Category Archives: Dogs
Did you ever notice that Shadow-dog is much bigger than Laudie-dog? When it comes to treats, Shadow-dog is always the perfect gentleman, letting little Laudie-dog get her treat.
Dearest Charlene Duline, the best diplomat of the State Department that the world has ever known (now retired) – and long-time helper of Father Gordon MacRae, has just sent in a big jug of dog treats along with a box of treats for yours truly. I am humbled.
The thing is, she just had a really bad fall recently and is still going to be recovering for some time to come. How she was able to do this I don’t know. Her favorite of all of us, of course, is Laudie-dog, who, I must admit, is as sweet as ever.
If only I could get Main State to send me something else:
I heard the earthquake, kind of like a distant shotgun. At the same time I felt a tiny jolt, and then an ever so gentle hammock-like sway. Five seconds total. Probably out of scope on any scale. No one else I talked to noted anything. But Laudie-dog, who was sleeping, went instantly into nightmare mode. I woke her up and she came over to be reassured.
That’s actually the snarkiest smirkiest most poker-faced Laudie-dog I’ve seen in a long time: “Oooo! I wish I were in that cage (hahaha).” “No, no! I’m king of this cage,” says Shadow-dog. Meanwhile, Laudie-dog wants nothing to do with the cage, but her antics make Shadow-dog think he’s the luckiest dog in the world to be in a cage.
But really, for those who don’t know, there are certain kinds of GSDs who are still so much like wolves that they really do need a quiet space cave hole under a tree stump forest hideaway in order to really rest well, as this is what they would have in the wild. It’s not cruel. He runs, nay stampedes to his cage when I let him in the rectory. I’ve left the door open and there he stays, wishing the door were shut.
For those scandalized by the dog hair on the floor, you have to know that German Shedders can do that overnight with their double coats (and even triple if you count the longer sparser protection coat). It’s a daily chore to toss shopping bags full of hair. But that’s O.K. Any exercise is good.
I’m guessing that if a priest takes a day off it has to be put in scare quotes: “Day-Off”. First on the agenda for me the other day on the “Day-Off”, at about 3:00 AM, was to edit the article written by Father Gordon J. MacRae (About) over on TheseStoneWalls entitled “Assassin’s Deed” (what a fright!), which, this time, included at a zillion pictures. Father Gordon says that editing counts for visiting those in prison. Never an easier visit.
At the very end of the day, some 18 hours later, when I got back to the rectory, I noticed the top picture of this post which came in an envelope from Father Gordon along with his post for next week. Hahaha. This is, of course, what Father Gordon thinks of all my carry on about our intelligence services. Hahaha. Of course, I laughed out loud because, of course, he’s spot on. But, I digress.
Yesterday, a comment came in for moderation which included this appraisal:
“One thing love about you is how much you love being a priest. In another era your affinity for “spies” might have made you a great underground Jesuit somewhere where it was illegal to be a Catholic priest.”
“Another era…” Hmm… Let’s continue on the “day off.”
About 7:00 AM Sassy the Subaru was put in gear for an easy downhill ride to northeast Atlanta. If you’re ever passing through northeast Georgia, I recommend taking Hwy 19 with its frighteningly tight curves. It’s Georgia’s answer to the Tail of the Dragon up from my parish. Anyway, I had to complete the purchase of some specialized tactical items that had been on back order for some months and the order some other items that needed the know-how of a supervisor to put it through. What happened next on my “day-off” at FBI Atlanta certainly raised my eyebrows. But that’s best put in another post…
The moment you realize your GSD has had more special forces training than you thought he had. This is surely NOT Shadow-dog with dirt-colored camo paint… Or… is it? No, no. The fences at the back of the yard are not the same. Whew!
Actually, this was sent in by a reader bringing this over from conservative treehouse.
Lots of things go on out front of the rectory. One of those things was the death of the neighbor’s ultra friendly huge dog (something like a cross between a Bullmastiff and a Pit Bull), but actually super friendly. He was young, apparently in perfect health. Dead, just like that, for no apparent cause, no injuries, no blood, during the night. Too sad. Meanwhile, Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog, who stay in at night, are just fine.
Laudie-dog likes the far left corner. Shadow-dog prefers the far right corner.
We did some capital improvement on the back yard of the rectory, putting up a fence which doesn’t at all mark the boundaries of the property but which rather simply gives more room to the dogs to move about and get some exercise.
Having chosen their corners, that hard work was done for the day. Their favorite place is together right back at the back porch of the house. I love that.
The dogs are just playing. Note the no-teeth thing of Shadow-dog.
Home invasions usually take place during the day, not at night. The low-lifes wait until no one is home, usually during the day. And everyone else is gone, so no one is looking while they break in.
I was away at the supermarket and, I’m told by someone in the neighborhood who happened to be home, that a couple of crackheads were standing about 15 feet in from the road on the lawn scoping out the side of the house. He would know. He deals with the druggie “community” all the time. And it’s always the same people all the time.
Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog were letting them have it with barking. The dogs know who’s who right away. They absolutely didn’t care. And that’s what the firemen up at the hall told me, that professional robbers don’t care about dogs, as, without breaking their pace, they’ll just kill the dogs (using suppressors) and then smash through the doors or windows.
Anyway, that certain someone in the neighborhood told me he made sure that he had some wherewithal with him (though he could handle himself bare-handed) and then made it very obvious that he was noticing the presence of the crackheads. They then left. That’s when I came back.
I notice crackhead “gate-keepers” hanging out at the top of the street a couple of hundred yards away, especially recently, watching who’s home and who’s not I suppose, noticing when people do stuff or are away. Others “gate-keep” the opposite way, also a couple of hundred yards away, on some steps for our veterans memorial.
These’s guys aren’t always too aware of who they’re scoping out. Recently, one home-invader broke and entered into the home of USMC Sniper with a long list of confirmed kills, stealing most of his guns and huge collection of knives. That’s the guy you don’t ever want to do that to.
What a world. Heaven, instead, will be heaven.
Anyway, I’m happy to have Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog around.
Shadow-dog is slightly larger than Laudie-dog. But Laudie-dog is, apparently, smarter than Shadow-dog. She successfully took over Shadow-dog’s wolf-cave. She is just so laughing on the inside at her brilliant pawipulations. Shadow-dog looks bewildered that he’s been had in his own wolf-cave by someone who’s not even a wolf. Laudie-dog has the run of the whole house, so I told her to come out, and she did, happy to show me, however, that she’s definitely top dog. Shadow-dog was content that he had his own kingdom once again.
Mind you, it’s not that Laudie-dog wanted to take over Shadow-dog’s cave. It’s that she wanted to make sure that he’s jealous of his wolf-cave, so that he insists on staying there and is not tempted to cry to have run of the house as well. Hah.
Meanwhile, Shadow-dog is no fool. He plays the game, letting Laudie-dog think that she has tricked him so that she is content now to stay out of his wolf-cave, banished to life outside the wolf-cave. Double HahHah! His bewildered look above is instead a pleading with me to play along with him in his double-reverse ploy. Yes. Fine. I’m good with that.
Meanwhile, they’ve both teamed up to
manipulate me… pawipulate me into thinking that I’m the true landlord of the house. At any rate, everybody’s happy.
I have to wonder how our guardian angels deal with the likes of us. Jesus says that they see the face of God right now, and then… and then… there’s us. Goodness!
I’ve been thinking a lot about wolves these days, enough to research the beasts in the North Woods of Minnesota whence I hail, monsters named after the abundance of trees used tactically in groups of these conscienceless Timber Wolves.
It might be that Shadow-dog has slightly less shagginess around the jowls and only slightly less roundish ears, but he’s definitely the height and length and weight of a Timber Wolf, the Gray Wolf of “legend” (because we’re scared to think of these marauders as being real).
His killer instincts are still shining brightly. When he wants to prove this, while growling, he takes his “basketball” in his teeth and rips it so violently from side to side that it is crystal clear that he could literally rip any creature, man or beast, limb from limb.
Jesus uses precisely this ferocity of wolves to describe how sheep are tossed about, torn to shreds by unscrupulous wolves who kill just to kill.
Jesus bids those sheep to be that like that which frightens even wolves, that is, like clever serpents. Mind you, clever serpents are even worse in that a clever serpent is the image used in Genesis for the now fallen angel, Satan. Meanwhile, recalling the Holy Spirit, the sheep, the children of God are to be, in all their cleverness, innocent.
Meanwhile, in such a confusing maelstrom, Satan dresses up the wolves like sheep so that they have the killer venom of Satan himself.
But that doesn’t fool the children of God, whose innocence in being forgiven, carries the very love of God that cuts through mind games Satan thinks to be clever, games of violence, of deceit, which lack all wisdom because lacking in love.
Meanwhile, Shadow-dog has lots of love for yours truly. He’s very playful, affectionate, and I think of the Creator of all, our Heavenly Father’s wisdom, and love.
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.
Google: origin here’s mud in your eye
Laudie-dog is too much of a lady to be caught out in the mud.
Shadow-dog is too much of a wolf not to drag mud around everywhere he goes. He sees life through mud. Literally.
Observing the saints in Rome such as Aloysius Gonzaga, one will surely be impressed by their humble custody of the eyes. Or so said a fellow seminarian way back in the day before making the sardonic comment that this was merely the way to avoid stepping on dog poop. There’s been dog poop at that narrow almost unavoidable spot near the Angelicum for the past 40 years. I check. But it’s not a matter of looking only at dog poop or otherwise your soul being as good as dog poop. No no. You can have situational awareness and be entirely chaste with blazing purity of heart and agility of soul regardless of what you otherwise see in decadent sleazy Rome or anywhere else in this world of exile away from our heavenly homeland. And that involves a friendship of humble thanksgiving with our Lord. And that involves something for which to be humbly thankful. That involves Confession. Love of God is love of neighbor. And vice versa. Love of neighbor is love of God.
O.K., I admit it. It’s a Taj Mahal type of reflecting pool sporting geometric designs. But must the architect, Shadow-dog, be so proud of it that, even in the rain he has to stand guard next to it, again and again taking up his post just there?
He looks incredulous that I could possibly appreciate his handy-work, um, his paw-work. At any rate, for all those who think I’m so mean to Shadow, making him lie down in the mud in Winter, know that he does have a warm and dry wood-shaving bed that he can climb into at will, and he does, for a while, but then has to go back to guarding his mud puddle.
And though invited into the house during the day he loves to be outside guarding his mud puddle. When things finally dry out after so very much rain perhaps I’ll have to artificially keep his mud puddle full so that it can be his to guard ever so proudly.
Isn’t that just about how our dear Lord works with us? Thank you, Lord.
Lots of people have been inquiring about Laudie-dog. It’s not that Laudie-dog is retired, though now she’s getting on in years, but she is happy to be in the shadows on the dog-pillow behind my chair where she yawns whenever she likes to express her contentment, I mean, you know, now that Shadow-dog has taken pride of place in serving and protecting.
But no one have one up on Laudie-dog’s history of going up against wolves and coyotes and bears and lynx and panthers. She still battles with that panther that dark and stormy night (really!) in her nightmares. I try to ever so gently wake her up when that happens. She’s happy to be reassured.
People make fun of me when I say that, but it’s true. You can almost pick out which incident it is that’s being replayed in her mind, whether the bear (yappity yap yap yap!) or the panther (scream-cry-howl-bark-scream). People say that dogs don’t dream and have no emotions or memory, but they just don’t know dogs. I think that by assessing a dog I could draw up a fairly accurate profile of its owner.
Trouble is, sometimes, that dogs can sometimes have multiple owners, as is the case with both Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog. I think those who had Shadow were fairly friendly with him and let him be the alpha-iest alpha GSD ever. But who knows. Poor Laudie-dog adopted me after having starved, with mange, and been shot between the shoulders, and was ultra-timid, and it was obvious she had suffered some abuse. Best dog ever.
Ho-hum. Looking out the kitchen window this morning I see that Shadow-dog just pooped out a full size Timber Rattlesnake. Markings. Fat body. Relatively short tail. Ultra-fat head with fangs. Wikipedia says that “Potentially, this is one of North America’s most dangerous snakes, due to its long fangs, impressive size, and high venom yield.” They warn with lots of antics, but I think that only makes Shadow-dog’s adrenaline pump all the more. Sorry that this next photo didn’t focus, but this is the decapitated head:
Out of focus or not, that’s good enough for me. All very poopy.
Not to worry. I looked it up. Dogs eating venomous snakes for breakfast doesn’t hurt them in the least. :-) Shadow-dog was simply content with a good snack.
It’s been raining and raining and raining after snowing and snowing and snowing. The back yard is a bit of a mess. I’m planning on extending the fence and planting lots of grass seed. Meanwhile, don’t feel sorry for wet and muddy Shadow-dog. He has a warm dry shelter out of the weather tucked far back under the non-mud-cement-patio corrugated roof. Also, he comes in for most of the night. You just have to know that a GSD loves water and mud. He’s been expanding his mud holes with water in them just for fun. I don’t mind. I did that as a kid. Why not?
Anyway, a thought came to mind. You can see how there is zero shelter, zero hiding places for a snake, particular a Timber Rattler which stays in, well, you know, the timber, the forest. We’re in the middle of a city. How is it that that Rattler would insist on being inside that fence line slithering immediately right into the jaws of Shadow-dog, who, by the way, wouldn’t be hidden. It just doesn’t make sense. Ain’t gonna happen if you ask me. The snake, on its own, would zip away. Poor snake. Maybe he was thrown in while I was on my day off. If that’s the case, the result is the following:
- One proud and brave Shadow-dog.
- One now impressed but scared snake-handler.
- Just when people think they “have you”, you come out stronger for it, more character, a broader foundation of experience from which to proceed, with Jesus, of course. Hah.
- Just when the devil thinks he “has you”, you come out stronger for it, more character, a broader foundation of experience from which to proceed, with Jesus, of course. Hah.
- Just when your fallen human nature thinks it has won, you come out stronger for it, more character, a broader foundation of experience from which to proceed, with Jesus, of course. Hah.
Water dishes are fair game, I guess. A bit self-destructive if you get thirsty.
So, here’s my temporary solution. Cement blocks. I’m thinking a nicer looking affair would be perhaps six carriage bolts holding the dish down to the cement slab.
I may have to lay two standing up sideways in the back with another laid over the top front.
Shadow-dog, pictured here staring down at Laudie-dog next to me, is not so much sitting as now being entrenched in his starting blocks, that is, the new hole he’s re-dug. It’s now his favorite spot. He’s won. He thinks.
He’s been chewing on the rose-bush, the “super-abundant Guadalupe” rose bush. So, It’s been dug out and moved out front. I filled in the hole but he immediately dug it out. But that’s O.K. The rose has now found a new home out front near the road next to the telephone pole where the larger bed of flowers is.
The rose was clipped down for the Winter, but Shadow-dog finished the job. Fine.
We’ll see what happens. Perhaps this is where the little grotto of our Lady was supposed to be from the get-go, so that more people could see it. Who wins then?
Meanwhile, the very first warm day we’ve had in it seems like forever saw the blooming of a dandelion, a Lion’s Tooth. All very acceptable to our Lady, as this was provided to her by the Creator of the entire universe. Just simplicity, like a little child. That’s the way. That’s the only way. “Amen I say to you, unless you turn and become as little children you shall not enter into the Kingdom of the Heavens.”
Up to now, while playing, only Shadow-dog (truly an over-sized German Shepherd) would cover his ferocious canines while trying to convince the much smaller Laudie-dog to play soccer with the double-handled green ball, or a game of tag. A game of tag consists in tapping the back of the other with a paw and running away. Laudie-dog never played tag, until now. Laudie-dog has come into her own, also covering her canines and, here anyway, getting the upper paw. You can tell from her eyes that this is rather distracting for her. She’s a dumbed-down version, if you will, of a Rhodesian Ridgeback, an African Lion Dog. Unusually, she’s a bit small, but has an amazing ridge even twice as wide as the usual. Her ridge is about four inches wide and stands strait up. Amazing when you see it. I didn’t see it for years, not until Shadow-dog arrived. But now, as I saw, she’s come into her own.
She’s now sleeping next to my chair, as is Shadow-dog. :-)