Shadow-dog proven loyalty-dog

The vet’s been having me put Shadow-dog on a diet saying that less weight will cut down the risk of hip dysplasia. Since losing some weight, he’s running more than ever, incredibly acrobatic in chomping on carpenter bees who challenge him. He’s lightning quick.

For me as well, yesterday was insanely busy. Run run run. Meeting, meeting, meeting. Phone call, phone call, phone call. Holy Mass and a zillion Confessions throughout the day, including my own. I love Confession. Our majestic Lord Jesus is good and kind.

Getting back to the rectory just at nightfall I did the perimeter walk to check on the garden, harvesting the daily handful of asparagus.

And then I saw it. My heart sank. Oh. No. The gate of the backyard fence was wide open and had been all day. I didn’t think of possible home invasion at all. Instead, my only thoughts were:


One second later, there he was, doing his own border patrol, just glancing up at me as he ignored the wide open gate as if it weren’t open, continuing on his merry way, making sure all is safe and secure.

I was awestruck. I’ve been underestimating Shadow-dog altogether. What a wonderfully loyal dog. This is what GSDs are all about. His job is to hold down the fort, not to investigate the neighborhood, not to go play with the neighbor dogs, not to chase after cars, not to harass the local druggies on their drug runs. He’s totally happy holding down the fort.

How cool is that? Needless to say, he got a lot of lovin’ for being such a good daaawg! His diet was enhanced with an evening meal of canned-meat dog-food and dog treats sent in by dearest Charlene.

Of course, Shadow-dog is wondering what all the fuss is about, that it’s all good, that he’s only been doing what he has to do as any GSD.

Analogy time: All of us have a vocation to do what we have to do: God’s will, which is, in loving Jesus by way of the grace He provides, keeping the commandments. But we’re not forced. The “gate” of the fence is open, as it were. We can chase off and do our own will. But we are only happy when accomplishing the will of God by way of God’s grace in our lives. Our joy is to see the open gate and do God’s will anyway, and with joy. Thank you, Jesus.

  • “When you have done everything commanded of you, you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ ” (Luke 17:10)


Filed under Dogs

8 responses to “Shadow-dog proven loyalty-dog

  1. nancyv

    Perfect analogy. Shadow Dog is a good witness.
    …”I’m just a dog, with a torch- in my mouth- for the Lord”…
    Deo gratias.

  2. nancyv

    p.s. But why was the gate open???

    • Father George David Byers

      Good question. Could have been a home invasion preliminary. Open the gate, get the dog to leave.

      But Shadow-dog stayed.


  3. God bless that wonderful dog!

  4. sanfelipe007

    What a great comedy it must have been for any “observer ” as the would-be home invader fruitlessly endeavored to cajole Shadow dog to leave his post! What entreaties must have been made, what oaths spewed forth from the thug’s mouth as it became clear that this noble animal was more than his match?

  5. sanfelipe007

    Tomorrow is the second of five First Saturdays that I and Aussie Mum are devoting to Mary’s Immaculate Heart! My Confession will be very short because I have been vigilant in my actions! I am beginning to think there is something more going on than meets my clouded eye.
    I know it is already tomorrow for you, Mum! No doubt the Lord has already lifted your spirit. I feel an excitement, myself.
    Thanks be to God!

    • Aussie Mum

      Yes indeed, thank you 007. Yesterday (2nd of our 1st Saturdays) was greatly looked forward to and Our Lord did lift my spirits.
      Sunday night here now, Mother’s Day. Having trouble gathering my thoughts at the moment (blood ox low) but will improve again soon.

  6. Karen

    I loved the post and the analogy,.. we are lucky enough to have a beautiful, Parish dog here and I often reflect what a living parable he is..of loyalty, kindness, a proper sense of priorities ( “There is no such thing as an aordinary person” I don’t think Bentley has read C.S Lewis but he might as well have done:) and how he can turn a room around in a moment; from frosty British “do I want to talk to ths person who are they any way?!” to ” we can all agree on how lovely Bentley is:)
    warmest regards,
    Karen in Cambridge

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