Meet Shiloh the Samaritan, or, with the name Shiloh, is he from Palestine, or the West Bank, or Israel of old, or new for that matter? Anyway, a very peaceful dog, three times the age as Shadow-dog, and so friendly, so calm, unflappable, a 90 pound GSD, German Shepherd, the same size as Shadow-dog, but not at all the same temperament. I should bring Shadow-dog over to meet him. Perhaps Shadow-dog could learn some manners from him. Shiloh adopted our Very Reverend Vicar Forane, the parish priest of the neighboring parish, just the other day. Father is on his way through his advanced Canon Law studies and is as level headed as Shiloh, which is probably why Shiloh adopted him.
And then there’s another Canon Lawyer, the Judicial Vicar of Charlotte Diocese. It is Maggie who adopted him. Somehow, they also are very much alike. We’re all friends, all with dogs.
There are others, but I have no pictures. But ever present to me are, of course, in first place, Laudie-dog, who adopted me when I was writing about the Immaculate Conception in the hermitage. Laudie-dog came to me shot with a 4.10 shell’s worth of bird shot between the shoulders, a bit of mange, ribs poking out her side, and the friendliest doggie smile ever:
Shadow-dog adopted me later on. Fully three times the size of Laudie-dog, Shadow-dog has been delegated by Laudie-dog to help her with surveillance:
Laudie-dog, for all of her friendliness, is also terribly fierce, and has protected me from bear and panthers and mountain lions and wolves and lynx up at the hermitage. She’ll do whatever it takes to protect me. Shadow-dog, meanwhile, for however friendly and loyal he is, has not yet had the opportunity to protect me, and I hope that will never come. Being a good size dog, that might be pretty scary. Anyway, he’s totally socialized.
In the photo above you can see on the other side of the fence my thin patch of asparagus, but you can’t see any spears as they were just harvested. But already six more are breaking through the ground and will soon be ready to harvest.
Anyway, not all priests have dogs. Some have cats. Our previous Very Reverend Vicar Forane has had a number of cats who have adopted him. His present cat is called Vladimir The Great. Of the Latin Rite, Father is very Eastern Rites minded. The dog-priests were making fun of him one day saying that real priests have dogs. He responded that such a statement was not always accurate. They begged him for an example of a real Catholic priest who had been adopted by a cat. He said: Pope Benedict XVI. That shut them up quick. Hah. And, please understand this as a compliment of Father when I say that he is like his cats, that is to say, also, mind you, very much like the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
Anyway, no cat has adopted me. Only dogs.
But having said what I’ve said above about other priests and their dogs or cats, the question is whether or not I am like my dogs, Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog. I have to say that I wish I would have the fortitude and friendliness that they have, their fearlessness, their affability, their loyalty, their willingness, instantly, to lay down their lives for others.