so well understood all about love: ‘He that loveth not his brother whom he seeth, how can he love God Whom he seeth not?’ (1 John iv) The love of God and love for men must both come down from heaven; and the ordinary rule is, that it is by loving men that we grow in love for God.
Make us, loving Heart of Jesus, love Thee, and for Thy sake all whom Thou lovest. Grant us some share of Thy true and wide-reaching love, that we may be able to say humbly and in all simplicity, ‘All thy friends, O Lord, are my friends.’

On reading that post, I realized that I used to be one of those who liked dogs better than people. That’s changed. I do care about dogs (and other animals), and I do get teary-eyed sometimes over animals that are abused or abandoned or just plain cute. On the other hand, when I see articles or videos about dogs that need, for instance, a prosthetic device, I find it hard to justify spending thousands of dollars to do for a dog something that many human beings in the world need and cannot afford. Much as I love my own dogs, there is a limit to the amount of money I will spend to treat their medical problems.  Much as I love my own dogs, I believe it is wrong to value them above human beings.

That said, I’ve always been a “dog person”; as a child, I pestered my parents endlessly to have a family dog. As an adult, there have been only a few periods of time in my life when I did not own a dog. my dogs:

Here's Skippy, a 15-year-old fox terrier. We got her when our daughter Ruthie had just turned 3. After a few days of watching me cater to the whims of our new puppy, Ruthie asked, in all the seriousness, "Can we take her back now?" Skippy has survived being attacked by a coyote, and has also survived four assassination attempts by our own border collie, Lady. We now keep Lady and Skippy separated. 

Next: Misty, our almost-10-year-old lab mix. She's gentle and easy-going...okay, I have to admit, she did once kill a cat. But she really was just trying to play with it. :-(   Misty loves the water, even though she's never had the opportunity to go swimming in anything other than the little kiddie pool we provide during warm weather. 

Misty seeks the comfort of shade from
Our Blessed Mother. I can relate!

Even in the middle of winter when the water is frozen,
Misty would go swimming. She needs ice skates.

Here's Luke, a smooth-coat border collie. Always has one ear up and one ear down. He's the youngest of our dogs, and on the bottom of the pecking order. He is constantly apologizing; when the other dogs get in trouble for barking, he acts like it's all his fault. Catholic guilt, maybe?

Luke is an athlete. He runs like the wind
and can leap tall buildings in a single bound. 

Finally, here's Lady, a 5-year-old border collie. She's my favorite dog of all time, despite the fact that she is neurotic, even for a border collie. Part of the problem is that she is so darn smart. She knows when something is not right, but not quite smart enough to figure out when she can do something about it and when she can't. (Hmm...sounds like some people I know!) She also is smart enough to know that she would rather be a human than a dog, and she tries to convince both species that she is in fact human.

Here are a phew phun photos of my phriends:

Misty grabs a ball and rolls with it. I don't know why.
Sometimes she lays very still with it too, and looks dead.

Lady and I have done some sheep herding. The experience
prompted me to write about bishops in a paper I called
"Lessons from Sheep-herding".

That's Chief, our German shepherd; now deceased.
And that's Lady as a puppy. She adored Chief.

Lady as a puppy.

Lady likes to stay cool, too. She and Misty take turns.
They never go in the pool together.
Luke declines to partake

Lady and Luke waiting for a treat.

1 comment:

Please be courteous and concise.