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.
Whatever the unfortunate political collateral damage good donkeys must suffer because of presently passing circumstances, it remains true that donkeys have always been an intimate part of the life of the Holy Family, with (usually) highly complimentary imagery throughout both Testaments of Sacred Scripture and then in the life of the Church.
It has come to my attention that there are interlopers out there, namely, from a Religious Order that rhymes with the Order of Preachers, those Dominicans, particularly those of the Great Province of Saint Joseph in these USA, who are surely self-fancied as those guard-dogs, those sheep-dogs, who ride around the flock on the backs of donkeys, pretending that donkeys are not really guard-donkeys, just those dogs that they are.
They find agreement with Saint Augustine, who would call yours truly an ass, but then he at least would encourage me that, nonetheless, I carry Christ: “Asinus es, sed Christum portas.” I won’t begrudge them the ride, of course, because those dogs carry the light of Christ, Himself the Lumen Gentium, to the whole world. Blessings upon them.
Here are those dogs. I note that they are braying away. :-)
It’s not always the case, but the other night Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog were both inside with me. But then, at zero-dark-thirty (as always), one of the local thugs knocked quietly on the outer walls of the rectory, surely not to get my attention, but to see if he could get the attention of the dogs. I’m sure the dogs would have been shot yet again with a pellet gun had they been outside. Shadow-dog has now been shot some eight times plus a 9mm to his dog house since he adopted me by way of the Police Department, while Laudie-dog has been shot twice since I’ve had her and once more before she adopted me.
Anyway, something must have spooked the thug, maybe someone driving by out front, and he ran in the direction of the drug-house through the creek-side of the back yard of the rectory. Of course, maybe he was smacked by a feather of my guardian angel to get him running full speed. :-)
On the creek-side of the back perimeter of the property there’s four-foot high goat-wire fence, plain as day for all to see, even at night if my flood-lights are on; the lights are about as bright as the sun as pretty much everyone in town informs me. This guy seems to have run full speed right into the goat wire. I’m not sure what that makes him… The neighbor pointed out the destruction to me the next day, calling me up all upset. Together we noted the dynamics of how the fence was violently stretched out of shape blown out from the rectory side of the fencing. The goat wire is attached to the chain-link fence on the one side, but just stands loose and is lightly wrapped around a tree on the far side by the creek (not attached at all).
I can only imagine the scene of this guy running into that fence, flipping him head over heels, having him hit his head hard on the cement driveway of the neighbor. Ouch! Karma? Not so sure about that. How about irony. No, there’s got to be something more personal. Let’s see… my Guardian Angel! Yes, I think that’s it.
I immediately smashed into the ground a couple of what we Minnesotans call snow-fence posts along the fence line as a temporary measure. These were from the once-upon-a-time hermitage, after which I gave them to yet another neighbor. He’s re-envisioned his garden for next Summer and just gave them back to me.
That’s just temporary. The goat wire will be tied up much more sturdily, and I’ll be adding some more lengths of goat wire fencing on the creek side with the help of yet more posts. Meanwhile, the back yard neighbor – really nice guy – gave me quite a lot of barbed wire to add to the top. Heheheh. Of course, any good thievery tools will be able to cut down all the fencing within seconds. I don’t put my trust in fences. I just want to do what I can to protect the dogs. This is also to protect the neighbor at the back. The creek is a kind of highway for the druggies and home-invaders. My neighbors, especially those with little kids, don’t like all the heroin needles and ruffians around the back doors of their homes. The little goat-wire fence helps to dissuade the dark side from making this their avoid-the-police path.
Meanwhile, a funny story about fences and priests:
Some tough church ladies told me a funny story down in Australia as I was installed as the new pastor in that outback parish. I was in Australia to teach in the new country seminary, and the bishop had me doubling up the work by having me do up some trouble-shooting, having me also follow an all-too-weak priest who was doing way too much fence sitting. His fence sitting upset the tough church ladies, and so they hauled him aside and told him the truth of the matter in no uncertain terms, no fence sitters they:
“You can’t be sitting on the fence these days, Father, because these days we make fences out of razer-wire.”
Perfect. I love that. Church ladies are always tough.
Above, a while back, Laudie-dog wakes up safe and secure, happy as ever. But recently that wasn’t the case, with both she and Shadow-dog having been poisoned. But as I now find out, that wasn’t the worst of it.
Laudie-dog has been having problems with a wound on her neck where she had been shot with a pellet gun quite a while back, but the vet recognized that although there might surely be a bit of shrapnel there, causing occasional minor eruptions, that wound was good to go as is. You gotta know, thugs and buffoons shoot dogs in WNC not infrequently. Vets see some of the worst humanity has to offer and know what really needs to be treated or not, or at least not yet. Being a vet might be about animals, but it’s the behavior of human beings that veterinarians all get to know all too well, with which they are burdened. They have to deal with the injuries of illegally placed bear traps, shootings, poisonings, dog-fighting, neglect…
Meanwhile, I inquired about a very recent skin-event on Laudie-dog’s neck, a pyoderma bacterial infection that is most often occasioned by, that is, secondary to local trauma. Looking at the unrepeatable circumstances of what was happening, the doctor said that it’s her best hypothesis that Laudie-dog was shot with a pellet gun yet again. Because of the location this would likely have had to have been point-blank, centered perfectly on the esophagus under her chin. Sweet Laudie-dog, the friendliest dog in the world. Why? That’s the point. She’s defenseless, and the cowardly thugs and buffoons take advantage of her sweetness. For this pyoderma to develop as it has, the timeline is that this would have been triggered, so to speak, when she and Shadow-dog were also poisoned.
For all of my bluster about the tender snowflake bullies, with all their gang safety, their bowie knives and machetes and lead pipes and chains and pistols and rifles and baseball bats and threats to beat the brains of the dogs in the neighborhood, and for all of my complaints about Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog getting shot with pellet guns previously (and Shadow-dog’s dog-house with a 9mm), this most recent violence against Laudie-dog still surprised me, as I guess I just didn’t want to go there.
I’m all the more streetwise, and Laudie-dog is now taking the usual course of 500mg of good ol’ generic Cephalexin every 8 hours for seven days. And she’s as happy as ever. BUT… warned the good doctor, if there is anything weird that develops with that wound, I’m to bring Laudie-dog straight back for a check-up on her progress or lack thereof. I’m keeping close watch. GOOOOD DAAAWG!
Meanwhile, I should examine my own behavior to see if I’m the one bringing this on in some manner, you know, the ol’ if something goes wrong I should blame myself thing: It’s the victim’s fault! That must be it! Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!
I bet if I cave and take down my thin blue line flag, it’ll all be better. Yes, I’ll do that, take down the thin blue line flag… NOT!
On second thought, maybe such violence is taking place because of the angels and manger scene, because of Mary and Anthony of Padua. Maybe such a presentation is a microaggression worthy of being punished by way of the dogs…
No, no. I bet it’s the combination of all these things. THAT’s it! I’ll go take it all down right now!
Marcus is the Lone Survivor Navy SEAL guy, married, with kids, your normal Texan. Back Stateside, provided a service dog, he named the dog after his team: D.A.S.Y. That is:
Danny = Daniel Phillip Dietz Jr: Navy Cross, Purple Heart – 25 years old (RIP)
Alexson = Matthew Gene “Axe” Axelson: Navy Cross, Purple Heart – 24 years old (RIP) – [Note that one of Marcus’ kids is named Axe, after Matt Axelson. That should tell you something]
Southern Boy = Marcus Luttrell: Navy Cross, Purple Heart – Lone Survivor
Yankee = Michael Patrick “Murph” Murphy: Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Silver Star – 24 years old (RIP)
It’s not just that the dog murderers shot DASY. No, no. They also beat DASY’s brains out with a baseball bat. Stats are that anyone who can randomly do that to a dog is also doing that human beings, usually a defenseless partner, usually children, only those who are much weaker than they are, you know, because, as always, guys like these are total cowards. They hit DASY in the middle of the night. In the 911 call played out above we find out that they have also called 911 on themselves so as to be saved from the guy whose dog they murdered. Meanwhile, Marcus, gentleman that he is, had already called 911 so that Law Enforcement and the American justice system would be put into action properly. As Marcus says of himself, he’s no murderer, but rather someone who supports Law Enforcement and the American justice system. That’s why he served in the Military. Yes.
Meanwhile, John Wick’s dog, called Daisy, is an obvious reference to Marcus Luttrell’s DASY, as there are another dozen parallels as to how this film series is all about an alternative ending to the dog-murdering, surely to point out how, instead, Marcus is above the fray of mere vengeance. And that makes Marcus a hero to me, that is, not someone to render hero-worship (that being a sickness), but rather someone whose example I try to follow in my own life.
Meanwhile, my own Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog were both poisoned the other week. They survived, but only because, as I found out later, the perp was interrupted by my good neighbor just before I got home. Continuing to inquire about what the poison could have been, the substance has been narrowed down to that which has a lot more lethality to it than what I originally thought it might be. In this case, as far as the dogs’ owner goes, myself, I’m guessing that the perp knows well that I myself am a relatively easy target, so very much unlike our run of the mill citizen of Texas, the great Marcus Luttrell, and the later fictional John Wick. That I was considered to be an easy target was the opinion of an Army sniper here in town, the one who now owns Jenny the Jeep. We all know how lethal a Navy SEAL can be, but what about John Wick? Take a look at this short analysis of the skills of John Wick and his director at just a 1/4 speed (stunning attention to detail):
Anyway, yours truly, obviously a “weak target”, who’s never pulled a trigger on anyone for any reason, is given over to being at the ready to defend those who are successfully being unjustly aggressed in a deadly manner right in front of me, say, during a mass shooting in my church, but that defense is not comprehensive of Shadow-dog nor Laudie-dog. Sorry for you who are just as much dog-lovers as me. They have many times put themselves on the line for me, but still… Mind you, murdering my dogs right in front of me is going to raise some intensified situational awareness by way of the all focusing adrenaline. I’ll be 360ﾟat the ready to send off – if need be in unrepeatable circumstances – two to the spinal column and one to the brain box into any number of targets, you know, if I’m fired upon and am actively being hit, set on fire with my lungs being singed, stabbed repeatedly to bleed-out parts of the body, you know the drill. I have done up a bit of scenario drills. The aim, so to speak, would be merely to neutralize not any aggressor(s), but any ultra deadly threat actively being delivered by any aggressor(s). You take out such a threat, not necessarily any aggressor(s) bearing any such threat. Just to be clear. The relatively speaking freakoid record for yours truly which I’ll never repeat again (no target ammo in these USA to keep up the skills…) from a locked holster at a randomly set Competition Electronics’ Pocket Pro II shot timer is – for the two plus one drill – 1.01 seconds. Slow for those mentioned above, of course. And now I’m much, much slower than that.
My neighbors and I have noted how the local cowardly thugs and buffoons carry bowie knives, machetes, baseball bats, lead pipes, heavy chains, pistols, shotguns, (sniper) rifles. Whatever. They look tough, well, laughably, but all that “toughness” only means that they are cowards, always in packs, always almost incapable of even standing up without falling over. The local thugs and buffoons have expressed disdain for dogs to me and have three times stated that they will kill the neighbor’s sweet dog by coming back with a baseball bat to beat that that puppy’s brains out (witnessed). Yep. But, I know, the last thing a thug and buffoon will carry with them is any violence or threats of violence they have ever done or made. Thier own evil is not on their own radar. So, no real ongoing threat. Not in the least.
Having said that, I should add that Laudie-dog was shot in the neck with a pellet gun just under her left ear the other year, and that wound is still festering enough for Shadow-dog to tenderly offer some dog-medic treatment for quite a few minutes even now, with Laudie-dog very appreciative with all that tender care:
The Vet didn’t want to do anything with that ongoing wound just yet. Meanwhile, as I have sometimes said, Shadow-dog is himself well aware of the hurt coming from pellet guns, having been the victim already four times. We’re all happy that, as a wolf-dog, he has fully three coats of fur, all the more thick and heavy around the neck. A bit more worrisome, however, is that his doghouse – next to the house – was hit by a 9mm bullet. I changed out the doghouse so as to confuse the idiot perps a bit. Confusing idiot perps is easy, unless they are not on drugs, unless they are determined just to be evil outside of any evil wrought merely for political correctness with thug peers. Some of the druggies are not druggies at all, but deal only with money and suppliers, keeping track of suppliers, enforcing debt collection. They are likely to be just a bit more dangerous, though I doubt that even they know how to work any safeties on guns, or how to load up a magazine and lock it in, or even whether or not there are any bullets in whatever gun. However, if you yourself get shot in a totally unprovoked attack, you can judge in that very nanosecond that a deadly threat is presently being delivered and if this is in turn judged not to be an accidental discharge but someone continuing to fire at you, the self-defense you render over against such an unprovoked attack is not only justified, but is certainly a contribution to the exercise of the virtue of justice.
The 911 call at the top of this post is after the initial nanosecond of the actual murder of DASY, and Marcus himself was not shot at or attacked with any baseball bat: the perps, the cowards, ran away. The way Marcus brought DASY’s attackers to justice honors those after whom DASY had been named.
May Danny, Axe and Yankee rest in peace. Amen.
And thanks, Marcus, for setting a standard to strive after.
BTW, the comments section after that YouTube 911 call are some of the best on the internet, not because of the hilarious ones (there are a lot) but because the occasional one which is in obvious solidarity with Marcus in a way that could only be done by someone who likewise has suffered for all that is good, who has likewise seen his close friends taken out in front of him. Quite sobering, really. And we need that in these crazy anti-American times we now live in here in these United States of America.
And, yes, it is in God that we trust. Always. Everywhere. In every situation. Amen.
Shadow-dog is not barfing up that rope-toy. Pictures are tricky that way. Both Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog are in great health once again, and are celebrating with super special treats from dearest Charlene.
Shadow-dog was eager and happy to have a taste of these, but sweetest Laudie-dog was over the moon, dancing, happy, bright eyed, smiling. I think Laudie-dog will get the lion’s share, as it were, because, you know, she’s a Rhodesian Ridge Back Lion Dog.
If you can spot the note on top of the treats in the picture farther above, it is only Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog who get a Happy Thanksgiving. Yours truly is, however, tacked on to the thanksgiving to God, after Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog!
Dearest Charlene, we also thank God for you and the service you’ve done right around the world at the Department of State and now for many years for Father Gordon and so many others. Blessings upon you. God reward you.
That’s Laudie-dog above, the sweetest dog in the world. She’s good now. But who would poison her?
And that’s Shadow-dog below, the most playful dog in the world. He’s good now. But who would poison him?
Early Wednesday, just after midnight, I arrived back home after the epic Day Off, relieved in seeing Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog peek through the chain-link fence gate to ascertain it was me. But then they disappeared again to check out I didn’t know what at the other side of the house. That’s never happened. But then they came back to greet me once again as I got to the gate. Whatever had been happening at the other side of the house was now ended. But something was wrong, terribly wrong.
They were totally in malaise, no energy, no dancing around, no fake-fighting with each other to get the first pats on the head, no eagerness, like dead dogs still alive but hardly able to walk without falling over.
Shadow-dog stays out 24/7/365 now that he’s somewhat outgrown his all-night commentary on the druggies and assaulters and rapists and murderers in the neighborhood. He got his supper-dish filled with his evening meal, late, but better late than never. Except this time. He wouldn’t touch it. He was vacuous. A shell of a dog. Empty eyes. Receding into the background. Not this:
Laudie-dog was able to make it up the few steps to come inside but I thought she was going to drop dead right then and there. I put her supper dish down with the usual evening ration. She’s always eager to eat and eager to never stop eating. But Laudie-dog wouldn’t eat. Every movement was painfully slow. She slowly sat down, and then ever so slowly tried to turn her head sideways to stare at her stomach. I’ve never seen that before. Then she took a few steps, sat down, and stared ever so dully at the wall. Vacuous. Nothing there. A shell of a dog. Receding into the background.
Next morning Laudie-dog still hadn’t eaten anything. Shadow-dog did eat sometime during the night, but, like Laudie-dog, was still in total malaise. Later in the morning, Laudie-dog would also eat, choosing just this bit, then that, ever so very slowly, one chew, then opening her jaw with effort, as if in great sadness, then another chew. Excruciating.
Before rushing down to Georgia’s National Cemetery for a military burial, the neighbor filled in some of the details about the previous evening while I was away. It’s said that Shadow-dog was barking, really a lot, fiercely, for hours. The neighbors finally came out to investigate and noticed that the two dogs were on the far side of the house looking up toward the street, barking ferociously. But that’s just when I arrived home. I didn’t see the good neighbors and I didn’t see who had been bothering the dogs. I’m happy with avoiding trouble that could escalate into what nobody wants.
I’m thinking that someone noticed I wasn’t home, and was trying to figure out how to do a home invasion, then went away and came back to give some tasty bits of food to the dogs to eat, but with poison, to knock them out in order to do a home invasion. I’m guessing Laudie-dog ate everything she could while Shadow-dog investigated the first one or two offerings, but let Laudie-dog finish the rest. She got a lot sicker than he did. He was altogether occupied with keeping yet another home-invader, dog poisoner at bay. He did do that. But as soon as the danger was gone, just when I arrived back home, their adrenaline dump now left them and the effects of the poison came to the fore.
In other words, they gave their all to protect the home-front, risking death to do so. Goooooood daaaaawwwgs.
Meanwhile, as I write this, late Thursday, early Friday, I’ve never seen the drug house out back so very, very busy. By Thursday both dogs were back to normal, super-energetic, super-eager, with super-appetites. Great. But. What was it. Sounds like a date-rape drug that guy had at home, and he decided to use it on the dogs.
The other year, at an Advent meal up at Fire House, I was bragging on Shadow-dog, about how good he is at keeping home invaders away. The guy just blankly asked why I thought that. I described Shadow-dog’s anomalously massive size and ferocity over against those judged to be malicious (for instance, those who shoot at him and Laudie-dog here in town), but the guy didn’t accept that as anything to judge their worth. I should have known not to ask why not, as surely this guy was speaking from experience and the topic had to hurt (I’m so stupid):
“Any experienced home-invader is going to open the gate to get to your back door, shoot the dog without breaking pace (with a suppressor I’m guessing), quickly break apart the door(frame), and proceed firstly to make sure there are no further threats before taking whatever it is that he wants.”
“I see,” said I, taken aback at his sad tone that told a story.
Mind you, I’ve had trouble getting Shadow-dog to eat before, but not because of malaise for having been poisoned. I only figured out recently just how much he considers me to be part of the security team, just how much he is depending on me, that is, as much as I depend on him.
I stupidly put his supper dish next to the house (as people do), so that he faces the house in order to eat. That’s bad for situational awareness. I should have known. He didn’t feel safe to eat if I was standing next to him, but also facing the house with him. He would spend minutes circling out back of me to bait me to turn and do surveillance for him much the way I’ve so many times seen a buck keep watch while the does put their heads deep into the grass. Having finally figured out what he was doing, all I have to do is put his supper dish down and face away, busy trying to spot those Shadow-dog senses to be malicious.
But this didn’t work the other night. The second the danger was over, both he and Laudie-dog, making sure I was safe, then just collapsed.
But they are good now. It’s all good. Thanks be to God.
Here’s a good picture of Macie-dog. The local neighborhood druggies threaten to smash her brains out with a rock. She’s the sweetest dog in the world. She barks only at druggies. Go figure. Macie-dog lives just across the street from me.
Behind her from this vantage point is Tiger-kitty. She’s had a rough life with only three legs. Sweetest cat in the world. I fear to ask why she only has three legs. I’ll have to make it a point to ask “Pablo Escobar”, the local neighborhood thug who dropped his illegal (to him) Bowie knife in the rectory backyard the other day while escaping multiple law enforcement agencies. “Pablo” has an extreme dislike of Doctor Dolittle, meaning, of animals.
While “Pablo” is hiding out in dark shadows, both Macie-dog and Tiger-kitty are alive and well and soaking up the sun.
And yes, Macie-dog is having the last laugh above.