Category Archives: Dogs

Never happier dogs: State Department heroine thanks! Post-poisoning report.

Shadow-dog is not barfing up that rope-toy. Pictures are tricky that way. Both Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog are in great health once again, and are celebrating with super special treats from dearest Charlene.

Shadow-dog was eager and happy to have a taste of these, but sweetest Laudie-dog was over the moon, dancing, happy, bright eyed, smiling. I think Laudie-dog will get the lion’s share, as it were, because, you know, she’s a Rhodesian Ridge Back Lion Dog.

If you can spot the note on top of the treats in the picture farther above, it is only Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog who get a Happy Thanksgiving. Yours truly is, however, tacked on to the thanksgiving to God, after Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog!

Dearest Charlene, we also thank God for you and the service you’ve done right around the world at the Department of State and now for many years for Father Gordon and so many others. Blessings upon you. God reward you.

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Laudie-dog & Shadow-dog poisoned but now healthy: situation awareness lesson

That’s Laudie-dog above, the sweetest dog in the world. She’s good now. But who would poison her?

And that’s Shadow-dog below, the most playful dog in the world. He’s good now. But who would poison him?

Early Wednesday, just after midnight, I arrived back home after the epic Day Off, relieved in seeing Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog peek through the chain-link fence gate to ascertain it was me. But then they disappeared again to check out I didn’t know what at the other side of the house. That’s never happened. But then they came back to greet me once again as I got to the gate. Whatever had been happening at the other side of the house was now ended. But something was wrong, terribly wrong.

They were totally in malaise, no energy, no dancing around, no fake-fighting with each other to get the first pats on the head, no eagerness, like dead dogs still alive but hardly able to walk without falling over.

Shadow-dog stays out 24/7/365 now that he’s somewhat outgrown his all-night commentary on the druggies and assaulters and rapists and murderers in the neighborhood. He got his supper-dish filled with his evening meal, late, but better late than never. Except this time. He wouldn’t touch it. He was vacuous. A shell of a dog. Empty eyes. Receding into the background. Not this:

Laudie-dog was able to make it up the few steps to come inside but I thought she was going to drop dead right then and there. I put her supper dish down with the usual evening ration. She’s always eager to eat and eager to never stop eating. But Laudie-dog wouldn’t eat. Every movement was painfully slow. She slowly sat down, and then ever so slowly tried to turn her head sideways to stare at her stomach. I’ve never seen that before. Then she took a few steps, sat down, and stared ever so dully at the wall. Vacuous. Nothing there. A shell of a dog. Receding into the background.

Next morning Laudie-dog still hadn’t eaten anything. Shadow-dog did eat sometime during the night, but, like Laudie-dog, was still in total malaise. Later in the morning, Laudie-dog would also eat, choosing just this bit, then that, ever so very slowly, one chew, then opening her jaw with effort, as if in great sadness, then another chew. Excruciating.

Before rushing down to Georgia’s National Cemetery for a military burial, the neighbor filled in some of the details about the previous evening while I was away. It’s said that Shadow-dog was barking, really a lot, fiercely, for hours. The neighbors finally came out to investigate and noticed that the two dogs were on the far side of the house looking up toward the street, barking ferociously. But that’s just when I arrived home. I didn’t see the good neighbors and I didn’t see who had been bothering the dogs. I’m happy with avoiding trouble that could escalate into what nobody wants.

I’m thinking that someone noticed I wasn’t home, and was trying to figure out how to do a home invasion, then went away and came back to give some tasty bits of food to the dogs to eat, but with poison, to knock them out in order to do a home invasion. I’m guessing Laudie-dog ate everything she could while Shadow-dog investigated the first one or two offerings, but let Laudie-dog finish the rest. She got a lot sicker than he did. He was altogether occupied with keeping yet another home-invader, dog poisoner at bay. He did do that. But as soon as the danger was gone, just when I arrived back home, their adrenaline dump now left them and the effects of the poison came to the fore.

In other words, they gave their all to protect the home-front, risking death to do so. Goooooood daaaaawwwgs.

Meanwhile, as I write this, late Thursday, early Friday, I’ve never seen the drug house out back so very, very busy. By Thursday both dogs were back to normal, super-energetic, super-eager, with super-appetites. Great. But. What was it. Sounds like a date-rape drug that guy had at home, and he decided to use it on the dogs.

The other year, at an Advent meal up at Fire House, I was bragging on Shadow-dog, about how good he is at keeping home invaders away. The guy just blankly asked why I thought that. I described Shadow-dog’s anomalously massive size and ferocity over against those judged to be malicious (for instance, those who shoot at him and Laudie-dog here in town), but the guy didn’t accept that as anything to judge their worth. I should have known not to ask why not, as surely this guy was speaking from experience and the topic had to hurt (I’m so stupid):

  • “Any experienced home-invader is going to open the gate to get to your back door, shoot the dog without breaking pace (with a suppressor I’m guessing), quickly break apart the door(frame), and proceed firstly to make sure there are no further threats before taking whatever it is that he wants.”

“I see,” said I, taken aback at his sad tone that told a story.

Mind you, I’ve had trouble getting Shadow-dog to eat before, but not because of malaise for having been poisoned. I only figured out recently just how much he considers me to be part of the security team, just how much he is depending on me, that is, as much as I depend on him.

I stupidly put his supper dish next to the house (as people do), so that he faces the house in order to eat. That’s bad for situational awareness. I should have known. He didn’t feel safe to eat if I was standing next to him, but also facing the house with him. He would spend minutes circling out back of me to bait me to turn and do surveillance for him much the way I’ve so many times seen a buck keep watch while the does put their heads deep into the grass. Having finally figured out what he was doing, all I have to do is put his supper dish down and face away, busy trying to spot those Shadow-dog senses to be malicious.

But this didn’t work the other night. The second the danger was over, both he and Laudie-dog, making sure I was safe, then just collapsed.

But they are good now. It’s all good. Thanks be to God.

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Shadow-dog vs robbers in most lawless druggie town

Shadow-dog: Taller than the highest on height descriptions of any GSD. Five overflowing cups of dog-food in the morning. Five more overflowing cups of dog-food in the evening. He’s very loyal. A really good friend. I’ve seen him angry. He barks at the druggies and the home-invaders. He’s been shot four times with hunting pellets of a pellet gun, and shot at by a 9mm (which hit his doghouse). Shadow-dog is in great health and at the very top of his game. Good daaawg!!!

Meanwhile, I’m getting home-invasion attempts frequently, sometimes multiple times a week. The other night a guy jumped the chain link fence out back. I heard him, as my bedroom window was open. Shadow-dog immediately made a comment, a very deep full-throated double woof-WOOF!!! Shadow-dog bolted from his doghouse to the back yard. As he was doing that at about the speed of light, the home-invader guy said, “Oh, S#|+!!!” and then jumped the fence again. Ha ha!

Last night I heard a skateboarder stop out front. Shadow-dog made some comments, but didn’t see him out front. Instead, this time, a neighbor who keeps close watch saw the guy bathed in my super-bright LED flood-lights examining the house closely, within inches of the house. Seeing that he was seen by the neighbor, the invader guy disappeared down the creek to the side of the rectory toward the drug house, into the dark. Of course he did.

That this guy couldn’t have cared less about the ultra-super-bright-lights is actually a big deal. This means either that he’s drugged out of his mind (which means he’s extra-dangerous) or that he’s done this and gotten away with it so many times that he absolutely doesn’t care about being seen (which means he’s super extra-dangerous).

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Local drug lieutenant “Pablo Escobar” vs Macie-dog & Tiger-kitty

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Here’s a good picture of Macie-dog. The local neighborhood druggies threaten to smash her brains out with a rock. She’s the sweetest dog in the world. She barks only at druggies. Go figure. Macie-dog lives just across the street from me.

Behind her from this vantage point is Tiger-kitty. She’s had a rough life with only three legs. Sweetest cat in the world. I fear to ask why she only has three legs. I’ll have to make it a point to ask “Pablo Escobar”, the local neighborhood thug who dropped his illegal (to him) Bowie knife in the rectory backyard the other day while escaping multiple law enforcement agencies. “Pablo” has an extreme dislike of Doctor Dolittle, meaning, of animals.

While “Pablo” is hiding out in dark shadows, both Macie-dog and Tiger-kitty are alive and well and soaking up the sun.

  • And yes, Macie-dog is having the last laugh above.
  • And yes, Tiger-kitty is smiling in this picture.

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Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog: traumatized protectors, but happy

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Laudie-dog is her happy self. She guards the door when I’m gone, then insists, as a reward, that she come inside when I arrive back home. Happy, happy, happy! She gets pampered in every way.

She’s been traumatized by her previous owner who, it seems, shot her between the shoulder blades with bird shot when dumping her on the hermitage road to get rid of her. She’s been even more traumatized right through her younger years consequent to her maternal protection of yours truly over against bears and panthers and wolves and all that which also goes bump in the night, dark and stormy nights with dreaded thunder, which sets her to shaking. She still has nightmares.

Someone, playing dog-psychologist, said that the nightmares are all my fault, inasmuch as they continue, in that surely I don’t pamper her enough! Instead, she well knows that she is the princess. As far as I know in speaking with some of our special operators, for human beings anyway, PTSD doesn’t go away, even though in waking moments one might learn how to deal with it. I’m guessing it’s the same for dogs. Laudie-dog also knows she has help with the protection thing, that it’s not on her anymore. Enter Shadow-dog:

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And, yes, he’s had a number of baths and some brushing events a few times since this picture was taken. And his collar got a good scrubbing, and his new rabies shot tag was added to the collar. He’s a strictly outside dog now. He guards the door while I’m gone along with Laudie-dog, but also patrols the fence-line. Although he’s been shot a good four times with a pellet gun, and his dog house was shot with a 9mm bullet, that’s only made him more confident in his abilities to face anything. If Laudie-dog is the princess, Shadow-dog is simply the king. I’m the “alpha” only until there’s trouble, and then he unceremoniously literally knocks me out of the way so that I’m fully behind him. Amazing. I’m grateful to have him.

Did I mention that he can put his jaws entirely around the entire head of Laudie-dog? All in play, mind you. That’s not at all scary to Laudie-dog. Instead, it’s the other way around. She knows that Shadow-dog can fully take care of any situation which comes up. She can relax. Not that she does. Fairly recently I’ve seen her raise her Rhodesian Lion-Dog Ridgeback four-inch wide, shoulders to tail ridge, which stood straight up. I’ve only seen that just the one time when a pit-bull was threatening. She won, actually scaring the pit-bull. :-)

Laudie-dog comes in at 45 pounds. Shadow-dog comes in more than twice that, at 95 pounds. He could easily be 120 pounds or more and still be trim, but the Vet said to keep him a bit on the thinner side, as a dog his size is much happier when light on his feet, and it also helps perhaps to delay any hip dysplasia later in life.

Both dogs are rescues, but not really.

  • Laudie-dog adopted me. I think my guardian angel directed her my way going on ten years ago. We’ve been great friends since.
  • Shadow-dog was arranged for me by friends in the police and firefighters. He was just a pup and needed a home. They brought me over to pick him up at the house of someone who couldn’t take care of him. The school cafeteria couldn’t keep feeding him, liability and all that.

“The LORD God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals.” (Genesis 2:19-20)

Both Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog have the same nick-name: GOOOOD DAAAWG!

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*THAT* would be a felony. Shadow-dog Police-dog and a 9mm bullet.

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I don’t like it. I don’t like it all. That’s a 9mm bullet hole on a corner of Shadow-dog’s old dog house. I made him a new one and was loading up this old one to cart off to the land-fill when I noticed these new holes. The entrenching entry to the right in the picture above, and the exploding exit to the left. The violent entry cleaned off the dirt a bit.

In the picture below, you can see how the bullet exploded on it’s entrance to the right and then plowed through this extremely hard plastic to the left.

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I’m guessing the bullet had slowed significantly by the time it exited the second wall. This could have happened any time. I can’t even guess. This discovery was another reason to get rid of this particular dog house. If you shoot at a target once, you’re much more likely to shoot at it again. Better not to have the same target around.

But a felony? It’s just a dog house after all. But, this was in town. Negligent discharge, as they say. No big deal. However, the rectory is right there, of course. Another inch off the mark and that bullet would have entered the house. Shooting at a house is rather illegal. Or maybe that was the aim. It’s not easy to shoot a pistol. This would have been from the back street, so, I’m guessing some 50 yards away, perhaps a drive by from a vehicle. For someone who is not practicing all the time – and low-level criminals really never practice, as the ammo eats up money for drugs – hitting the main house from that distance, much less the dog house, would be a feat. I’m guessing crack heads couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn from inside the barn.

Since I’m a police chaplain, I consider Shadow dog to be a police dog of sorts, though not legally. But even non-police dogs shouldn’t be shot, not with a pellet gun, and certainly not with a 9mm.

Shadow-dog and I are quite the team. I don’t like this 9mm thing. I don’t like it at all.

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“Who Let the Dogs Out?” Shadow-dog baits anti-Catholic. State Dept to the rescue.

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Due to a Shadow-dog related incident this past Monday, mid-morning, this post is offered for the record, in case a very much one-sided confrontation is escalated.

who let the dogs out opening scene

So, as the police chaplain, I have to ask:

During the day the security situation is like this with innocent Shadow-dog:

When confronting a GSD like Shadow-dog, don’t be afraid, don’t be aggressive, don’t be suspicious, don’t be malicious, don’t be scolding, don’t be fake-nice (dogs see through all that passive-aggressive rubbish), just be yourself. This is how it should be when encountering people, right?

Meanwhile, Shadow-dog is ready to play, carrying his fetch-toy wherever he goes on his patrols of the fenceline, always game for gaming. He will ever so gently touch Laudie-dog on her shoulder with this fetch-toy. She will jack up the stakes, gaming his gaming, to his delight.

Shadow-dog likes the playfulness of Laudie-dog, but invites playfulness with the backyard neighbor’s old yet playful and big white dog (possibly some kind of quite shaggy Sheep-dog). The invitation – of course in the form of squeaky barking and hopping around on his own side of the fence – isn’t reciprocated, which is frustrating for Shadow-dog.

The situation for Shadow-dog isn’t much better with the next door neighbor’s therapy pony – not much bigger than Shadow-dog. Cooper, the therapy pony, will munch on the same blade of grass for minutes at a time, egging on the invitations of Shadow-dog to play. When Shadow-dog calms down, Cooper the therapy pony will slightly move a hoof, starting the barking invitations of Shadow-dog all over again.

But here’s the deal: all the neighbors find all this to be entirely humorous, laughing at how Shadow-dog is baited by other dogs and ponies. All are perfectly fine with Shadow-dog’s playfulness and voiced invitations to play. Not only are they not bothered, but they are grateful for his antics. They know that he is the reason for a lack of home invasions in our immediate section of the neighborhood. There are rough elements with equally rough crimes (such as murder and assault) which we are all happy to avoid.

On another level – apart from playfulness -Shadow-dog cannot be baited, but instead does the baiting. Anyone taking a fleeting glance at Shadow-dog knows that he could literally rip any human being to shreds should they prove to be malicious in ripping yours truly apart in front of him. He wouldn’t just let that go. Neither would relatively diminuative Laudie-dog for that matter. Shadow-dog could jump fence anytime with zero effort. But he doesn’t. GSDs are loyal to their human servants and their own well-defined territory of responsibility. Some few human beings are mean to him, even having shot at him, accurately, with a pellet gun a number of times. Laudie-dog was also shot, once with bird-shot of – I’m guessing – a 4.10, and once with a pellet gun. Neither of them retaliate. Laudie-dog is too sweet. Shadow-dog is also good to go, as long as he has his own domain under control, with no one who is entirely malicious to the death inside his environs.

During the night the security situation is like this with innocent Shadow-dog:

At night it’s more difficult to ascertain who human beings are, where they are, and what they are doing. Ask LEOs. They say that nothing good happens on the street after 10:00 PM. Nighttime brings out a whole other population of human beings, many of whom are, in fact, malicious. So many beheadings and murders and burnings of other human beings in the area and region demonstrate the objective malice. Shadow-dog knows this well enough.

Shadow-dog, as a GSD – a kind of wolf – has an upped sense of situational awareness. Far from paranoia, categorically diverse from paranoia – not even on the same spectrum – is situational awareness, which instead looks for solutions of deescalation in any given situation, of escape in any situation, or, if it cannot be avoided, how to fight in any situation, etc.

But Shadow-dog ups this by baiting out and downright provoking a reaction. This is not necessarily what human beings should do in direct encounters with possibly and especially probably malicious individuals. But dogs are spectacularly adept at providing running commentary on questionable circumstances so that they can all the more accurately report how contingencies are playing out. Dogs are front-line operatives.

Shadow-dog is now over three years old, and has mellowed out enough for me to have moved him outside the house 24/7/365. His commentary, wonderfully, is limited to possibly malicious human beings. So he barks rarely enough, even at night. But if it’s at night, I pay close attention.

There was a barking-baiting session at 1:30 AM the other night. I listened intently. I heard the cause, loudly: what had to be a maul-ax smashing of a door for a home invasion, or probably just smashing up branches for a druggie fire as it was a really cold night and they wanted to keep warm, which I’m certainly not going to begrudge them. And Shadow-dog should have barked. The maul-ax strikes were really quite violent. Goood daawwg Shadow-dog!!!

But someone in our little town didn’t like it one little bit…

… and came by the next morning to tell me what a terrible sorry excuse for a Catholic priest I am, letting Shadow-dog bark like that and everything. This person was so aggressive, charging me again and again, and not letting me get in a word of explanation in edgewise, that I just retreated, again, and again and again. This person kept charging, so I ran under that back patio and closed the gate. This person kept berating me so I said that I’m requesting leaving the property. And then many drive-bys by this person took place. One of neighbors came to warn me that this person had circled back to my house like four times in as many minutes. Yikes! I’m happy to have neighbors who are concerned for my welfare.

I disagree with poor Shadow-dog being used by this complainer-person as an excuse for anti-Catholic bigotry, you know, against all the damned Catholics and all their damned dogs.

Was it not at the time that Antony was predicting the result of Julius Caesar’s assassination that we hear this:

A curse shall light upon the limbs of men;
Domestic fury and fierce civil strife
Shall cumber all the parts of Italy.
Blood and Destruction shall be so in use
and dreadful objects so familiar
that mothers shall but smile when they behold
their infants quartered by the hands of war,
all pity choked by custom of fell deeds.
And Caesar’s spirit, ranging for revenge
With Ate by his side, come hot from hell
shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
cry “Havoc!” and release the dogs of war
that this foul deed should smell above the earth
with carrion men, groaning for burial.

Ah, yes! Cry “Havoc!” and release the dogs of war.

I’m not going to release any dogs – and they won’t jump fence – but I’m not going to correct his behavior. He’s quiet all night, every night, unless there is something violent going on. And then, as a town manager said to me, mentioning someone complaining about Shadow-dog, not letting me defend Shadow-dog, but instead himself interrupting me to defend Shadow-dog, asking me whether or not Shadow-dog cuts down on home invasions for all my neighbors. Yes, of course, and they all say it, all appreciative of Shadow-dogs efforts to put himself in danger on the front lines and protect us all. All my neighbors appreciate Shadow-dog’s efforts. All of them. — Of course, he said. And that was that.

Getting the State Department involved:

Meanwhile, in recounting this story to a fellow priest, it was suggested to me to make a comment about my best friend in the State Department (retired) being somewhat delinquent in sending treats for both Shadow-dog and, of course, Laudie-dog, whom she wants to adopt. She’s only said that a million times. But, the problem is, Laudie-dog adopted me. And she softens some of the sharper edges of Shadow-dog. ;-) But actually, dearest Charlene always keeps both Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog in good standing with treats of all kinds. They are “rurnt” as they say these parts, “ruined” or spoiled, totally in expectation of treats all the time for any or no reason. Being falsely accused of grave crimes and misdemeanors – such as doing the service of alerting to violent actions – is more than enough reason to load down both Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog with treats. I’ll do that right now. I think dearest Charlene will agree with that pampering of her furry friends.

Dearest Charlene has a blog called the Prodigal Catholic Writer, and she’s written a post about what she says is “definitely the most embarrassing evening of my life,” quite funny about one of her State Department experiences in Tanzania. If you want some good humor in your life – and I recommend this to the complainer described above – here’s dearest Charlene:

http://prodigalcatholicwriter.blogspot.com/

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Coronavirus humor is for the dogs

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Update: Shadow-dog & Laudie-dog

Out of the blue my favorite State Department Diplomat (now retired) has sent in some doggie-treats for both Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog.

As you can see, Shadow-dog is doing his happy-dance in the freshly fallen snow. Laudie-dog doesn’t much care for the snow, but retains her most photogenic happy-smile:

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But don’t be fooled. Both are fiercely protective of yours truly. The happy-dance of Shadow-dog is actually a battle drill, seeing if he can be as aggressive in the slippery snow as he is on dry packed soil:

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Yes, I should think so. Those paws are about as big as Laudie-dogs whole face. Good thing they are friends.

Thanks, Charlene.

Meanwhile, I apologize for having disappeared for some time. Sooooo busy doing the priest thing. I love it. There are many emails and comments I have to get to. Sorry if it seems I’ve not been getting to these. No intention to snub anyone. If I were to give a rundown of my day yesterday, absolutely running from 3:00 AM to 7:00 PM it might be more understandable.

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Dogs is better’n cats: Change my mind. Most playful attack dogs in the world.

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Yes, Shadow-dog does get hosed off. He likes that as much as getting muddy. He likes to bait Laudie-dog into playing, and she shows him who’s really boss, boxing his ears with both front paws at the same time, though not baring her ferocious fangs for a second. They really are best friends. She’s just cleaner, and wants to stay that way.

In an effort to change out mud holes, I restricted Shadow dog to being closer in to the house, as there is still an old fence to use. But his hopping from side to side in front of that fence when making his usual commentary on passing events has made for some embankments. As I kid, when I did that for downhill skiing up in the North Woods: moguls. I got good at it, enough to get little impromptu audiences. But maybe they were just waiting for the crazy-insane-kid to be out of the way.

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It’s hard to tell from the picture, but the turning mogul on the right is dug down and built up from the hopping turns so that from bottom to top is about 1 1/2 feet high. That only took one day of unintentional mogul building. I’m impressed. Shadow gets his exercise all day every day.

The anomalous all-black GSDs have a slightly different genetic structure, closer, I would guess, to wolfdom. They have what some call a straight back instead of the back sloping down from shoulders to tail. But Shadow-dog’s back actually is higher. The speed factor is amazing.

He can go from the not-lying-down-but-actually-crouching-attack-position – closely eyeing a potential enemy who needs to be vetted out – to full speed racing as a test-attack to see the reaction of the would-be enemy, the ol’ going straight from zero to a hundred thing in bare nanoseconds. I like that. A lot. Even if the enemy is a squirrel, a cat, the neighbor’s therapy pony or the next-door neighbor’s dog. Sometimes, though, it’s a possibly nefarious human who instantly understands the instruction not to come over the fence to do up a home invasion. To see the speed, I only need to open the side gate to let him go in the bigger back yard.

Laudie-dog is much calmer. But she knows that she doesn’t need to prove herself to me. She’s already saved me so very many times from monsters: bears and lynx and coyotes and snakes and red wolves and now grey wolves, and even a panther. That last one was a fright.

  • Dogs are the best. Cats are… cats…
  • Dogs are man’s best friend. Cats are… cats…
  • Dogs protect you and yours. Cats… watch the worst go down…
  • Dogs are eager to learn. Cats think they know it all…
  • Dogs watch birds. Cat’s eat the birds for whom you put out bird-seed…

I mean, if you can add to the list, or defend cats (which I would be interested in seeing), drop a comment. Let me put it this way, although dogs and cats are equally God’s good creatures, my fallen human nature says:

Dogs are better than cats. Change my mind.

There were both dogs and cats around the house when I was a kid. I have dogs now, but no cats. Am I therefore wrong to even voice an opinion? Do I need to get a cat to be able to legitimately express my inner creation commentary?

If I were to get a cat, it would have to be black (to match priest-clothes), have short hair, not shed, be content with dry cat food, not scratch-attack, purr really really really a lot, and loudly, get along with both Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog without scratching their eyes out, and otherwise not be “catty”… or is that something cats absolutely have to be?

Finally, I know, I know: there are anomalies…

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Shadow-dog play & Laudie-dog calm

Shadow-dog, if taunted and aggressed upon by a home invader who was beating me to death could, I imagine, tear any beast, animal or human, right in half, quite literally, within seconds. That’s a quite limited circumstance. He’s been shot by pellet guns a number of times, but he’s never jumped the fence, never taken revenge. Goooood daaaaawg! He’s totally socialized, having grown up for his first year and a half eating at the high school cafeteria. I’ve never seen him not be friendly with visitors to the rectory, who, mind you, stay dutifully behind the gate. Smart, that.

Shadow-dog might look ferocious in the two second video above, but this is simply an inviting squeak-bark to play offered to the back-fence neighbor’s dog, who has learned to look bored and not deign to respond (though in this video you can hear that other dog in the background offering his own weak-bark commentary, not having mastered the squeak-bark).

This exchange could also be characterized as baiting, by either dog, challenging when you know that actual consequence will come about. One of the parishioners once brought Blue-dog (a Weimaraner). We tried to socialize them with the fence between them and they both realized that they were beloved dogs to their owners, and that their owners were there. Then we put them in the yard together. Soooo, that didn’t work at all. They are both alpha dogs. They are both extremely protective and neither is willing to share anything, least of all space on the earth, unless of course, with, say, Laudie-dog, who is about a third the size of them and given over entirely to deescalation.

But even Laudie-dog, if pushed, can be equally ferocious. Maternal protectiveness even for the likes of this human being kicks in like male aggressiveness never could. She’s proven it, having actively saved me from snakes and lynx and coyotes and red wolves and a grey wolf and bears galore and even – extremely traumatically – from a panther. All that was in the hermitage. She can discern who’s bad and evil among human beings, having gone into protective mode (though without attack, just warning) twice, among the hundreds of human beings she’s met. I didn’t see it the bad and evil aspects of those involved, but she sensed it. I wouldn’t put it past the two she did this with that they likely killed a dog just before coming over. She knew. Goooood daaaawg! Actually, the neighbor to the hermitage confirmed that he wouldn’t have put such malicious violence past them. Mostly, Laudie-dog is calm, content, happy, always a smile, even if, sometimes, woken up and drowsy, just for a picture:

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Becoming upset with the chaos. “Beginning the Church’s downfall”

We usually get upset when we’re frustrated, which is when things are out of control, when we get nervous that the spinning of worldliness is spinning away while the true pole of the earth is tossed as irrelevant. However, it remains true that the Cross remains while the world spins away:

Crux stat dum volvitur orbis.

That’s just a two second video of Shadow-dog above. He demonstrates well my reaction to anyone holding the cross to be irrelevant. That’s my reaction because I’m not as close to Christ Jesus as I should be. So, I get nervous, upset. How stupid is that. We must retain our peace of heart even if we also have anguish of soul. Anyway, I had that frustrated reaction the other day to something someone who should know better said of a proclamation of Saint Pope Paul VI to the Fathers of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council which received something like a dozen minutes of thunderous and unanimous applause in Saint Peter’s Basilica. Try anything more than ten seconds of applause…

Because Jesus is the Head of the Body – so to speak – and the members of the Church are the members of that Body, Saint Pope Paul VI proclaimed Mary to be Mother of the Church, Mater Ecclesiae, which title is no innovation, no heresy, but is instead a title which is humbly bestowed upon her so as to celebrate the reality of her motherhood. She is the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and her prayers for us under that steadfasat Cross that we might receive the grace of redemption as salvation directly from her Divine Son appropriately confers upon her such a title, for she is, then, our mother in this way, Mother of the Church.

The nasty thing I heard someone who should know better say is that this proclamation was the beginning of the end of the Church. I was stunned. Perhaps I didn’t hear correctly. Perhaps he meant to say that Mary’s inclusion in Lumen Gentium, the dogmatic decree on the Church, was and is somehow the driving engine bringing all to hell. Or perhaps he was saying that in general about the Council itself and he had no intention of demeaning our Lady.

But this is a symptom of the times, is it not? Flippant statements smashing everything and everyone down? Two seconds to throw all into chaos, and then smirking away. Wow.

But things are not “out of control”. The Lord Jesus remains the Lord of History. And we can remain with Him. He can and does make us part of the Holy Family. He does forgive us. He does fill us with sanctifying grace. He does give us the wherewithal to continue.

If that video above were to continue, one would see Shadow-dog immediately lie down and peacefully oversee his domain. A good example. Goooood daaaawwwg!

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Law officers, counterintel, humility. Shadow-dog and Chesterton…

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GSD’s, being wolves, are baiter-hunters. Domesticated just enough, Shadow-dog, for instance, thinks he sees something not entirely irredeemable in me, and so is forever trying his loyal best to teach me about the baiting game, because proper counterintelligence techniques are what anyone who’s not entirely naive would want to have in their toolkit for life, you know, what Jesus mentioned to us all – commanded us, really – that we are to be as clever as serpents even while being as innocent as doves what with being sent out as lambs in the midst of wolves…

So, there Shadow-dog stands in front of me, his instruction for me being in the form of play. That one plays does not mean that one is not deadly serious. Competitive fun as a form of instruction makes learning enjoyable, and therefore naturally memorable.

Shadow-dog is not cross-eyed, but he is that ever so slightly at this moment, trying to guess how I will take up his challenge to take his bait. He’s electrified, and like a contained explosion, is instantly ready to burst in whatever direction. Do I lunge to the left or right or straight ahead?

  • If I go straight ahead he lunges at me and we collide in less than a nano-second.
  • If I go to the left, he also goes to the left, just way faster than I ever could, and is that a dog-laugh I heard?
  • If I go to the right, he also goes to the right, just way faster than I ever could, and is that a dog-laugh I heard?

You would think he would chase off in the opposite direction, but, no. He enjoys a good dog-laugh. And this is the instruction Shadow-dog provides. Trying in every which way to indicate that I’m going to lunge in a different direction, he always is way ahead of me, reading me like a book.

But then, rarely, randomly, after having taught me to lunge in a direction I think he’s going to lunge in, Shadow-dog will instead head off in the opposite direction from which I’m lunging. After just a few steps, he then instantly turns, and, now all relaxed, having done his work in instructing my stupidity, he calmly stares, entirely happy with himself. The dog-smirk is unbearably humiliating. And then it’s time to get petted for a job he knows has been well done. He trots right over to me. Gooooood daaaaawwwg! “Unbearably humilitating” is also great learning territory. And he knows it. We make a good team. Someday, perhaps, I will learn.

chess board robert van der steeg impossible world

The problem with finding the right people for counterintelligence is in finding those who have some humility. Counterintelligence baits people to be arrogant: “I’ve got them now! – I’m in control! – Look at me!” Pride is the enemy of counterintel success. Humility, humility, humility.

Let’s see what that looks like in a counterintel situation. Let’s see what that looks like in the chapter of the Father Brown stories of G.K. Chesterton called The Secret of Father Brown in the volume also by that name. Chesterton uses the Father Brown character to go out of his way to humiliate (with good intentions) all law enforcement and our intel services. All in good humor and in good faith.

Here’s the deal: When the police chase a criminal they try to think like a criminal. But thinking merely “like” a criminal is not good enough. Meanwhile, the criminal is desperately trying to think “like” the police. But thinking merely “like” the police is never enough. Such scruples on both sides are to be avoided. ;-)

If you grapple with this simple story, it’ll be an occasion to enter deeply into the reality of life, making you quite successful with counterintelligence:

CHESTERTON FATHER BROWN

THE SECRET OF FATHER BROWN

FLAMBEAU, once the most famous criminal in France and later a very private detective in England, had long retired from both professions. Some say a career of crime had left him with too many scruples for a career of detection. Anyhow, after a life of romantic escapes and tricks of evasion, he had ended at what some might consider an appropriate address: in a castle in Spain. The castle, however, was solid though relatively small; and the black vineyard and green stripes of kitchen garden covered a respectable square on the brown hillside. For Flambeau, after all his violent adventures, still possessed what is possessed by so many Latins, what is absent (for instance) in so many Americans, the energy to retire. It can be seen in many a large hotel-proprietor whose one ambition is to be a small peasant. It can be seen in many a French provincial shopkeeper, who pauses at the moment when he might develop into a detestable millionaire and buy a street of shops, to fall back quietly and comfortably on domesticity and dominoes. Flambeau had casually and almost abruptly fallen in love with a Spanish Lady, married and brought up a large family on a Spanish estate, without displaying any apparent desire to stray again beyond its borders. But on one particular morning he was observed by his family to be unusually restless and excited; and he outran the little boys and descended the greater part of the long mountain slope to meet the visitor who was coming across the valley; even when the visitor was still a black dot in the distance.

The black dot gradually increased in size without very much altering in the shape; for it continued, roughly speaking, to be both round and black. The black clothes of clerics were not unknown upon those hills; but these clothes, however clerical, had about them something at once commonplace and yet almost jaunty in comparison with the cassock or soutane, and marked the wearer as a man from the northwestern islands, as clearly as if he had been labelled Clapham Junction. He carried a short thick umbrella with a knob like a club, at the sight of which his Latin friend almost shed tears of sentiment; for it had figured in many adventures that they shared long ago. For this was the Frenchman’s English friend, Father Brown, paying a long-desired but long-delayed visit. They had corresponded constantly, but they had not met for years.

Father Brown was soon established in the family circle, which was quite large enough to give the general sense of company or a community. He was introduced to the big wooden images of the Three Kings, of painted and gilded wood, who bring the gifts to the children at Christmas; for Spain is a country where the affairs of the children bulk large in the life of the home. He was introduced to the dog and the cat and the live-stock on the farm. But he was also, as it happened, introduced to one neighbour who, like himself, had brought into that valley the garb and manners of distant lands.

It was on the third night of the priest’s stay at the little chateau that he beheld a stately stranger who paid his respects to the Spanish household with bows that no Spanish grandee could emulate. He was a tall, thin grey-haired and very handsome gentleman, and his hands, cuffs and cuff-links had something overpowering in their polish. But his long face had nothing of that languor which is associated with long cuffs and manicuring in the caricatures of our own country. It was rather arrestingly alert and keen; and the eyes had an innocent intensity of inquiry that does not go often with grey hairs. That alone might have marked the man’s nationality, as well the nasal note in his refined voice and his rather too ready assumption of the vast antiquity of all the European things around him. This was, indeed, no less a person than Mr. Grandison Chace, of Boston, an American traveller who had halted for a time in his American travels by taking a lease of the adjoining estate; a somewhat similar castle on a somewhat similar hill. He delighted in his old castle, and he regarded his friendly neighbour as a local antiquity of the same type. For Flambeau managed, as we have said, really to look retired in the sense of rooted. He might have grown there with his own vine and fig-tree for ages. He had resumed his real family name of Duroc; for the other title of “The Torch” had only been a title de guerre, like that under which such a man will often wage war on society. He was fond of his wife and family; he never went farther afield than was needed for a little shooting; and he seemed, to the American globe-trotter, the embodiment of that cult of a sunny respectability and a temperate luxury, which the American was wise enough to see and admire in the Mediterranean peoples. The rolling stone from the West was glad to rest for a moment on this rock in the South that had gathered so very much moss. But Mr. Chace had heard of Father Brown, and his tone faintly changed, as towards a celebrity. The interviewing instinct awoke, tactful but tense. If he did try to draw Father Brown, as if he were a tooth, it was done with the most dexterous and painless American dentistry.

They were sitting in a sort of partly unroofed outer court of the house, such as often forms the entrance to Spanish houses. It was dusk turning to dark; and as all that mountain air sharpens suddenly after sunset, a small stove stood on the flagstones, glowing with red eyes like a goblin, and painting a red pattern on the pavement; but scarcely a ray of it reached the lower bricks of the great bare, brown brick wall that went soaring up above them into the deep blue night. Flambeau’s big broad-shouldered figure and great moustaches, like sabres, could be traced dimly in the twilight, as he moved about, drawing dark wine from a great cask and handing it round. In his shadow, the priest looked very shrunken and small, as if huddled over the stove; but the American visitor leaned forward elegantly with his elbow on his knee and his fine pointed features in the full light; his eyes shone with inquisitive intelligence.

“I can assure you, sir,” he was saying, “we consider your achievement in the matter of the Moonshine Murder the most remarkable triumph in the history of detective science.”

Father Brown murmured something; some might have imagined that the murmur was a little like a moan.

“We are well acquainted,” went on the stranger firmly, “with the alleged achievements of Dupin and others; and with those of Lecoq, Sherlock Holmes, Nicholas Carter, and other imaginative incarnations of the craft. But we observe there is in many ways, a marked difference between your own method of approach and that of these other thinkers, whether fictitious or actual. Some have spec’lated, sir, as to whether the difference of method may perhaps involve rather the absence of method.”

Father Brown was silent; then he started a little, almost as if he had been nodding over the stove, and said: “I beg your pardon. Yes. . .. Absence of method. . . . Absence of mind, too, I’m afraid.”

“I should say of strictly tabulated scientific method,” went on the inquirer. “Edgar Poe throws off several little essays in a conversational form, explaining Dupin’s method, with its fine links of logic. Dr. Watson had to listen to some pretty exact expositions of Holmes’s method with its observation of material details. But nobody seems to have got on to any full account of your method, Father Brown, and I was informed you declined the offer to give a series of lectures in the States on the matter.”

“Yes,” said the priest, frowning at the stove; “I declined.”

“Your refusal gave rise to a remarkable lot of interesting talk,” remarked Chace. “I may say that some of our people are saying your science can’t be expounded, because it’s something more than just natural science. They say your secret’s not to be divulged, as being occult in its character.”

“Being what?” asked Father Brown, rather sharply.

“Why, kind of esoteric,” replied the other. “I can tell you, people got considerably worked up about Gallup’s murder, and Stein’s murder, and then old man Merton’s murder, and now Judge Gwynne’s murder, and a double murder by Dalmon, who was well known in the States. And there were you, on the spot every time, slap in the middle of it; telling everybody how it was done and never telling anybody how you knew. So some people got to think you knew without looking, so to speak. And Carlotta Brownson gave a lecture on Thought-Forms with illustrations from these cases of yours. The Second Sight Sisterhood of Indianapolis —— ”

Father Brown, was still staring at the stove; then he said quite loud yet as if hardly aware that anyone heard him: “Oh, I say. This will never do.”

“I don’t exactly know how it’s to be helped,” said Mr. Chace humorously. “The Second Sight Sisterhood want a lot of holding down. The only way I can think of stopping it is for you to tell us the secret after all.”

Father Brown groaned. He put his head on his hands and remained a moment, as if full of a silent convulsion of thought. Then he lifted his head and said in a dull voice:

“Very well. I must tell the secret.”

His eyes rolled darkly over the whole darkling scene, from the red eyes of the little stove to the stark expanse of the ancient wall, over which were standing out, more and more brightly, the strong stars of the south.

“The secret is,” he said; and then stopped as if unable to go on. Then he began again and said:

“You see, it was I who killed all those people.”

“What?” repeated the other, in a small voice out of a vast silence.

“You see, I had murdered them all myself,” explained Father Brown patiently. “So, of course, I knew how it was done.”

Grandison Chace had risen to his great height like a man lifted to the ceiling by a sort of slow explosion. Staring down at the other he repeated his incredulous question.

“I had planned out each of the crimes very carefully,” went on Father Brown, “I had thought out exactly how a thing like that could be done, and in what style or state of mind a man could really do it. And when I was quite sure that I felt exactly like the murderer myself, of course I knew who he was.”

Chace gradually released a sort of broken sigh.

“You frightened me all right,” he said. “For the minute I really did think you meant you were the murderer. Just for the minute I kind of saw it splashed over all the papers in the States: ‘Saintly Sleuth Exposed as Killer: Hundred Crimes of Father Brown.’ Why, of course, if it’s just a figure of speech and means you tried to reconstruct the psychogy — ”

Father Brown rapped sharply on the stove with the short pipe he was about to fill; one of his very rare spasms of annoyance contracted his face.

“No, no, no,” he said, almost angrily; “I don’t mean just a figure of speech. This is what comes of trying to talk about deep things. . . . What’s the good of words . . .? If you try to talk about a truth that’s merely moral, people always think it’s merely metaphorical. A real live man with two legs once said to me: ‘I only believe in the Holy Ghost in a spiritual sense.’ Naturally, I said: ‘In what other sense could you believe it?’ And then he thought I meant he needn’t believe in anything except evolution, or ethical fellowship, or some bilge. . . . I mean that I really did see myself, and my real self, committing the murders. I didn’t actually kill the men by material means; but that’s not the point. Any brick or bit of machinery might have killed them by material means. I mean that I thought and thought about how a man might come to be like that, until I realized that I really was like that, in everything except actual final consent to the action. It was once suggested to me by a friend of mine, as a sort of religious exercise. I believe he got it from Pope Leo XIII, who was always rather a hero of mine.”

“I’m afraid,” said the American, in tones that were still doubtful, and keeping his eye on the priest rather as if he were a wild animal, “that you’d have to explain a lot to me before I knew what you were talking about. The science of detection —— ”

Father Brown snapped his fingers with the same animated annoyance. “That’s it,” he cried; “that’s just where we part company. Science is a grand thing when you can get it; in its real sense one of the grandest words in the world. But what do these men mean, nine times out of ten, when they use it nowadays? When they say detection is a science? When they say criminology is a science? They mean getting outside a man and studying him as if he were a gigantic insect: in what they would call a dry impartial light, in what I should call a dead and dehumanized light. They mean getting a long way off him, as if he were a distant prehistoric monster; staring at the shape of his ‘criminal skull’ as if it were a sort of eerie growth, like the horn on a rhinoceros’s nose. When the scientist talks about a type, he never means himself, but always his neighbour; probably his poorer neighbour. I don’t deny the dry light may sometimes do good; though in one sense it’s the very reverse of science. So far from being knowledge, it’s actually suppression of what we know. It’s treating a friend as a stranger, and pretending that something familiar is really remote and mysterious. It’s like saying that a man has a proboscis between the eyes, or that he falls down in a fit of insensibility once every twenty-four hours. Well, what you call ‘the secret’ is exactly the opposite. I don’t try to get outside the man. I try to get inside the murderer . . . . Indeed it’s much more than that, don’t you see? I am inside a man. I am always inside a man, moving his arms and legs; but I wait till I know I am inside a murderer, thinking his thoughts, wrestling with his passions; till I have bent myself into the posture of his hunched and peering hatred; till I see the world with his bloodshot and squinting eyes, looking between the blinkers of his half-witted concentration; looking up the short and sharp perspective of a straight road to a pool of blood. Till I am really a murderer.”

“Oh,” said Mr. Chace, regarding him with a long, grim face, and added: “And that is what you call a religious exercise.”

“Yes,” said Father Brown; “that is what I call a religious exercise.”

After an instant’s silence he resumed: “It’s so real a religious exercise that I’d rather not have said anything about it. But I simply couldn’t have you going off and telling all your countrymen that I had a secret magic connected with Thought-Forms, could I? I’ve put it badly, but it’s true. No man’s really any good till he knows how bad he is, or might be; till he’s realized exactly how much right he has to all this snobbery, and sneering, and talking about ‘criminals,’ as if they were apes in a forest ten thousand miles away; till he’s got rid of all the dirty self-deception of talking about low types and deficient skulls; till he’s squeezed out of his soul the last drop of the oil of the Pharisees; till his only hope is somehow or other to have captured one criminal, and kept him safe and sane under his own hat.”

Flambeau came forward and filled a great goblet with Spanish wine and set it before his friend, as he had already set one before his fellow guest. Then he himself spoke for the first time:

“I believe Father Brown has had a new batch of mysteries. We were talking about them the other day, I fancy. He has been dealing with some queer people since we last met.”

“Yes; I know the stories more or less — but not the application,” said Chace, lifting his glass thoughtfully. “Can you give me any examples, I wonder. . . . I mean, did you deal with this last batch in that introspective style?”

Father Brown also lifted his glass, and the glow of the fire turned the red wine transparent, like the glorious blood-red glass of a martyr’s window. The red flame seemed to hold his eyes and absorb his gaze that sank deeper and deeper into it, as if that single cup held a red sea of the blood of all men, and his soul were a diver, ever plunging in dark humility and inverted imagination, lower than its lowest monsters and its most ancient slime. In that cup, as in a red mirror, he saw many things; the doings of his last days moved in crimson shadows; the examples that his companions demanded danced in symbolic shapes; and there passed before him all the stories that are told here. Now, the luminous wine was like a vast red sunset upon dark red sands, where stood dark figures of men; one was fallen and another running towards him. Then the sunset seemed to break up into patches: red lanterns swinging from garden trees and a pond gleaming red with reflection; and then all the colour seemed to cluster again into a great rose of red crystal, a jewel that irradiated the world like a red sun, save for the shadow of a tall figure with a high head-dress as of some prehistoric priest; and then faded again till nothing was left but a flame of wild red beard blowing in the wind upon a wild grey moor. All these things, which may be seen later from other angles and in other moods than his own, rose up in his memory at the challenge and began to form themselves into anecdotes and arguments.

“Yes,” he said, as he raised the wine cup slowly to his lips, “I can remember pretty well —— ”

===========

After all that, I wonder if I have to the humility to be the dog, Shadow-dog, not just “like” a dog, but, you know, a dog, and learn what Shadow-dog has to teach me.

After all that, I wonder if I have the humility to be understand just how bad and evil I myself can be, and thus think not just “like” a criminal, but as the criminal I am if I am without the grace of God, and thus be able to catch the criminal, because, you know, I’m him. Of course, when I catch a criminal it’s to bring him to the confessional. The best priests in the Confessional hearing confessions of others are the very priests who also make a practice of regular confession.

Or, heck, instead of all that I could just bait and wait for the counter-bait… and then counter-counter-bait, and then wait for the…

// Hey, I lost track of what’s being reacted to. PAUSE… Then…

Counter-counter-counter-counter-bait…

Counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-bait…

Counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-bait…

Counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-bait…

// Pause… whew! Time to get out of counterintel…

============

So, let’s see, maybe there is something to just looking in oneself when looking for any and all criminals, any and all terrorists…. If we ever say, “I would never do that,” we’ve already lost the game. Honesty and integrity and humility admit that even if psychologically I probably wouldn’t do… you know… those crimes… because of my upbringing or whatever… nevertheless I probably would if given the circumstances that others have suffered and I were without God’s grace. Yep. There but for the grace of God go I. A bit aphoristic, I know. But so very, very true. Actually, people can change pretty fast. If one has the purity of heart and agility of soul to see that even one’s very self can do such things, it’s that person that will not do such things because of looking to God’s grace with honesty and integrity and humility. God doesn’t save me because I’m good. God saves me because I need saving and can’t save myself.

Then, when that Living Love who is God and that Living Truth who is God are with me, I can easily see the contrast of what would be bad and evil in myself and therefore what would be bad and evil in others. For law enforcement and counterintel this is also a boon to catching the criminal and the terrorist, regardless of culture, regardless of religion or none, regardless of anything else.

For a priest it’s all about more ably bringing people to Jesus. We priests need to get out of Jesus’ way and let Jesus be the priest in the parish.

We all need to let Jesus work through us, and with us, and in us. Needed: HUMILITY!

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Shadow-dog’s mane up against Pit Bull

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A Pit Bull is on the loose… For the first time I saw the mane stand up on Shadow’s shoulders. Very impressive. That added another inch or two to his height, and he’s already taller than the average maximum height for German Shepherd.

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If that Pit Bull attacked Shadow-dog, or me, I’m afraid it would have been a bloody mess, but it would definitely be the Pit-Bull that would be entirely ripped to shreds, literally shaken to pieces. And it wouldn’t be Shadow’s fault. He’s definitely the protector, and when dogs are not on their own property, they are supposed to be on leashes here in town. No leash, no collar.

He looks to be well taken care of. But from this other angle he looks to be emaciated.

He seems friendly enough. Until I approached him in the friendliest manner I could. He bared his teeth.

He then went over to terrorize the neighbor’s dog – Frankie-dog, a Basset Hound, who took refuge in his dog house, until the Pit Bull insisted. Frankie-dog then chased his off the property. Gooood Fraaaankie-doooog!

I’m all for treating all animals well, but when a Pit Bull is emaciated and on the loose and baring its teeth, it’s time for animal control.

Or not. What think you?

In the unfair analogy of the account of the Syro-Phoenician Canaanite Greek “Dog-Woman” whose infant daughter was severely possessed, her take was that it might do the Apostles, the little dogs some good to eat the crumbs of faith, their witnessing of the exorcism, even though they don’t deserve to witness this, dogs that they are.

I gave the Pit Bull a doggie treat.

But that’s it. Animal control doesn’t open until 11:00 AM. Too late for me. I’ll be busy with priest-stuff. We’ll see what happens.

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Shadow-dog vomiting a serpent?

Cameras and pictures are weird.

  • Digital cameras can make their own edits, tweaking things. Part of the rope is made to look like a shiny green viper by the camera all on its own.
  • Pictures with no context can give the wrong impression. This is not Shadow-dog throwing up, but rather opening his jaws to grab what is actually just the rope.

No, Shadow-dog is not possessed. He’s a good dog!

Meanwhile, I know people all over this country who are being attacked by Satan’s minions, for real. Prayers for them, please: Hail Mary…

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Status Quo of the Beasts

Shadow-dog plays at ripping imaginary beasts apart all day. He does have some of the biggest canines I’ve ever seen on any dog anywhere ever. Meanwhile:

That’s the normal state of affairs for Laudie-dog. How sweet. But she also knows how to play with Shadow-dog, even if she does get her paw stepped on and even if she does get gently nose-butted in the shoulder:

Notice that no one is baring any teeth. Just play. The good-old days for the doggies.

Analogy: Is this not an example of how to go about helping each other to be more rounded out, so that Laudie-dog becomes more trained up in self-defense, even while Shadow-dog learns to become more of the gentle-dog? Do we allow ourselves to be trained in to be more rounded out by others in our lives?

STATUS QUO is wrongly perceived in received meaning to refer to the state of affairs in which something persists without change, such as the “Status Quo” of the holy sites in the Holy Land. And that could be an understanding of the ablative case in Latin (“in quo”). However, it instead actually refers to another ablative use of another understood preposition in Latin (“ex quo”), so that one is referring to a state of affairs that is a base-line, a starting point, that from which circumstances will now begin to change, hopefully for the better.

What’s your status quo? What are you doing, with the regular use of the sacraments, to better those circumstances? If we have the wherewithal to improve, these are the good-old days for us.

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Scars of mistrust after being shot? Me, Shadow-dog, Laudie-dog, Frankie-dog.

SHADOW-DOG: I’m getting to know how to use my phone-camera with a video option. I held up the phone, a small black object, in front of my face and aimed it at Shadow-dog. As you can see in the video, he has to do a double-take, not believing what he is seeing. He then ran around the fence and right up to me to be sure that I was still the same old me, and was not malicious against him, trusting that it just can’t be that I would betray him, trusting that he can still be absolutely loyal to me. But he had to make sure, immediately. “We’re still friends, right?” Yes, Shadow-dog, we’re still a team. We still work together. We’re still friends. We’ll still stand up for each other. Trust is still the only way.

Shadow-dog has never been suspicious of me. His reaction to the camera, the small black object in my hands, instantly brought to my mind that – I had forgotten – he’s been shot at with a pellet gun a couple of times…

His fur is so thick that it didn’t do much damage, just mashing the skin into a glob and making the fur stand straight out at that spot for, say, about four months. But that image of someone with a black object in their hands held up to their face and pointing it at him is an image that is obviously frozen in his memory.

He absolutely just could not believe that I would be doing the same thing with him, and he had to know the truth of the matter… immediately. Having ascertained the truth of the friendship and team effort, the bond was all the closer between us.

FRANKIE-DOG: You’ll remember my neighbor’s dog getting shot with a pellet gun in the shoulder. Had Frankie-dog had his leg forward it would have been a kill shot to the heart. It was a hunting pellet. It’s inoperable. They tried. An ex-ray shows it clearly in the shoulder bones. Here’s Frankie-dog posing for a picture a week after the operation:

You can read about that episode in the neighborhood: Shooting my neighbor’s dog. Frankie-dog had a hard life in the past but is now ultra-super-pampered by his new owner. He took this all in stride though he was in bad pain for quite a while. Before this he was exclusively an outside dog as he had under his previous owner suffered so much inside a house and refused to go inside another house, ever. But now his bonds of trust with his new owner are such that he has braved to also go inside at night. Gooood doggie!

LAUDIE-DOG: When Laudie-dog first adopted me some seven years ago, she appeared to have been shot between the shoulder blades perhaps a month previously with bird shot of a .410 shotgun. That made her pretty timid. She’s such a gentle dog. She had a bit of mange and was severely flea-bitten. With some care and lots of love she got over all that pretty quickly. Having been reduced to starvation when she had been so abused, she became a voracious eater until this day, happy as ever. She’s risked her life to defend me any number of times over against bears and wolves and a panther. The latter happened at night. I had seen it close up twice previously. Laudie-dog and I are, to say the least, good friends and a team. She’s been with me so long that she doesn’t have to do a double-take with me even after getting shot by someone… again…

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Laudie-dog was shot in the neck, just in the back of her skull, again, this time by a pellet gun. Fortunately, she has super-thick fur, a kind of mane around her neck, and of course, really loose neck skin. But the skin was all mashed up and ripped to the side and temporarily infected. The wound is healed over now. It was tender for a while, as the slightest whimpers she would emit upon inspection of the wound attested. The vets say she’s just fine. Here is is healing up…

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Another angle:

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Considering that, I’m guessing this is the kind of hunting round that was used:

pellet gun brass ammo hunting

That’s what the x-ray shows for the pellet buried in the shoulder of Frankie-dog.

Both Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog got a working over by the Christian Veterinarians Mission up in Graham County the other day, which was composed of Dr Joe and many veterinarian students. Both Shadow and Laudie got their parvo and rabies shots and another combo-shot for seven other things, and a blood draw for heart worms. They’re both in great shape. Both happy happy doggies.

But what if a human being gets shot at? Is there trust to be had after that?

I’ve been shot at in my life, perhaps as much as some other non-military, non-law-enforcement civilians:

  • I honestly don’t know how many times I was shot at and hit by a BB gun as a kid.
  • I was shot at many times and hit once smack in the middle of my forehead with a pellet gun as a kid. I had to pry out the projectile from being embedded in my forehead.
  • When I was twelve or thirteen my family was shot at by a crowd armed with 12 gauge shot guns one particular day. We were pretty far away, with the BBs showering the trees around us, first up high, but then right at us, with the BBs hitting us, but not drawing blood, though one hitting my mom’s neck might have drawn a little blood.
  • Perhaps on three different occasions as a teenager I was shot at exactly 300 yards out by a .22 rifle, with bullets whizzing by all around me. That I wasn’t hit was accidental. It’s not that the shooter didn’t try. The proximity of a bullet whizzing by your ears is unmistakable also as to distance. Too close! On each occasion the entire barrel magazine was emptied out against me, 15 bullets each time. Yes, I know what type of gun.
  • A sniper guy sent out a bullet which, because of instantaneous circumstances, just missed me. It would have gotten me smack in the heart. This was after I was ordained a priest and was studying in Rome.
  • At the hermitage on a number of occasions a hunting rifle similar to a .30-06 / 7.62×63, with a handful of rounds each time. I was out in an opening of the forest and the shooter was hidden in the forest on the ridge behind me. He could see me. I couldn’t see him. There was no escape. He had no intention of hitting me, just scaring me. I just don’t get scared in such situations.

That’s it, so far. It’s a good idea never to trust any fallen human being because, as it is, all human beings are fallen. We can, however, trust in Jesus. After all, look at His track record. Jesus entrusted Himself to us. Look at what we did. Look at how He still entrusts Himself to us. We can learn to trust Him, that He wants what’s best for us, that He wants to get us to heaven. Jesus, I trust in you.

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BELGIAN MALINOIS Extreme Bite Dogs

Alright. Alright. I really like to see any Malinois at work. Exhilarating. Kind of like a ballet with gymnasts with teeth. BTW, I’m guessing those are metal “canine” teeth inserted into busted out teeth in the still shot of the video. Hint: Don’t bust the teeth out of a dog. Just sayin’…

Having said all that, when you want a bite-dog worth his bite, the Shepherd, along the lines of Shadow-dog is where it’s at. I asked a lady in the parish who raises King Shepherds for police work, for bite dogs, if she’s ever seen a Shepherd break the bones of the forearm and rip the arm right off in one bite, like a shark…

Niiiiice, Shaaaadooow-daaaawg!

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Shadow-dog and I are good friends. He’s loyal. He might seem like he’s the friendliest dog in the world – the prize for that going to Laudie-dog – but if pushed and he sees mortal danger… Yikes! The same for Laudie-dog.

If I could get a little phone video of Shadow-dog protecting the perimeter, you would know what I mean. If I could get a picture of him with his jaws engulfing the entire head and neck down to the shoulders of Laudie-dog, all in play, you would know what I mean.

And then there are cats. Mind you, I’ve been around panthers up close near the hermitage. But more than that, there is Jesus, the last One standing in any case:

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Be afraid of Him who can cast body and soul into hell. Only Jesus is the One, the Only One, He who is to come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

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Filed under Dogs, Missionaries of Mercy

God commands Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog, and they were content

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God summoned a beast from the fields and He said:

“Behold! Man created in my image.

You shall protect him in the wilderness,
shepherd his flocks,
watch over his children,
accompany him wherever he may go, even into harm’s way.
You shall be his companion, his ally, his slave.

I endow you with instincts uncommon to other beasts:
faithfulness,
devotion and
understanding surpassing that of man himself.

Lest it impair your courage, you shall never foresee your death.
Lest it impair your loyalty, you shall be blind to the faults of man.
Lest it impair your understanding, you are denied the power of words.
Your eyes shall convey the truth of your heart.

Walk by his side.
Sleep in his doorway.
Forage for him.
Ward off his enemies.
Carry his burdens.
Share his afflictions.
Love him and comfort him.

And in return for this, man will fulfill your needs and wants,
food, shelter and affection.

So be a friend to man.
Guide him along the way to this land that I have promised him.
This shall be your destiny.

So spoke the Lord.

And the dog heard and was content.

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There are a zillion versions of the above, and it’s to be found in its basic form for all animals in the book of Genesis. God is good.

After I built my little hermitage, Laudie-dog appeared as a gift from God. Laudie-dog adopted me, skeletally thin, shot with bird-shot between the shoulders, with some mange, shy from being rejected. We made friends pretty easily, as she was really very hungry. After treats tossed lightly to her from a distance, and after many hours, she came up and allowed herself to be petted gently on her forehead.

Then, of course, we became a team. She saved me from bears, wolves and, traumatically, a panther (which I had seen twice before).

After doing some writing, and some years later, the local police at the time arranged for me to get Shadow-dog, who patrols the perimeter and has also become part of the team, a good friend.

My reaction to the goodness of Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog is thank our good Lord for goodness of creation.

Even more, dogginess, as described above, becomes an examination of conscience. We fallen human beings would do well to become more like dogs.

The other day, in discovering more about my Jewish heritage, I ran across an account of the Nazi persecution of Jews which, in one town, played out by having all the Jews of a certain town turned out on the street and also all dogs at the same time, you know, so as to make a statement that dogs and Jews are one and the same.

I also call to mind, then, another sociological and statistical fact, that those who abusive to animals will likewise be abuse to other human beings, and all because they hate themselves.

Better to rejoice in God’s good creation, and also to help our fellow fallen human beings to get to know the love and goodness of God.

Dogs give us a good example.

Meanwhile, dearest Charlene, my most favorite State Department retiree, now having returned home from the hospital, made it her first project to send treats to her fur-babies as she calls them. Thank you, dearest Charlene:

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Laudie-dog inquires about my favorite State Department diplomat

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The ever amazing Charlene Duline has been sick enough to land her in the hospital. We are all concerned and praying for her. Laudie-dog is anxious since it is dearest Charlene who pampers her, and Laudie-dog will not tolerate any news of Charlene not feeling well. Laudie-dog is her fur-baby. So, a prayer for Charlene, please.

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