Fire-dog, called such because of his blazing orange color, is a name which just didn’t work for me. Since he looks exactly like Laudie-dog (female name with “-ie”), he’s now officially Laudy-dog (male name with “-y”). Even on his rabies tag.
Before the trip to the vet:
He’s been able to lie down once again without taking hours to do this.
I’ve never seen him sit, but that’s coming I’m sure. The Vet mentioned seeing him sitting.
He’s gone from not eating at all, to eating one hand-fed kibble, to eating without being hand-fed.
He’s happier to go in and out of the house without this being an end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it event.
He has no more nightmares.
When he goes number two, he would scream. That’s going away.
The result from the visit to the Vet is that he has no heart worms, no whip worms, no ring worms, and he’s got all his shots for distemper/etc and rabbies.
The Vet examined the tail-thing that going on, and it seems he might have a dislocated tail, perhaps hit by a car, perhaps, you know… But I’m told that will very likely heal on its own in another week or two. All good.
He’s calming down after whatever trauma he went through, confident now that he’s not going to get hit or kicked or smashed down. He’s learning to assert himself.
Adopting a dog is good. Getting adopted by a dog is really cool.
All of a sudden there are gangs of dogs in the entire region here in Western North Carolina. These three, pictured above, include a couple that are run of the mill pets. But there are also beautiful dogs in such or gangs, such as that young puppy Husky-Wolf combo (see the widely placed, very short ears, along with the enormous puppy paws). Such gangs of dogs are new to the area. No collars.
Are they just being dumped by animal shelters, even from out of state, kill or no-kill, which simply don’t have the funds any more to deal with the dogs?
I mean, are people just dumping their dogs because of the high price of dog-food? And so there are way too many dogs for the animal shelters to deal with?
Did dog-fight idiots die, or were they arrested, with the result that all the bait-dogs were let go to fend for themselves? They were all pets previously.
Are children trafficked from the border being cage-fought (a thing around here), you know, to the death, just like the dogs. There’s a super-abundance of kids being trafficked. That changes everything. Cage-fought kids bring in higher spending gamblers more than just dogs. And the kids can be trafficked for porn and sex as well. So, ditch the dogs, right?
Meanwhile, Fire-dog seems to have a developing history of how he came to the church doors with no one ever having seen him previously. The night before Fire-dog was seen for the first time up at church a neighbor to the church spoke of a car in the upper-parking lot, and a car door slamming. That was Fire-dog being dumped and abandoned. I’m guessing that was to save the life of that dog, as Fire-dog was obviously abused terribly.
And, I mean, thanks for the compliment, you know, that that Catholic priest up there seems to like dogs a lot, and had a dog just like that, and maybe he’ll take care of this dog… blah blah blah…
But I can’t take care of all the dogs people are dumping all of a sudden…
I’d just like to note, however, that there might be an opposite and more far reaching effect that no one likes to think about when it comes to an overabundance of dogs. The dog-fighting idiots might start up again.
And there’s always a next step, as there is always bigger money. If dog-fighting for betting starts up again, you gotta know that cage-fighting whatever kids will start up again. And that’s a lot easier now.
Fire-dog is looking rather stern for just a second, but then figures out what a mirror is.
Then there’s a glance back at me, a glare, really, reprimanding me for having tricked her to being inside the mirror.
And then, with a heart-stopping “I’ll show you, you wise guy, you” kind of look, she totally jumps into the mirror and stares at me from inside the mirror itself, making me interact with the Fire-dog in the mirror as revenge. Heart stopping intelligence.
You recall Saint Paul’s thoughts:
“For now we see through a mirror [ἔσοπτρον], enigmatically” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
A mirror provides a reflection, does it not? And NOT necessarily of oneself if one knows how to use a mirror in other ways, such as is the case with the last picture of Fire-dog above, using the mirror to look at me.
Elsewhere we read about this reflection of God in His good creation, unless people do not want to see that reflection:
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
That verse from 1 Corinthians 13:12 about now seeing God through a mirror enigmatically continues:
“…but then [we will see] face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
In heaven, there are no tricks with mirrors. The beatific vision is most direct. God is love. I love that.
Background: Laudie-dog died a while back. Shadow-dog saw me bury her.
Yesterday after the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, “Tiny” (he IS Sasquatch) and I had a long discussion about dogs, something like pet dogs, protection dogs, service dogs, bite dogs, drug dogs, IED dogs, cadaver dogs, disease dogs, you know, man’s best friends, you know, Laudie-dog, Shadow-dog…
As we went outside we discovered Laudie-dog apparently redivivus. I’m naming this fiery orange Ridgeback Rhodesian Lion Dog Fire-dog for obvious reasons. Fire-dog was stubbornly lying on a carpet next to the church entrance, directly in front of our vehicles, right in front of the entrance of the social hall, strategically positioned, impossible to miss. This Fire-dog wanted to be noticed, possibly in trouble health wise.
This is the most quiet, most friendly, most humble, most unassuming fire-dog ever. Really sad, that, for the reason that I think this fire-dog was desperate to look cute, to be instant life-long friends with whomever it was that came along. Sorry, but I suspected that there must be some dark history of terrible suffering behind all that.
Tiny provided some treats that he always has on hand in his V.A. provided Jeep, though he has no dog himself, not yet anyway. It didn’t take any coaxing at all to get Fire-dog into the passenger seat of Sassy the Subaru. We went to the Veterinary clinic straightaway. No chips. No tattoos. And no collar, by the way. The one in the picture was picked up at the house, having belonged to Laudie-dog, fitting this Fire-dog perfectly. We then went to the animal shelter to see if they recognized such a creature. Nope. We asked people in town in the know about all the dogs on the streets. No one had seen Fire-dog previously.
The absolute earliest appointment with the vets is March 2nd. I’m thinking Fire-dog might not live until then. And that’s not because Shadow-dog would overpower and kill Fire-dog. No. They were instant lifelong friends. Never seen anything like it. Shadow-dog was entirely calm and respectful of Fire-dog. I think Shadow-dog knew that Fire-dog was terribly sick and that I wanted to do something for this Fire-dog. All good. Stunningly amazing though because of how instantly they were forever friends.
The reason I think Fire-dog may not make it is because of having suffered a possible act of domestic violence or a traffic accident. All the signs are there. Cowering. Nightmares. Timid. Taking, like, over an hour, maybe two hours, to circle about, ad nauseam, before laying down on a carpet for the remainder of the night, after waking up from a nightmare, having awakened by shrieking a shriek to bring down the house. It made Shadow-dog wake up, having him almost go through the ceiling in fright.
Also, this Fire-dog is not eating much. Only a few kibbles that I hand feed one at a time, just to please me. Maybe just shy, maybe sick. But the vets visit is a week out. I remember when Laudie-dog wasn’t eating because of a liver infection that finally took her out.
This was all on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which is to be about friendship with Jesus, spiritual exercises of almsgiving, prayer, fasting, providing for the widow and orphan. Yes. But I also think that being respectful of such creatures as are put in our paths quite literally surely by our guardian angels is consistent with all that which is more exalted, with love of God and neighbor.
As with Laudie-dog, Fire-dog is no rescue dog. I didn’t adopt Fire-dog. Fire-dog adopted me. Just like Laudie-dog. They own me, not vice versa. Shadow-dog is a rescue-dog, but that’s also a badge of honor, right? He’s still that Alpha when it comes to protecting me from attacking pit-bulls and such, and rightly so.
The stats point to this correlation of treatment of animals and humans. Abuse of animals indicates that abuse of human beings has already taken place or is about to take place, the stats climbing towards 100%. And while taking that from the other direction, that respect for animals necessarily means respect for human beings isn’t always true, that respect for animals is nevertheless good training for our fallen human nature to respect human beings. Well, that’s true if there’s just one more thing: humble thanksgiving for Jesus for having taken us deadly seriously, we who were such vicious dogs ripping Him to shreds on Calvary by our sin.
“For dogs have compassed me about, the assembly of the wicked have closed me in; they pierced my hands and my feet” (Psalm 22:16).
With Jesus forgiving us, we become instant lifelong, eternal friends with the Son of the Living God. He makes it so. “I call you friends,” He says.
Jesus took us on while we were smacked down by our sins, sick from our sins.
Shadow-dog got a new rope the other day. He immediately went into Snoopy-dog dance mode, with a twist, as you can see from the slideshow above. This is no silly ribbon dance.
When Cooper-pony next door appears in his next door back yard and taunts Shadow-dog, Shadow-dog instantly runs to grab this rope and whip it about as a threat, though it is actually his invitation to play.
And yet, play-mode for Shadow-dog can bring down an opponent, all part of play, right? Shadow-dog, in front of a real aggressor, say, with a knife, can look like he’s playing a game with that rope, but he can actually aim this heavy knotted weapon into the back of the knees of an aggressor, who, distracted, half-falling to the ground, can have his threat neutralized from the front, that is, Shadow-dog, quick as lightning, happily carrying away the knife, happy to have a toy that looks more serious.
Shadow-dog has tried out his advanced skill-sets on me multiple times, letting me know what he can do to protect me. A real joy to see him in action. It is to laugh in anticipation of what he do to disarm some nefarious character. Plenty of them around here.
And people wonder how it is that I learned in my own small way to bait bad-actors. It’s Shadow-dog, man’s best friend, who’s my teacher. To quote a certain character in that thriller ecclesiastical novel Jackass for the Hour, “It’s too easy.”
BTW and just to say, people also ask me about their pets going to heaven. The usual answer, citing Aquinas and such, has gotten stuck in a discussion about the non-immortality of animal souls, in that they were not meant ever to be in some sort of grace unifying them with the life of the Most Holy Trinity by way of Redemption and Salvation. When they die, they’re gone. Yep.
On the other hand, I think it’s makes sense to look at this from another perspective, that of the new heavens and the new earth. Animals are very much part of our existence. And they don’t have to be immortal to be in heaven. I don’t see why being in heaven necessitates the beatific vision. That’s not what animals were ever about. They’ll go about their vocations, so to speak, and live and die as individuals, and it’s all good. It just won’t be, in particular, this Laudie-dog or that Shadow-dog, but rather dogs whose species will be immortal, but not the individuals.
But, maybe I’m missing something. I’ve often heard that. :-)
Today’s Ash Wednesday: Be more joyful in friendship with Jesus during Lent than Shadow-dog has fun with his weapon-toys.
Shadow-dog’s story is that the locals ganged up with the police to arrange that I get Shadow-dog as a puppy at one and a half years old. He’s grown to be an well-oversized GSD.
A new cop, a good friend, didn’t know about Shadow-dog. He was visiting the neighbors on their front porch (I was there too). He heard some barking, didn’t like it, and immediately went to investigate at my house, where he met Shadow-dog for the first time. He ran back exclaiming, “I didn’t know Father George had a Bite Dog!”
Of course he would think that. Wishful thinking for the PD. But, no, Shadow-dog isn’t a trained bite-dog. But he does practice, as in the picture above. It’s much like using a rehab tool for an injured hand, something boxers might use:
One guy in town calls Shadow-dog “retarded” for carrying around “toys” like this, but Shadow-dog and I know better.
Although Shadow-dog is only a GSD, he is abnormally oversized, so I’m going to compare his bite to a wolf, whose normal bite clocks in at 406 psi, but over 1,200 psi when pumped with adrenaline. Maybe more, because he’s always practicing.
Meanwhile, we’re getting ready for Lent, right? Spiritual exercises!
When we exercise with those spiritual exercises, we find out how weak we are, and turn to Christ Jesus, in whose friendship those exercises are always to begin and end. Lent is about growing in friendship with Jesus.
+ Fulton J Sheen said that he couldn’t fast much because he would get testy with people. But we realize that, turn to Jesus, and keep going. That might give us an expression like Shadow-dog has in that picture up top of this post, but – Hey! – if this assists us to call on Jesus, assists us to be closer friends with Jesus, this is what it’s all about.
That’s facing West towards the driveway, from which arrival of the food-bearer is to be noted. But, with me being home, moments later he’s facing East, toward the usual approach of those wanting to attempt a home-invasion, until they meet up with oversized Shadow-dog:
Shadow-dog got a new doghouse yesterday evening. It’s set up quite a bit higher up to avoid any flooding. Apparently, just in time, as Ian is also set to drop lots of rain here in the mountains.
I’ve been trying to get a number of people I know down in Florida to evacuate, including my “Shadow.” You don’t think it can happen to you, until it does.
Oh, and Shadow-dog also got a new bed under the desk where I write. He loves it.
By the way, that special heavy-traffic grass does get trimmed a couple of times a year. That’s coming up soon. It’s the only thing that will keep that inner sanctum of the backyard from turning into a sea of mud. Seas of mud are the would-be joy of Shadow-dog. He’s the consummate German Shepherd.
The vet’s been having me put Shadow-dog on a diet saying that less weight will cut down the risk of hip dysplasia. Since losing some weight, he’s running more than ever, incredibly acrobatic in chomping on carpenter bees who challenge him. He’s lightning quick.
For me as well, yesterday was insanely busy. Run run run. Meeting, meeting, meeting. Phone call, phone call, phone call. Holy Mass and a zillion Confessions throughout the day, including my own. I love Confession. Our majestic Lord Jesus is good and kind.
Getting back to the rectory just at nightfall I did the perimeter walk to check on the garden, harvesting the daily handful of asparagus.
And then I saw it. My heart sank. Oh. No. The gate of the backyard fence was wide open and had been all day. I didn’t think of possible home invasion at all. Instead, my only thoughts were:
One second later, there he was, doing his own border patrol, just glancing up at me as he ignored the wide open gate as if it weren’t open, continuing on his merry way, making sure all is safe and secure.
I was awestruck. I’ve been underestimating Shadow-dog altogether. What a wonderfully loyal dog. This is what GSDs are all about. His job is to hold down the fort, not to investigate the neighborhood, not to go play with the neighbor dogs, not to chase after cars, not to harass the local druggies on their drug runs. He’s totally happy holding down the fort.
How cool is that? Needless to say, he got a lot of lovin’ for being such a good daaawg! His diet was enhanced with an evening meal of canned-meat dog-food and dog treats sent in by dearest Charlene.
Of course, Shadow-dog is wondering what all the fuss is about, that it’s all good, that he’s only been doing what he has to do as any GSD.
Analogy time: All of us have a vocation to do what we have to do: God’s will, which is, in loving Jesus by way of the grace He provides, keeping the commandments. But we’re not forced. The “gate” of the fence is open, as it were. We can chase off and do our own will. But we are only happy when accomplishing the will of God by way of God’s grace in our lives. Our joy is to see the open gate and do God’s will anyway, and with joy. Thank you, Jesus.
“When you have done everything commanded of you, you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ ” (Luke 17:10)
Shadow-dog has been missing Laudie-dog. You can tell by little behaviors. Me too. For instance, while there’s plenty of canned dog food, there’s also a dry-dog-food bin with which to alternate. There’s been two measuring cups in that bin for years, one is huge, made out of pryex, for Shadow-dog, and another, a smallish plastic measuring cup for Laudie-dog. It’s been how long since Laudie-dog died? And it’s only now it hit me that her measuring cup doesn’t need to be in that bin any more? It’s one of those thousand moments when you’re more self-aware that currents run deep…
Meanwhile, Shadow-dog, alone in holding down the fort, has been upping his game with ripping things to shreds as pictured above with his martial arts rope. He uses centrifugal force with great precision much like nunchaku. His greatest de-escalation technique is still his attention-getting voice, his greatest weapon his teeth and jaws, not that he’s ever had to use the latter.
Meanwhile, however great a fighter Shadow-dog might imagine himself to be, he’s still filled with naïveté.
Meanwhile, one of our police officers of retired fame, totally a dog guy, apparently got scared ****less (the description of the neighbor) when he stopped by (I wasn’t home). Running over to the neighbor, he had exclaimed: “I didn’t know Father George had a Bite-Dog!!! He’s huge!!!”
I admit, Shadow-dog is a bit intimidating, as he comes in quite a bit taller than the usual upper-max GSD height. All muscle, as he trains all day. He’s at the top of his game right now. But he’s also morphing, though he’s on the younger side of middle age. He’s losing his jet blackness. I think sanfelipe007 told me that would be the case years ago. Tell-tail wolf-brown patches have started in behind all four paws.
I’m imagining this is his new camouflage needed for upcoming golden-years, as it were. It’s a big, bad world out there and he’ll need all the help he can get. He’s also having to lose some of his naïveté, an ultra-socialization that was instilled into him during his first 18 months before I got him, eating, as he did, at the high-school cafeteria every day. The more trained up, the more camouflage, the more he’s a realist, the more loyalty he’s developing.
Shadow-dog got smacked hard on his snout last week, opening up a shallow but tender wound. Who knows how that happened, but I’m thinking someone reached over the fence to fake-pet him but instead smacked him hard with some sort of straight-edge. It’s healed now. He’s tough. But I’m sure he doesn’t like that treatment, not for himself, not for any other dogs. A stranger that mistreats a dog is how to make a dog an enemy and make him more loyal to his territory and owner at the same time.
Meanwhile, while Shadow-dog loses his naïveté, he also demonstrates that he has a big heart. He has a kind of crying mixed with anxiety mixed with anger mixed with eagerness to help when he hears bad and evil things going on in this part of town. I’m told that he was making this kind of commentary the other day. One of the neighbors said they heard what sounded like a dog who just got mortally wounded and was screaming bloody murder a bit further away in our part of the town, with shots fired and police called. Of course, animal abuse is a felony in North Carolina. Police are especially interested in stopping this, not only to rescue the animals, but because if someone’s hurting an animal, it’s pretty much guaranteed that human beings are being treated in the same way. Everyone had already fled.
Meanwhile, no matter how trained up and ready for the big bad world we think we are, we always have more naïveté to lose than we would ever care to admit. Some of us have already seen really a lot of bad and evil things in this life. I myself have seen really a lot of evil in every sector of society right around the world, from the very bottom to the very top, and it just continues, so much so that that I’m quite continuously exclaiming that I’m just so very naïve. My parishioners can testify to this.
I think this is a good thing to lose one’s naïveté, so as to see things as they are, and who we really are before God and neighbor. The best way to do this, everyday, is to behold Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, you know, with the wounds still upon His risen body. Stare at the wounds, lose naïveté. Jesus often spoke of malicious wolves, and our own selves being sent out amidst the wolves who would make sport of us, tossing us about and ripping us to shreds, you know, as the Master so the disciple. How can we not see those wounds? How can we not lose our naïveté?
The perfect camouflage in a bad and evil world is to look like a criminal in the bad and evil world, but in this way to so let our light shine before men…
Currents run deep. I’m guessing that Ponch is just now beginning to breath. Thanks be to God.
Meanwhile, Father Gordon MacRae says that Hill looks fierce, ferocious.
I say that Hill looks entirely placid.
Anyway, Father Gordon says that Hill is like the only dog in the Sacred Scriptures that appears without any negativity, you know is the Book of Tobit.
Of course, it depends what you mean by negativity.
“Get up and go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria. See, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, of which he has gone to take possession. Tell him that this is what the LORD says: ‘Have you not murdered a man and seized his land?’ Then tell him that this is also what the LORD says: ‘In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth, there also the dogs will lick up your blood— yes, yours!’” When Elijah arrived, Ahab said to him, “So you have found me out, my enemy.” He replied, “I have found you out because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the LORD. (1 Kings 21:18-20).
The dogs licking up the blood of the enemies is absolutely glorious. I would say: “Goood DAWWWG!”
There are a lot of goood DAWWWGs in Sacred Scripture.
I’ve been spending lots of time with Laudie-dog the last couple of weeks, especially the last number of days. I’m sure there are those who think that pets are a waste of time for a priest.
But she’s been very sick. The last picture above was yesterday morning.
And then, some hours later…
I did everything I could to keep Laudie-dog going, to no avail. She was quite old in dog-years.
She adopted me as a puppy at the hermitage, skeletal thin, a bit mangey, and it seems whoever her owners were dumped her in the forest and shot with bird shot between the shoulder blades, surely to make her run away and never come back. Was it because she was the sweetest dog in the world?
After being nursed up to good health Laudie-dog saved me umpteen times from bears, coyotes, red wolves, a grey wolf, lynx, mountain lions, and, worst of all, a panther, twice. The last incident with the panther was a bit scary. That went on fully forty minutes.
Meanwhile, moving to civilization here in Andrews, she was shot with a hunting pellet on the side of her neck, then later, according to the Vet, again shot with another hunting pellet point-blank in the esophagus. On that latter occasion she was also poisoned, as was Shadow-dog. They were both dead sick for some days.
Meanwhile, Laudie-dog was a good friend, totally the outside dog, but when I would come home, totally the inside dog. She was the best at running a million miles an hour down steep forest ridges, but even better at catching up with some shut-eye inside. From what I’ve seen of how PTSD dogs work, she would have been the best ever.
Meanwhile, did not Charlene send her treats galore. It was the Milk Bone marrow nuggets that kept her going in these last days. Others stopped in personally to give Laudie-dog treats, and then leave the whole bag or container. If she was the sweetest dog, she was also the most spoiled dog.
It’s always good to have such as Laudie-dog ’round about. Did not Don Bosco have Grigio? And how about that dog who fed Saint Roch?
Meanwhile, Shadow-dog is a bit disoriented without someone to play with.
Meanwhile, I thank God for Laudie-dog…
As requested, Laudie-dog smiling, here just having woken up:
Diagnosis from the doctor: Laudie-dog’s sick. Some hope, but… So, she’s got some meds for a while.
Updates: So, I’ve been bedside nursing Laudie-dog at home…
Monday and Tuesday: She wasn’t drinking any water at all. Not a drop. So I was taking an oral syringe marked for 5 milliliters for meds but which can handle 8 milliliters. I was squirting full syringes to the back of her mouth a zillion times. We have a great system for that: I ask my guardian angel for help, and Laudie-dog is totally good with it. Every time. The vet recommended a diet of rice and chicken. Laudie put aside every single grain of rice and ate just a little chicken on Monday night, maybe just a 1/2 ounce. Tuesday she ate a whole chicken breast. I had to carry her back and forth to do her duty outside.
Wednesday: When she stood up she fell over. But then, about half hour later, Laudie started chugalugging water, like four times that I noticed. She ate a whole bowl of rice and one and a quarter chicken breasts, 15 ounces altogether. Three pieces of bread (someone said that wasn’t the best, so, I’ll stop that) and about 1/4 cup of peanut butter.
Thursday, today: She ate about 11 ounces of chicken breast straight away and has chugalugged water already thrice early this morning. She looks brighter eyed, is doing her duty on her own. I still need to help her up the steps back inside. Last night she actually slept throughout the night instead of walking about aimlessly, instead of standing in place like Styrofoam for long periods of time. She’s still unsure on her feet. She’s resting better.
Only now do I find out that my most favorite State Department officer, now retired, the great Charlene Duline, is, as usual through the years, the benefactor of doggie-treats for Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog.
These pictures were taken a while back. I imagine I’ll have to get some new pictures soon. Snow!
These arrived anonymously via Amazon yesterday evening, mere hours after putting up a doggie post. I had mentioned that a certain Military Intel guy, an enemy of all that is cartels and drugs, provided some doggie treats in person at the car-port gate. Apparently there is now a competition to ruin and spoil the pooches, to the end that they are both “rûnt” & “spõlt” as they say in WNC. I’m good with that. But “Oinkies” (second from the right)? Lol. Those are clearly for Laudie-dog. They already passed her taste test. She’s very content.
So, I get it. What this also means is that even if, like in a certain province in Canada, supermarkets are allowed to ban the unvaxed from buying food where you live, maybe you’ll still be able to go food shopping on Amazon. I would just hope that there is more to eat than Oinkies. And if I were to eat an Oinkie, well, I don’t think I would be able to do that. Laudie-dog would jump up and rip it from my mouth, indignant that I would eat any Oinkie that surely belonged to her.
I’ve gotten quite a number of hints that I haven’t been posting enough about Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog. Today’s the day.
Laudie-dog, the fiery-orange dog as the fire-dog was captured in the picture above was last evening. For about the last six months she’s become quite a bit more frail in her old age of eleven to twelve years. She gets super-pampered, of course. She’s the princess! Treats have recently been hand-delivered by a guy who, in his 28 year military intel career, once was in the habit of messing around with DISA across from the NSA. Laudie-dog very much likes both the shish kabob and the bacon treats, as does Shadow-dog.
Meanwhile, Shadow-dog is forever the dance-of-death-dog, as was captured in the picture below early this morning. His shadow seems to be more solid than himself as he dances the death of the rope he’s ripping to shreds. The rope, mind you, is 1.5 inches in diameter, and three feet long but with five huge knots, bringing the real length to six feet and weighing in at just over two pounds, the average weight of a full grown Timber Rattler or Crotalus horridus horridus. The rope itself, being ripped about like this at lightning speed, can just about break your leg if it hits you as you walk by. I know. And Shadow knows this as well. He’s proud to report his advances as a martial artist with his arsenal of weaponry.
Shadow is at the perfect age, at the top of his defense game over against the constant flow of druggies around the house, but is also the perfect gentle-dog with me. He’s now inside with me at night, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t perfectly aware of what’s going on outside. The other night, for the first time, he went ballistic at the front door and then came running through my little rectory to get me, insisting that I follow him as he barked at the front door. That scared off whoever was there. Now they know not to mess with this house at night.
Maybe. In Kansas the other day, a cop was at home for a quick nap, cruiser in the driveway. Someone, awaiting the opportunity for terroristic threat logistics, grabbed the cop’s puppy silently, perhaps a baseball bat to the head to keep it quiet, removed the dog to another location, beheaded the puppy, brought the body back (not the head), smashed the house open to dump the dog inside (blood everywhere, of course), then fled, knowing the cop was inside and would come to that door but would be stopped.
Stats are that anyone who does that to an animal will do that, will already have done that to human beings. Here’s the puppy, just before all that, alive, just like a little Shadow-dog:
Here’s Shadow-dog with mud on his forehead. The fence is 4′ tall, with the top of this gate – off the ground – standing at about 4’4″. He could easily put a paw on either shoulder of a 6’2″ man, you know, to ask “Where have you been?” you know, for someone friendly. You see that pipe he’s leaning on? In the next picture, that’s what you see to the left of the picture, looking way, way down to miniscule Laudie-dog. Her greeting is a tap-dance step she knows. I say miniscule, but that’s relative, as she’s about 40 pounds, while Shadow-dog is not quite three times that.
On one of the Communion Calls yesterday – that household having a half-dozen dogs inside – I showed the following picture of Laudie-dog, making the elderly-infirm there go “Awwwww!” with smiles all around, and a chuckle as to how wonderful Laudie-dog is. :-)
Archbishop Fulton J Sheen says that when you visit those who are suffering, try to break the dynamic of suffering, the ol’ dragging all the suffering of the past into the present, and dragging al the predicted suffering of the future into the present, making for extreme agony. Break that, he said, with some humor. Make them laugh.
After seeing the face of Laudie-dog, all were ready to see the Holy Face of Jesus, our Eucharistic King. Of course, we had more preparation for Holy Communion! But don’t discount that in Genesis we read that the animals were created as a help to us all. We need all the help we can get, and if this works to break the suffering enough to pay attention in rejoicing to Christ Jesus, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, I won’t hesitate for a second.
Later, I let everyone see the picture of Shadow-dog above. “Oh! … Wow! …” was the reaction. :-)
P.S.: Laudie-dog’s tail had been cosmetically chopped off (Grrrr!) Shadow-dog’s tail, bigger than Laudie-dog all on its own, suffices for both.
P.Ss.: Many Nursing Home / Rehabs are cautiously opening up around the country. Those who have been inside have been cooped up WAY TOO LONG. How about signing up to be one of those volunteers who walks people around outside for some fresh air and a change of scenery, offering good conversation and friendship in the Lord? “…and you visited me,” says the Lord God, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.
By the way, will doing something like that also help you to break any monotony of Covid that you have have been in. If it was all weird for you, imagine what it was like for them.
I was bringing in groceries the other day, leaving the gate open as Laudie-dog was in the house and Shadow-dog never wants to venture out of the yard. But this time he surprised me and ran out and straightaway jumped into the back of Sassy the Subaru… and he wouldn’t leave the back end of the car. He’s saying:
“From now on there ain’t no way you’re going away without me being with you, little Georgie. It’s scary out there. I know, because I’m here when you’re gone, and you have no idea what I keep away from the homestead.”
Of course, that would involve heaps of very expensive training, harnesses, permits (for which I’m not necessarily qualified), etc. I’d rather have him watch over the homestead. We still have no police on active duty.
If I do get him down from the car I just have to say “Up!” and he flies into the back, happy as ever. Still gotta wonder if he was on his way to being trained up as a drug dog. There are some things that just come natural to him. If I did bring him with me, Subaru has a kind of fence you can install way in the back or maybe aftermarket dealers make the same for behind the front seats (with the back seats folded down). That way I could leave him locked in the car with the back windows half down and the front windows all the way down. Anyone reaching inside the front to unlock the doors manually so as to jack the ignition will set off the factory installed car alarm, also setting off a bark-alarm. Shadow could, I imagine, rip down any such fence if he wanted and make quick work of the car-jacker. ;-)
Shadow-dog, setting a good example, has most excellent over-the-top skill sets in hunting and shredding and then devouring “Easter Rabbits” with their baskets of eggs.
The Easter Rabbit comes from a time of fasting in which no meat at all was eaten during lent, not even rabbits. But now, with rabbits having had time to proliferate during Lent, they are everywhere just waiting to be devoured as part of the celebration of Easter when there is not fasting.
The Easter eggs thing comes from a time of fasting in which no eggs[!] at all were eater during lent. At Easter, there is no such fasting, and everyone would immediately hunt down all the eggs they could find, both eating them and, in their rejoicing that Lent was over because our dear Lord and God and Savior was now risen from the dead, they would decorate those eggs and give them to others, encouraging rejoicing all the more.
Dogs killing Easter Rabbits with baskets of eggs for the devouring of all and sundry. Great! Perfect card for Easter, actually. Kill that meat-rabbit! Eat those eggs!
By the way, Shadow-dog has been practicing right along to kill that rabbit and sack the eggs:
Going a million miles an hour with church activities and in the community at large as we are about to begin the Sacred Triduum at the end of Holy Week, this post is a bit of a hodge-podge. Sorry about that. I hope it makes some sense.
With that disclaimer, take a look at the face of that dog pictured above. This dog – what looks to be a kind of American Pit-Bull mix – has a certain expression on his face, a visage of total loyalty to his adopted human being, an expression of utter freedom choosing to be tied in friendship to the guy he’s now accompanying and protecting.
I see this expression daily. When Laudie-dog adopted me – shot between the shoulder blades with bird-shot, mangy, skeletally thin – when Laudie-dog realized that I accepted being adopted, she has used this “look” as her default:
Yes, that is a smile.
Yes, that is a look of situational awareness against untoward aggression of previous owners and strangers.
Yes, that is an expression of pride: “This is my raison d’être, and no one is going to tear me away.”
Laudie-dog is given to protecting Jesus and Mary.
I see this expression daily. When I was designated to be adopted by Shadow-dog, he was a bit rambunctious, wolf-dog that he is. His life had been quite the maelstrom of food gathering, always in all the wrong places. After realizing that being a loyal friend and protector for me was his raison d’être, and that he entirely enjoyed this, he became the dog pictured up top of this post, as it were.
Mind you, that scarred dog pictured at the top of this post is is a street-dog who adopted that human being, a good friend. That street-dog had been and continues to be THE alpha-dog of all the alpha-dogs in that small city where my friend lives, regardless of the size of the gangs of sycophant-dogs gathering around whatever alpha-dog other than the one pictured above.
Yes, those are scars of battle on dog in that picture up top, scars surely received from other alpha-dogs who failed in their efforts, scars also surely received from other human beings throwing rocks and other rubbish at him, putting him through all that hell’s minions have to inflict upon any creature of our good God in this world.
That dog in the top picture is by far the most heroic vigilante-dog in the region, meaning that he is good and kind, but able to take care of any threat whatsoever there might be against the one he has taken to protecting.
Dogs sense quite exactly, judge quite certainly, rightly, correctly, what any human soul is on about, whether they are good, or malicious. And if good, whether that person is naïve or has suffered the onslaught of hell but has survived.
The guy in the background recognizing the wherewithal of this dog has, in fact, suffered the onslaught of all the hell that can be launched against any one person in this sorry, fallen world. He’s very much like what I have described about this dog, well able to take care of himself and others, but also carrying within himself the grace of the Living Truth of God. God’s non-human creatures are attracted to this goodness and kindness that has faced the entirety of evil and has chosen to remain with the Light.
After a week or two I’ll be able to link to a much fuller story about these two creatures of our good God.
SOME WORDS ON FRIENDSHIP: In speaking to a possible seminarian from the northeast U.S.A. the other week, friendship came up in the lengthy discussion. I said that friendship, true and deep friendship, is entirely dependent on the depth of unity that both of those souls have with the Living Truth, Christ our God. When there is total respect and reverence and obedience in all humility by God’s grace to Jesus and His Immaculate Mother, there is then shared sincerity in the Living Truth in that friendship. When I mentioned that this friendship is immediately recognized by such souls – the joy of each being entirely sourced in humble thanksgiving to Jesus – there was an immediate expression of recognition of that truth: “Yes! That’s it! Exactly! Jesus is the One!”
That’s the kind of friend to whom you would entrust your life in a life-threatening situation. That’s the kind of friend for whom you would lay down your life in a life-threatening situation. There is no greater love than that of laying down one’s life for one’s friends (see John 15:13), words spoken by Jesus on Holy Thursday as He lay down His life for us at the Last Supper, in Gethsemane, the beginning of this Sacred Triduum.
“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another. “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” (John 15:13-20)
But, here’s the amazing part: Jesus loved us while we are yet minions of hell, while we were yet sinners, loving us in such manner in all truth as to bring us from sin into the joy of the children of God and of Immaculate Mary. Not that we get this right away. Within moments, Judas would betray Him, Peter would deny Him three times, and then all of them would run away, with Judas committing suicide.
Father George, you don’t understand. You’ve been speaking so much about guardian angels and now you speak about dogs, even daring to go from dogs to… to… Jesus?! How dare you!
Yes, well. Methinks that the guardian angel of Saint John Bosco had something to do with Grigio coming to the rescue of the great saint Don Bosco for a good part of his life:
I remember trying with futility to get Shadow-dog to take his meds, which I had to put down his throat. It wasn’t going to happen, what with his being a “cane lupo”, a wolf-dog, indeed, oversized. I stopped trying, prayed to my guardian angel for assistance in the task, blaming my guardian angel, as it were, for getting me such a dog. And then I tried once more. This time and for the rest of the course of these meds, Shadow-dog just sat there calm and respectful as ever, letting me put the medicine down his throat with zero difficulty. Stunning, really.
Speaking of faces during Holy Week:
“It’s-The-Face”-God. Jesus. The Holy Face speaks in death, Jesus having laid down His life for us, whom He later called friends, but at time we became His enemies. God’s in unconditional, taking us where we are at, to start, but He requires that we assent to be changed from death to Life if we are to be with Him in Heaven.