There is, of course, no replacement for the ultra-famous Laudie-dog, who has saved me from bears and panthers and wolves and snakes. I think of this development as a friend for Laudie-dog. My 82nd Airborne friend arranged the arrangement. It’s a German Shepherd, who I would be tempted to name Benedict, but my friend suggested “Shadow.” Ha! “Shadow” it is for a 1000 reasons. The dog is black as black can be black. Really super friendly. This is not an attack style German Shepherd, just a super friendly German Shepherd. I’ll have to get a taller fence. A lot more dog food. Another dog-house. A really wicked dog-collar… Goodness! Pope Francis might not be happy with this but, hey, the circumstances in my life right now I think justify a super watch dog. Not that Laudie-dog isn’t a super watch dog. It’s just that… And oh, by the way, didn’t Don Bosco have Grigio?
Category Archives: Dogs
When getting back last night from a second trip to graham county Laudie-dog noticed a snake coming out on the back porch of the rectory, despite the cold, and she was immediately in protective aggressive flurry mode. Poor snake.
Here’s the summit of the Trail of Tears, Tatham Gap Road, which basically starts in my parish church and makes its way out to Nebraska. The government of the time killed off thirty million bison so as to starve to death those Cherokees who survived the death long death march.
I would like to know how to turn my 770 ThinkWare clips into a YouTube movie so that you all know where I go on my screamingly beautiful Communion Calls with Jesus. This is paradise here on earth.
Perhaps there is a techy trick to this. Anyone?
Laudie-dog only rarely gets scared, and only for a good reason.
When a bear was at the hermitage a few years back, she wasn’t fearful, but went on the attack, the level of her ferocity surely breaking all word records. But no shaking, just doing her job. I wouldn’t want Laudie-dog mad at me. But she’s only done this once, with the bear, but with no fear.
Conversely, when a panther was on the attack, Laudie-dog was scared, to death, shaking, crying, screaming bloody murder, she being the prey, along with me. This event was totally different than that the with bear.
The other year she started to cry while giving some attack barks when a pit bull showed up (that not bothering her) with a thief in tow (and that bothered her). She felt the danger for herself and me. She barked some warnings, but was also shaking a bit. This wasn’t exaggerated, however, as I was home at the time and came out to investigate and letting her in.
The other night I wasn’t here in the early evening, but my 82nd Airborne firefighter friend across the street heard Laudie-dog crying and barking frantically and so came over to see what was happening. He said that she was shaking with fear. He said he’s guessing it was a possum. The thing is, Laudie-dog grew up in the back mountain ridges and has zero fear of critters like possums. She’s absolutely not afraid even of bears, only panthers and thieves. There’re no panthers here. Only some few human beings with malicious intent. There was no pit bull. That other thief is long gone. This was someone else. I’m guessing they made it inside, did whatever they needed to do without disturbing anything, kind of, and then left, kind of, waiting to see what would happen. :-) I returned not long after. Laudie-dog was really very happy to see me and come inside as you might imagine. What I would say to the not-so-good-at-remaining-hidden crowd is this: just come when I’m home. That’s makes it all lots easier. I don’t like seeing my dog scared; she saved my tail a number of times and I’m a bit protective of her.
- John leaped in the womb for joy in the womb of his mother Elizabeth at the presence of Jesus in the womb of Mary, who herself gave voice to the joy of Jesus.
- John was clothed in camel hair. Super penitential, right? Yes. Dour? Not at all. It’s called not taking oneself seriously, freeing one up to be joyful in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It’s not that John, the greatest of prophets, didn’t have to learn anything:
- Let it be for the sake of the fulfillment of all righteousness…
- As the Master, so the disciple: yes, you’ll have to get your head cut off… Blessed is he who is not offended by me…
And with that, John, not taking himself seriously, faced his death with joy, dancing for joy as much as he could in his chains, in a dungeon. Perhaps you dance like John?
Meanwhile, we build shrines to the saints (like this post), not to say that we wouldn’t have handed the sword to the soldier of Herod who cut off John’s head, for we would all do that given the circumstances and our own idiocy, but rather to say that, with God’s grace, of which they spoke, we can repent of our celebrations of the ways of this world and learn to rejoice, to dance for joy, to leap for joy at the presence of the Lord Jesus in our lives. Perhaps you dance like this with Jesus…
I dance like a donkey. I admit that we might be a bit dour when we start on this epic spiritual journey, playing the part of the ass of a donkey, so to speak, still taking ourselves a bit too seriously, but then we are introduced little by little to the joy of recognizing the presence of the Lord Jesus with us, and then we also dance for joy, even helping others to do the same. A good friend saw this donkey the other day and couldn’t resist getting it for me, donkey that I am… Ha ha ha…
Meanwhile, I’m sure that Saint John Vianney’s condemnation of the ludicrous dancing in Ars won’t come my way for me being happy to dance for joy in the Lord no matter what. The patron saint of priests, for the dedication of the Baptist’s chapel in his little parish church quipped that “John lost his head for a dance”. Sure. But there are different kinds of dancing. John was also happy to dance with abandon before the Lord, as did David. There’s a long and happy tradition of dancing in Judeo-Catholic life.
It is said by the students of the Tilma that Our Lady of Guadalupe is dancing. Perhaps you dance like Jesus’ good mom:
Even Laudie-dog, Break-dance-dog, demonstrates her joy. Perhaps you dance like Laudie-dog:
- Hey John, they’re gonna cut your head off…
- Oh, O.K. I guess I’ll have to dance like a chicken with my head cut off…
Look… Really…. JOY no matter what…
So, there I was, sitting in a chair, head back, eclipse glasses on, staring at the moon crossing the sun, with Laudie-dog trying to get my attention. So, I took a number of pictures of her, including this one. Mind you, she is not blind, this moment was just a millionth of a nano-second in length in which I somehow managed to take the picture just as she also looked up just before totality. She wasn’t just imitating me; she was trying to tell me that something weird was going on, like, um, me sitting and staring at the sun, because, how dumb is that, right?
During totality, Laudie dog was shaking with fear. But the shaking wasn’t, mind you, in fear of the celestial events. Rather, the town of Andrews was playing super weird spooky music even while others were shooting off fire-works. Laudie dog has no liking for that activity. Anyway, here’s the totality to my naked eye (and naked camera):
I loved going to the planetarium in the Twin Cities as a kid. It’s totally different when you see things happening in front of you. When the moon started blocking the sun, the first thought that came into my mind and heart and soul was: “God exists! God is so very wonderful! God loves us!”
But this wasn’t just an intellectual thing. I suppose people will make fun of me for saying this, but this was a spiritual event for me, very very very peaceful. By that I mean something beyond Saint Paul’s chapter one of his letter to the Romans. All creation speaks of the glory of God, yes! But more… It was as if Jesus was with me watching the eclipse, which, although He is creating that eclipse, although He is creating me, He can come in His wonderfully condescending love (in the absolutely best sense) and be in His own creation (He is incarnate!). And, by the way, He can also give a flower to the Immaculate Conception.
Meanwhile, with the crescent sun a thought came to mind about the crescent moon and Islam.
While I was studying the Syrian language I came across a cultural tid-bit well known to every Muslim in that part of the world but not to someone like me from the North woods of Minnesota: the moon is a man, enlightening in difficult circumstances, helpful and kind, never threatening, even while the sun is a woman, always threatening, burning, hurtful, unrelentingly cruel. During a solar eclipse, the moon beats down the sun. The phases of the moon are actually just the sun trying to escape on the other side of the earth. Once in a while the moon hunts down the sun and shows the sun who is boss. The crescent moon is lifted up above every mosque/cultural center. The meteor rock in mecca is part of the moon come to earth, right? In that part of the world, the received mythology treated various celestial bodies as the gods, that is, the sons and daughters of the original deities which progressively became more material as time went on.
Meanwhile, the woman clothed with the sun in the Apocalypse (and our Lady of Guadalupe) has the crescent moon under her feet. Heh heh heh.
You’ve been had! Laudie-dog doesn’t get hypotized. You’re the one hypnotized by her while she fakes getting hypnotized, awesomely smart dog that she is. ;-)
Thanks go to the wonderful Charlene – whose amazing State Department feats right around the world at significant moments in recent world history I’m getting more acquainted with as time goes on – for she sent in a shipment of milk-bone dog biscuits (one pictured above) and doggie bacon strips and… and… even lots of trail mix. I’m thinking that the trail-mix is for yours-truly, though I had better behave myself lest Charlene say that the trail-mix is also for Laudie-dog!
I am reminded of a mass hypnotism incident of my entire senior class of some 135 students of our smallish Prep School in Central Minnesota, when the Headmaster did a psych experiment on all of us together. While he did this he kept glancing over at me, getting ever more frustrated. I was actually trying to be polite, playing along just to see where he was going with all this. He kept up his hypnotism antics and was having success with the class, but then stopped and explained his frustration with everyone, an explanation which made everyone really pretty upset, enough for a good half the class to complain rather loudly protesting that what he was saying was not true at all and that they just couldn’t believe what he was saying because, of course, they were always in control of their lives. They were really disappointed with themselves. Shaken.
The Headmaster, a good friend, was telling them that he could easily hypnotize the entire class except for one person, me, insisting that he could never ever hypnotize me, ever, no matter what. Maybe he realized that I was hypotizing him by faking that I was being hypotized. ;-) Things are never as they seem. Rare is the person who realizes that things are never as they seem even in unexpected situations when one’s guard is down because one thinks oneself to be in control. Charlene is one of those people and, of course, has had to be, working for the State Department where, truly, nothing is ever as it seems. That’s all they do is deal with politicians and spies. And now she has to deal with me to get Laudie-dog her treats with no one involved getting hypnotized. You gotta be pretty clever if you ask me.
Hey! It’s not my fault. Someone gave me these treats for Laudie-dog today. They looked really disgusting to me. But dogs love everything disgusting, and she loved these.
“One a day” say the directions. Hmmm. Maybe every third day or once a week. I don’t want her turning green on me.
I say: Laudie-dog deserves to be pampered. She saved me many times from bears and wolves and panthers.
It was only some hours that had gone by after the shrine of the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception went up when torrential rain came down with all sort of thunderous carry-on in the heavens echoing in and around the mountain valleys. Normally, this would make Laudie-dog frantic with fear, hyperventilating, shaking, freezing in place with nowhere being good enough to hide, but this time she has such a winning smile:
Now that’s a lesson we can all take to heart.
A retired State Department diplomat has sent in a Valentine, but not for me; it’s for Laudie-dog. As we know, however, dogs can very much reflect the moods of their masters. So…. ;-) At any rate, I must come up with a video of Laudie-dog dancing, because….
I might add here that our famous diplomat got the street address of yours truly wrong. Apparently, that doesn’t matter. It was delivered to me straightaway since everyone knows and loves Laudie-dog.
I recall a similar incident with mail delivery in Washington D.C. Someone wrote a letter to the most obnoxious major network news anchor (back in the day, when you could distinguish), just putting on the envelope:
To: !@#$%^&*()_ @#$%^&*() @#$%^&*(O); Washington, D.C.
It arrived to him straightaway. ;-)
Here’s the deal: the Lord God made the animals to assist us. I don’t think it’s the case that dogs merely imitate us. I think they lead us along to praise God. Kind of the other way around. That’s why I call Laudie “Laudie.” Laud in Latin means praise. She gives praise to God by just being a dog in all her dogness. But we have original sin. But we also have grace. And a good natured Laudie-dog can help us all praise God. Praise God.
Update: A gracious reader sent this in…
I’ve decided today to delay the popular version of the thesis on Genesis 3:15 and the Immaculate Conception so as to finish off another project, much shorter: “The Dog-Woman” commentary.
You’ll remember the Syro-Phoenician-Canaanite-Greek lady in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, the one with the severely possessed infant daughter way up in present day Lebanon. I’ll extract what I’ve done so far from the book on the women in the Gospels and make it a stand-alone. I’ve been preaching and writing on the “Dog-Woman” for decades.
What I’d like to do is turn that commentary into something which is addressed to what is bound to be one of the main topics of the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the formation of young people for their vocational discernment whether that concerns life as married, as single, as religious or as priests.
I’m thinking that there just might be a lot of psychological smoke-screens making one lose sight of the Holy Spirit, making one forget about the one thing necessary, listening to Jesus and those who are with him. There will be plenty of talk about the evils of rigidity without much of a clue about how to rid oneself or anyone else of such a dreadful suffocation of the Holy Spirit.
So, why not? The “Dog-Woman” is perfect for the occasion, with the two accounts of her forming the perfect paradigm for the formation of young people, that is, on how to rid them of rigidity. That is, after all, the non-stop theme of late by Pope Francis, at least for those discerning a priestly vocation, but the theme applies to everyone. I can’t think of a better way to provide a holy and wholesome remote preparation for such a synod on the formation of young people’s vocational discernment on psychological and emotional (human), spiritual, intellectual and pastoral levels.
With a title, sub-title, and sub-sub-title like the ones on the cover as envisioned, I realize that many will wonder what deep end of dark existential peripheries it is which I’ve obviously stepped off of, losing all sense of balance to be drowned in my own idiocy.
And yes, yes, I know. People must already be saying that the final document of the 2018 Synod may well have already been written a long time ago, decades ago. Even if that is true, I still have hope, hopelessly naive that I am, of having a say in this upcoming Synod.
Just as I started to work on this, a sign appeared, that being a package delivered to the door. Perfect timing. There were two 25 oz. bags of doggie-bacon strips. It’s a lot of work to eat them, so a big yawn and a nap is in order just below the desk where I’m writing about the “Dog-Woman” (the blue-light is the glow from the computer screens):
The doggie-bacon strips were sent in from the State Department’s recently retired foreign service diplomat from Indianapolis, C.D., a good friend of Father Gordon MacRae, actually. There was no note, just two gargantuan bags of doggie-bacon strips and… and… nothing for me. But don’t get me wrong, I was very happy for Laudie. She obviously knows she rates as the princess of the rectory, with me being but her bacon-slave. I had to laugh. She is very content. Hey, anyone who saves my unworthy life multiple times deserves to be pampered. I’m happy the State Department agrees, at least someone recently retired therefrom.
Anyway, back to the “Dog-Woman.” I have someone promising to translate it into street-jive Buenos Aires dialect just as soon as I send it to him. ;-)
Laudie-dog has now claimed a plastic bin as her favorite bed in the rectory where she can be happy and lazy and secure, checking every so often to see if I’m O.K. I’m her security project, her little puppy she adopted on that far away mountain top so many years ago, coming to me skeletally thin, with a bit of mange, and shot between the shoulder blades.
After smiling with the realization that I’m just fine, she falls asleep, but every so often this can be traumatic with fierce nightmares, growling, barking and, from the movement of her legs, she looks to be on the attack. And she is. In her dreams.
She saved me from wolves both red and grey, from bears and, most memorably, a panther. I’m guessing it’s the panther she dreams about, as she was the prey while protecting me.
I don’t wake her up at such times, hoping that the process will be even just a little bit healing for her, and afraid to add to the trauma by waking her up in the middle of it. I am thankful to God at such times for creating such marvelous creatures who are so tied to mankind and of great service to us. She deserves a bit of pampering.
Of course, all of that immediately has me think of those having experience in law enforcement, the military, the “Company”, and so on, those who may be suffering from PTSD, which never goes away, though you can somehow in some way learn at least a little how to deal with it, the ongoing battle, the ongoing trauma, not in being pampered, mind you, but by doing what one has always done best, continuing on in a spirit of solidarity with others whether or not these others have a clue about how to be in solidarity with those who serve them often in secret and therefore seemingly thankless ways.
I stand in awe of those who have been of great service all their lives, suffer for it now in every way, and who would – if they could – continue to serve in extraordinarily self-sacrificing ways. Lest we forget, we at least pray for them. And that’s already something very worth while. Hail Mary…
Sheltered city slickers of the bigger cities might be offended by what is written here, thinking that it is the end of the world and have all sort of unfounded worries, getting themselves all flustered and causing no end of problems a thousand times worse than what is written here. Really. But that’s not my purpose in writing this account, which is just another of my FWIW “for the record” posts, you know, for the sake of a history, which can be useful. Nothing to worry about. Stop worrying! Having said that…
Laudie-dog was inside the rectory with me the other night since there might be thunder somewhere in the world and she doesn’t like thunder at all. It was getting on toward midnight and I was writing away in the front room. Of a sudden there was a solid bump on the kitchen window, sounding exactly like the side of a human fist pounding once on the window, not strongly enough to break it, but enough to get one’s attention if one happened to be at home.
Laudie-dog instantly transformed into LEO-dog. I had to let her outside so that she could anxiously patrol the perimeter, snorting the air, offering a tentative bark in this direction and that. She never barks unless there is real danger. I didn’t see anything, so I just went back in and to the other side of the rectory to go back to writing, though I remained a bit concerned about the window incident.
And then I heard some very soft human whistles, such as you might use to signal a partner in crime or to call a dog without anyone else noticing. I ignored that and went back to writing. After all, there are plenty of dogs and dog owners out at all hours of the night. It’s a little town, right?
But then Laudie-dog started to cry a bit. In all these years, she’s only done that once before that I know, when a panther was about to make a meal of her. “What’s going on?” thought I. I peered through this window and that, and then saw the cause of her terror, the biggest, strongest, meanest looking choke-chained-but-no-tag brown pit bull I’ve ever seen trying to get through the fence regardless of also seeing me. Hey, I’m not accusing anyone, but the bump on the high-as-a-man-is-tall kitchen window is inside the perimeter of the small fence in the rectory’s back yard, and the whistles were human on the side of the house, and there was a dog on the opposite side of the back of the house interested in getting in the fenced-in area where the kitchen window is, and when I went out there was rustling in the back bushes, sounding ever so much like a human being crashing through the branches trying not to be seen, but these are all just coincidences I’m sure.
But prudence is the better part of valor, so I guess I should think that the strong bump on the window was a test to see if there was a home-alarm system set up to go off with, say, any sudden vibration of the windows, and if not, to see if there was, in fact, someone home who didn’t bother to arm the alarm because of, after all, being home. If I were a thief, that’s what I would do: bump a window and wait to see what happens.
Laudie-dog through the years has literally saved me from bears and panthers and wolves and snakes and all sort of what-not that goes bump in the night, or during the day. That was not in a town, obviously. But I’ll add a human thief to the long list. I’ll have to nick-name her Laudie-dog the LEO-dog, saving me from any bad result of a test home-invasion. She got an extra dog-treat.
UPDATE: I mentioned all this to the Police the other day, saying that it’s all just coincidence, surely, but that they might want to keep it in mind if they see a pattern develop.
Also, I stopped by to see my medical provider (we used to call them doctors) to tell him that the NC-SBI and FBI CCW check is merely looking for a few checkmarks, not my entire boring medical history. When I went to open the door of his offices, the door instead opened for me. There he was with his wife receptionist and two nurses, with him exstatically greeting me, saying how cool it was to have a future CCW priest. Needless to say, he’s quite the gun fanatic. I don’t think he’ll be raising any objections. He did give me one bit of advice, however, saying to never ever but never carry with a bullet in the chamber. All he gets are cops who blow their toes off. He said you’ll always have time to rack the gun. To prove the point, he said that Mossad insists on this practice. Does he know I have some friends… Or that though I’m a Catholic priest, I’m Jewish? Or is he a Mossad, you know, cooperator? … ;-) I’m happy to have a good imagination!
My neighbor at the hermitage encouraged me to take Laudie-Dog up to the rectory in Andrews. It’s time to renew her shots. Propitious timing! She was great on the ride up through the ultra-super-curvy roads, anticipating curves, leaning this way and that. She never put her head out the window once: Laudie-Dog the Race Car Dog.
The second we got to the rectory I started taking her around the neighborhood and introducing her to all the neighbors and the neighbors’ dogs:
- Franky, a Basset Hound, across the street (steady)
- Pyro, a smallish Terrier (terror!) of some kind, to my right (adrenaline and loud)
- Buddy, a Pit-Lab-Terrier mix (HUGE), across the street to the right (friendly)
- Gary, a Chihuahua, who makes the rounds (shy, or not, depending)
I’m convinced Laudie-Dog won’t get beat up, though there might be some growling if need be with Pyro (the fire dog) next door, though he stays in the neighbor’s house pretty much 24/7 and only gets out on a leash. Laudie-Dog is used to the mountain ridges. My only fear is that some of the crowd which zips by on the street out front (a circumvention of the traffic lights in town) might not care if they hit her or not. It’s a major drug route from the back ridges. But all the other dogs survived. They often just lie right in the middle of the road and make everyone stop and go around them. So, O.K.
Pope Francis might not see any use for animals whatsoever, but I must say that Laudie-Dog, who won’t defend herself, defended me when the need arose, at the hermitage. She had no hesitation whatsoever, even if frightened, to get right in the face of bears and panthers and wolves and all manner of scariness, successfully. We’re both still alive. She’s the perfect watchdog, totally friendly with anyone with good intentions. But dogs can sense aggression and danger, and react accordingly. I think she would likely tear any robber to shreds. GOOD LAUDIE!
I think that I’ll have to put her on a diet. Too heavy for her own good. Perhaps I should do the same. Anyway, as you know, there are:
- guide dogs
- hearing dogs
- mobility dogs
- seizure alert/response dogs
- psychiatric service dogs
- autism dogs
- therapy dogs
- emotional support dogs
- PTSD dogs (these are incredible dogs)
- protection dogs
- riot control dogs
- bite dogs
- pursuit dogs
- first in SWAT dogs
- fire dogs
- drug dogs
- cadaver dogs
- search and rescue dogs
- herding dogs (shepherds!)
- duck dogs
- bear dogs (transmitter dogs-many around here)
- watch dogs
- “rescue” dogs of all types and sizes
- Did I miss any?
Dogs, I contend, are a help to mankind. Man’s best friend.
Cats are… cats.
I’m a priest, that’s remains true. I’ve never carried up to this point. I don’t even have a holster, concealed or otherwise. I’m a peace loving guy. Really. My main prayer these weeks is mentioned in the Apocalypse (3:20) by Jesus:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.”
This prayer is not at all disturbed by my new Glock 19 Gen 4. Why should it be? Was Jesus offended that Peter carried a sword as a matter of course? No, He wasn’t.
I think I should write about what’s happening in my prayer life, but it’s one of those things where I would be at a loss for words (yes, even me, speechless). I can only say that our Lord is very good, very kind, and that our very bodies are to be temples of the Holy Spirit, the house, if you will, where the Holy Trinity then resides. How pure of heart and agile of soul we must be for the presence of the Great King, the Most High God, who delights to walk with us simply as one Friend with another! It is all His work. We can and should and must be in humble thanksgiving in all reverence. Just because we live in a vale of tears, are we not to walk humbly with our God? We are commanded to do this. This is not a special or unique thing, out of the ordinary. This is to be the case for all of us.
Is such a prayer contradictory to this series of posts about guns and priests? No, this series is meant to clarify some issues in these days of self-indulgent pacifism that is so aggressive it puts even our Law Enforcement in danger. See, for instance, the shameless anti-Cop statement of the the bishops of these U.S.A. (US Catholic Bishops: Law Enforcement Officers are guilty always & everywhere of racist violence because they are LEOs). Having cleared that up, let’s continue with the saga!
The Glock 19 comes with three clips (15[+1 for carry] then 15 and 15). Most instances you never need bullets if you know how to diffuse situations. When all disintegrates you most often need only a few bullets. But with increasing frequency, more complex instances are making their way into these back ridges of the mountains and elsewhere. With deference to Sheriff Clarke, we’ve already had two terrorist attacks stopped in the area, one involving a bomb at a local school and one involving guns. And then… Anyway…
I loaded the clips up and discharged them against some targets at 3, 5, 7, and 10 yards. This is the first time I emptied out full clips in any pistol. I’m a total neophyte. But I did O.K., enough to qualify, at least according to my own timing in my own circumstances, but knew I needed some more pointers, and didn’t want a shooting qualification hanging over my head. I need the qualification to do the CCW course and, with that code of completion, sign up for an appointment for fingerprinting toward the completion of the continued checks. So, off I went to a shooting range where a friend is mentoring me a bit.
He said I needed 28 out of 40 to pass. I got 40 out of 40 first time. Of course, he said that’s nothing to be proud of, that I had to keep up the practice to improve speed and accuracy in increasingly difficult circumstances. Afterward, he gave me a few more pointers showing me what happens when shooting with but one hand, with the right and left, why it is that the out-of-date advice about “isometrics” is out-of-date, why I should let gravity do its work without further intervention, etc. He said that taking all that into consideration, I should be able to put in a bullet in back of a bullet in a target in quick succession. He had me fire off the last five rounds of my ammo in this way and… wow… One in back of the other as fast as I could pull the trigger, the ol’ splitting the arrow in the target with another arrow trick.
I saw two good friends at the range, renewing their concealed carry. I guess I’m a good influence on them! And then a third wanted to get his…
In going to get more ammo afterward, I met an Airforce/CIA guy who knows my Army/CIA friend. What a great group of people in this area. Both these guys took care of our Embassies and Consulates right around the world. They all know each other of course. They all retire here. They would all know my FBI friend who issued me a false passport for my own protection years ago, you know, the once in charge of the investigation of the sites of the Nairobi and other embassy bombings at the time.
Just to say, I find dealing with guns so entirely second nature however much a neophyte I am, having been a bit of natural at being a sharpshooter as a kid and now, I think, pretty handy with a pistol, that I have to thank our Lord for protecting my vocation by keeping me away from guns during my teenage years. My dad was pretty close friends with the FBI, inviting them over for conferences for instance, that I would surely have been sorely, sorely, sorely tempted to join up with the FBI instead of the seminary had I been a gun fanatic. What did I know of the CIA in those days? I would get to be friends with them (or vice versa, as they hunted me down) after I was ordained a deacon and started winding up in difficult circumstances with rather interesting people. Again, I’m very thankful to our Lord that I’m a priest and I’m happy to be a priest.
Anyway, the second I started to write this post (before publishing it!) the CIA paid a visit. I think the CIA crowd are great. They can a bit Kryptos. Anyway, I’d like to give them a retreat fit for their circumstances in life. It would be something along the lines of that post: Solving Kryptos – Part 4 – Coriolis effect – Crux stat dum volvitur orbis.
BTW: One of my mentors is Jewish (like me). He lives on a road where the locals pretty continuously take pot shots at passing cars that “don’t belong there,” and that, of course, would include the usual targets of the KKK, that is, Catholics, Jews and black people (with me being two of the three). He said they don’t shoot at him because his reputation with a gun is well known. He would shoot twice: the first bullet would knock down the bullet coming at him, and the second would hit its target. I told him that this is a frequent occurrence in my parish (I won’t say quite where), as I have now been told by quite a number of parishioners who are pretty disgusted with the situation.
Anyway, I really do realize I still have to dedicate a post to why priests can and even should carry. Patience!
I’ve dealt with a lot of druggies in my day, and I must say that I never came across a druggie who was using drugs for “recreational use” or whom drugs made more mellow or laid back or just giggly and nothing more. Instead, there’s always anger, depression, escapism, and conformism and thus a pretending to be “cool” by way of subservience to the tyranny of relativism of the lowest common denominator of self-loathing (and therefore loathing of everything and everyone else). And, by the way, no… Laudie dog was not given any drugs for these pictures. She was yawning and stretching after a nap:
Laudie-dog is always happy to be Laudie-dog. And we should be happy to be Temples of the Holy Spirit with the peace and joy and gentleness and goodness and kindness and self-control that are given in abundance by the Holy Spirit. Trying to have all those things by our own determination would lead to a frustration that would put anyone on drugs. Receiving the same from the Holy Spirit is altogether different. Humble thanksgiving is where it’s at, always, without exception. Humble. Thanksgiving. Humble. Thanksgiving.
Speaking of drugs, the little towns of my parish are mired in them. There were drug houses on both sides of one of our churches. I just kept taking all the licence plate tag numbers of the customers continuously and obnoxiously, flashing my high-beams, all that, making it obvious what I was doing. That takes about a month or two if you’re on-site for the whole operation to move away. But I did it, meth-lab after meth-lab. They were really unhappy. Not very smart on my part, I suppose, but I have no time for for that kind of aggressive abuse of humanity. I’ve dealt with it all way too close to home for way too long a time. Am I willing to accompany druggies? Of course, but first, put the guns down and toss the drugs. While I don’t think that guns make anyone more violent, I do think that drugs open up that possibility. Drugs and guns don’t mix.
Laudie-dog’s teeth are her “guns” but they don’t make her more violent even when she’s finishing up taking the ol’ yawning drug (even though she looks a heck of a lot meaner):
How shameful! Father George is in a short-sleeved clergy tactical work shirt with the collar open doing a bit of R and R! And he’s, he’s, he’s a man of ecumenism, practicing up to be a Western North Carolina Baptist Minister Snake Handler! Surely he’s a snake in the grass! Whatever you want to call him (Eastern Racer, Bull Snake, Rat Snake, Black Snake, Snake in the Grass, Satan…), this is the friendliest kind of serpent in the world. Oh, I’m talking about the snake, not me! Or do I protest too much? Anyway, these guys are happy to laze around in the sun right in front of you, keeping a watchful eye for varmints.
It was a local one-time Baptist minister friend who was happy to see me practicing up. He’s the one who brought the snake over to a parishioner’s house as there was a developing problem of rats eating the dog food, a serious concern since she raises the best cadaver, drug, bomb, protection, accompaniment, PTSD, and especially bite-dogs in North America. Everyone was scared of the snake, only because they think such snakes bite. They don’t. But her bite-dogs do bite. One of them broke her training “arm” with one bite. She said she saw one bite-dog break both forearm bones and rip off the forearm of someone in one bite. Serious dogs. I’m making friends with the one that law enforcement is especially afraid of. So far, he sits down for me upon request, but at this point that only means that he’s happy to make a meal of me while sitting down. Yikes!
In these days of great confusion in both the Church and the world, I think we need to remember a sense of humor amidst all the darkness, and be able to bring joy to those around us. We are all Missionaries of Mercy when we do this, as this brings people hope. Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said that making people who suffer laugh was a great act of mercy. When we suffer we tend to drag all the hurt of the past into the present, and then project all that into the future dragging that, then, back into the present as well, making for unbearable suffering. But when, in the present moment, one is brought into innocent laughter, all of this mind-game with time of past and future is shattered, giving one hope for the future regardless of the past because of present goodness. Our greatest fears are brought under control with the love that Jesus Himself provides to us, His littlest children.
Update: sent in by a reader with the request of making a parallel video for priestly vocations:
Update: Charlene will be happy. Trident has been taken to the pound in hopes of finding the owner. ///
The EMT/Fire Department/Road Construction neighbor, in cahoots with another family among the neighbors who work and volunteer at the animal shelter in Marble, caught another dog on the loose (not from the puppy mill) and, because it’s after hours, brought it over to the rectory because I have a little fenced in area, you know, just for night, they say, while also bringing food and a food dish and a water dish. I know what they’re up to. It’s a conspiracy. To those who dismiss conspiracies just because they are conspiracies, you’ll just have to get over it, because that’s what it is. “Father George needs a dog!” I have to wonder if my guardian angel is in on the conspiracy.
She, fully a “she” by the way, which would have to be “fixed” around this part of the country, has a collar, but with no name, no number, no medical tattoos. There could be a chip. They’re coming back in the morning to grab her and bring her off to the animal shelter so as to put her through the process of looking for a possible owner. They’re leaving it up to me, of course, but the conspiracy was not at all hidden. They were having a really good time of it, laughing about it when I said, “I know what you’re all up to!” I’m afraid they’re going to keep bringing me dogs until I accept one. This one is super smart. Super gentle. Not an unnecessary barker, but instantly super protective. Hmmm…
Just to say, I went by the place whence a possible pure-bred German Shepherd puppy might come my way, but I didn’t stop when I was reminded just how big they can get. Wikipedia says 75 pounds for males, less so for females, but she said she has one at 120 pounds, and not overweight! They were enormous, and would never fit in my little trucks.
The one pictured above is mid-size at full grown puppy size. Whatever else this is, it is in large part “hound-dog”, that is, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, that is, a Lion Dog, the hell-dog of all dogs not because it’s from hell, but because it can stare hell in the face and take it on and win easily. The smartest and most ferocious of all dogs, though best as a watch dog, not a guard dog. These are simply way too active. Super gentle to the owner and to others if socialized. This dog is a few inches short of the standard, standing only 20 inches at the shoulder. The curved back brings her to 22 inches. She holds her head high.
“This is the Navy Seals of dog breeds and can keep up with a running horse for 30 miles.”
Extremely protective, extremely loyal, extremely active. This would have been the perfect dog for me at the hermitage, and was, as Laudie-dog was another example of the same, except not quite as pure-bred as this one, so just a bit more on the quiet side, until actual lions and bears and wolves came along. Nothing like that here, except for the human kind. I just couldn’t give this dog the attention and unstoppable exercise and training it must have. On the other hand, maybe this would be just the impetus to get me to exercise a bit.
If I were to keep this dog, I would name her Trident.
I am always thankful to the Navy Seals for the protection they offered to me back in the day. Anyway, to the point, there’s always an analogy to be made:
- Sometimes there are good conspiracies. Indeed. We have seen them.
- Sometimes there are evil conspiracies. Indeed. We have seen them.
Considering that last point, you do remember that the gates of hell shall not prevail, right?