Tag Archives: Dogs

German Shepherd service dog?

What could a German Shepherd do for me?

Update: I’m pretty much all better by now, still DEAD tired, but, O.K. My question still stands above. ///

Both my hands are swollen to three times normal size. Fingers don’t bend. Turning blue as blood vessels are vicegripped shut by the swelling. White blood cells can bead up on the surface of the stretched skin. Joints can feel as if they are dislocating. The swelling can get in the feet and stomach and intestines and face and throat as well. The latter case is often deadly. It’s hereditary. Ultra super rare. My mom was a Guinea pig at Bethesda Naval hospitals as my dad was Dept of the Navy, USMC. It can last for days or even a week or two. But it’s always there for a lifetime, ready to make the body explode like this. It can come without much reason like being overtired. You feel an ache or see the tiniest bit of swelling and you know exactly what’s going to happen. It’s so quick you can almost watch yourself literally explode. If it’s in the throat even if you make it to an emergency room you’ll likely die as they won’t know what it is, how quick it is, or what to do, giving you stuff like a blood transfusion or epinefrin. That’s for the acquired not the hereditary version. But you can’t explain that with a swollen throat. There’s carcinogenic medicine I take but that doesn’t stop all incidents by a long shot. I’ve been at death’s door dozens of times. Without the medicine I’d be dead almost immediately.


Filed under Dogs, Father Byers Autobiography, Uncategorized

“I am a DOG with no worms” – Shadow “Maggot, I am, not a man” – GOD


Since the moment the police arranged for me to get Shadow, a pure-bred German Shepherd, his poops were continuously softer (worms?) and stickier (blood?) until they were like thick water. Enough’s enough. I didn’t want him to bleed out. Off to the veterinarian.

Yep. The entire array of every kind of worm known to dogs were ripping his intestines to shreds. That’s why he was so thin, ribs cutting your hands just about. He was put on a course of two antibiotics for ten days, twice a day, and a large inside the throat “injection” of a good cup-full of white paste one a day for three days.

It would have made for hilarious youtube videos if I were to have filled out antics. I wanted to make sure he was going to get his medicine and not spit it out in the grass. GSDs are too smart for the own good methinks. So I put them manually down his throat. Fun! The wrestling match was on. The rules: he doesn’t bite me, and he never even thought about it, good doggie-puppy that he is. Everything went down so far. His poops became healthy poops, not sticky, not smelly, almost immediately. Father George: Dog Poop Slave.

More than half-way through the process and still having to do the pills morning and evening, and half getting a heart attack with a GSD that is now rapidly putting on healthy weight, with both of us exhausted, both out of breath, both having to sit to catch our breath, it finally hit me to pray to Saint Anthony, Saint Francis, Saint John Bosco, Saint Roch and my Guardian Angel: “Please let this go smoothly.” It’s now twice I did that. No problems at all. It wasn’t pleasant having Shadow be a mere shadow of his former shadowiness. But now he’s a healthy Shadow once again.

Meanwhile, what to do with a maggot? Kill it! We treated Jesus, God-Man, like a maggot. Psalm 22:6. A maggot nailed to the Cross. And the translation is maggot, not simply worm.

By the way, Jesus stood in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, which means that we’re the actual maggots. Humility provides the opportunity of thanksgiving to Jesus.


Filed under Dogs, Spiritual life

Shadow-dog gets a “cage” um… “crate”


I’m on a steep learning curve with my just acquired 13 month old German Shepherd. This picture shows my failure in trying to keep him from overturning his water dish by surrounding it with solid cement blocks. Nope. He turned it sideways in the “hole” I had made for him to drink out of. So, I got him a huge un-tip-over-able super-size stainless-steel water dish. That works so far.

Meanwhile, the neighbor got him his own outdoor dog-house in addition to Laudie-dog’s dog-house. I thought I might get him a cage, that is, crate, as GSD owners call it, for use inside the house. It’s a 48″ cage with a hard plastic tray, under and over which I put some used carpet bits to keep it quiet and comfy for this gentle monster. He went in right away and sleeps in it at night, all on his own. I haven’t tried to close the door yet. I’ll need some advice for that. But for now, this is good. This is his space. I had put another piece of carpet over the top to give him a sense of a cave, but he ripped that off and unceremoniously tossed it a good dozen feet in the air, leaving me quite amazed. I tried it again and he left it there. I guess as long as he proves to himself he could destroy it he’s happy with it.



Filed under Dogs

Progress with Shadow-dog


Not a dog, but a wolf, as they used to be called before our German friends became politically correct to those a bit scared of wolves. Here’s a few seconds of audio of Shadow-dog welcoming me home after being away for only about 90 minutes. Honestly, he gets a little carried away. I think he scares the whole city:

Meanwhile, a breeder/trainer in the parish has agreed to take on the training of Shadow-dog with myself as a welcome challenge otherwise impossible, for free.

Meanwhile, I’m heading down to the Vet right now to get shots regardless of what the previous “owners” said he got or didn’t.

Meanwhile, utterly impossibly, he’s taken up residence in Laudie-dog’s dog-house, which is half his length, half his height, but, hey, that doesn’t stop wolves, right? I now understand the need for a metal “crate” on the owner’s part, and am not too against this as it seems that GSDs think of this not as a cage but as their own private den, and a way to please their owners. So, fine. As it is, he’s just about ready to eat the 27-ton log-splitter.

By the way, this GSD was an absolute surprise. No budgeting for this guy. It all took place within hours. I’m on a steep learning curve. What I’ve learned so far is this, ever so simply, these GSDs are not dogs, but rather wolves. But to me, that’s really cool altogether. I love it.


Filed under Dogs

Shadow GSD crushing all “needs a job”


Shadow, in his new collar, crushing what must be a dinosaur hip joint, the huge “ball” of which in in his mouth. As you can see, the other side of the bone was already crushed cleanly in half by this amazing dog. I’m thinking he would make a good “bite dog” saving the lives of police by grabbing armed and dangerous runners hiding under houses etc.

Anyway, bones are not the only thing he’s been crushing. He’s basically eaten the pooper scooper and was going after his dog dish before I rescued it. He’s eaten the manger scene my neighbor gave me, with only the holy family and three kings more or less surviving. He started going after the hose until I stored it. I’m worried for the city’s rolling garbage bin and Laudie-dog’s dog-house. He’s got plenty of toys – and I’ll be getting him a regulation basketball to destroy – but, as others have pointed out, he needs a job. These are work dogs. Here I thought “watch-dog” is a good job, but not enough for him, unless…

I think he needs a bigger yard, so that if the fenced in area weren’t just the back of the house but skirted the house to the front, he would then be able to run back and forth, and that would in fact be “a job.” Thoughts?


Filed under Dogs

Shadow-dog, holding down the fort


Shadow, demonstrating how to make the back yard of the rectory look tiny. The tiles temporarily making up the base of the Marian shrine, are one foot square.

Good points:

  • Providence provided under incredible circumstances, no cost to me
  • (reportedly, we’ll see, with papers) pure-bred German Shepherd
  • Pure black, not a spot of white or tan anywhere, not chest, not feet
  • Straight back, as usual for the all-black variety
  • Double-coat, laughing at what never counts as really “cold” weather in WNC
  • Almost four feet from nose to rump plus another 19 inches for the tail
  • Edging toward 27 inches tall
  • At this extraordinarily massive size, even for a GSD, jaw strength competes with the strongest in the world, the Rottweiler
  • Not neutered, super-friendly, gentle, knows who boss, but totally doesn’t know his own strength, or does
  • Can put his front paws on your shoulders as you stand straight up


  • At 12 1/2 months old, had total control of his owners all of his short life (I saw this up-close)
  • Not trained in any way at all, except possibly, to be disobedient (jaw dropping)
  • Never fed any kind of normal diet, hanging out at the high school cafeteria, so, possibly, the absolutely worst diet a GSD could have ever (that’s just upsetting)


  • Can he break a training bite-arm in one bite?
  • Can he learn how to learn, even though the talent has been suppressed by the previous owners?


  • Even if he is untrainable (I doubt that), his perpetual presence at all the vulnerable parts of the rectory is already an invaluable asset and most appreciated



  • Laudie-dog, in her house, utterly dwarfed by “Shadow”
  • A bit of turf wars were at foot during the first day, but now they are friends
  • I was really happy to see little Laudie-dog hold her ground with no fear at all, tolerating no hanky-panky, she being fixed, but not he, but she setting proper boundaries immediately, he now behaving as a gentleman, er, gentledog

Tips for training such a smart dog:

  • I have no idea. Have you?


Filed under Dogs

Threat: We are antifa, we do not forget


How very boring. A comment came in from Bolivia, of all places (pretending to be from elsewhere), but clearly written by an American probably in self-imposed exile for what I’m guessing are cowardly fascist crimes, even while he is claiming he is speaking for “antifa.”

The problem is that I’m perceiving this as a threat directed at Laudie-dog, as this picture of her was included in the threat. Really? I mean, that’s pretty cowardly.

On the other hand, there were plenty of codes in the message. So, like… what? Just write clearly.

I recall this scene, not that I’m a godfather, and not that Laudie-dog is a horse:


Filed under Dogs, Terrorism

Laudie-dog gets a friend: “Shadow”

don bosco grigioThere is, of course, no replacement for the ultra-famous Laudie-dog, who has saved me from bears and panthers and wolves and snakes. I think of this development as a friend for Laudie-dog. My 82nd Airborne friend arranged the arrangement. It’s a German Shepherd, who I would be tempted to name Benedict, but my friend suggested “Shadow.” Ha! “Shadow” it is for a 1000 reasons. The dog is black as black can be black. Really super friendly. This is not an attack style German Shepherd, just a super friendly German Shepherd. I’ll have to get a taller fence. A lot more dog food. Another dog-house. A really wicked dog-collar… Goodness! Pope Francis might not be happy with this but, hey, the circumstances in my life right now I think justify a super watch dog. Not that Laudie-dog isn’t a super watch dog. It’s just that… And oh, by the way, didn’t Don Bosco have Grigio?


Filed under Dogs

Laudie-dog, snakes, tears and tech


When getting back last night from a second trip to graham county Laudie-dog noticed a snake coming out on the back porch of the rectory, despite the cold, and she was immediately in protective aggressive flurry mode. Poor snake.

Here’s the summit of the Trail of Tears, Tatham Gap Road, which basically starts in my parish church and makes its way out to Nebraska. The government of the time killed off thirty million bison so as to starve to death those Cherokees who survived the death long death march.

tatham gap summit info sign trail of tears

I would like to know how to turn my 770 ThinkWare clips into a YouTube movie so that you all know where I go on my screamingly beautiful Communion Calls with Jesus. This is paradise here on earth.

tatham gap washout

Perhaps there is a techy trick to this. Anyone?

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Filed under Dogs, Nature, Road danger

Laudie-dog shaking, scared, again


Laudie-dog only rarely gets scared, and only for a good reason.

When a bear was at the hermitage a few years back, she wasn’t fearful, but went on the attack, the level of her ferocity surely breaking all word records. But no shaking, just doing her job. I wouldn’t want Laudie-dog mad at me. But she’s only done this once, with the bear, but with no fear.

Conversely, when a panther was on the attack, Laudie-dog was scared, to death, shaking, crying, screaming bloody murder, she being the prey, along with me. This event was totally different than that the with bear.

The other year she started to cry while giving some attack barks when a pit bull showed up (that not bothering her) with a thief in tow (and that bothered her). She felt the danger for herself and me. She barked some warnings, but was also shaking a bit. This wasn’t exaggerated, however, as I was home at the time and came out to investigate and letting her in.

The other night I wasn’t here in the early evening, but my 82nd Airborne firefighter friend across the street heard Laudie-dog crying and barking frantically and so came over to see what was happening. He said that she was shaking with fear. He said he’s guessing it was a possum. The thing is, Laudie-dog grew up in the back mountain ridges and has zero fear of critters like possums. She’s absolutely not afraid even of bears, only panthers and thieves. There’re no panthers here. Only some few human beings with malicious intent. There was no pit bull. That other thief is long gone. This was someone else. I’m guessing they made it inside, did whatever they needed to do without disturbing anything, kind of, and then left, kind of, waiting to see what would happen. :-) I returned not long after. Laudie-dog was really very happy to see me and come inside as you might imagine. What I would say to the not-so-good-at-remaining-hidden crowd is this: just come when I’m home. That’s makes it all lots easier. I don’t like seeing my dog scared; she saved my tail a number of times and I’m a bit protective of her.

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Filed under Dogs, Missionaries of Mercy

Laudie-dog Eclipse-dog; Islam and the crescent moon; Jesus and me.

laudie dog eclispse dog

So, there I was, sitting in a chair, head back, eclipse glasses on, staring at the moon crossing the sun, with Laudie-dog trying to get my attention. So, I took a number of pictures of her, including this one. Mind you, she is not blind, this moment was just a millionth of a nano-second in length in which I somehow managed to take the picture just as she also looked up just before totality. She wasn’t just imitating me; she was trying to tell me that something weird was going on, like, um, me sitting and staring at the sun, because, how dumb is that, right?

During totality, Laudie dog was shaking with fear. But the shaking wasn’t, mind you, in fear of the celestial events. Rather, the town of Andrews was playing super weird spooky music even while others were shooting off fire-works. Laudie dog has no liking for that activity. Anyway, here’s the totality to my naked eye (and naked camera):

eclipse totality andrews nc 2017-

I loved going to the planetarium in the Twin Cities as a kid. It’s totally different when you see things happening in front of you. When the moon started blocking the sun, the first thought that came into my mind and heart and soul was: “God exists! God is so very wonderful! God loves us!”

But this wasn’t just an intellectual thing. I suppose people will make fun of me for saying this, but this was a spiritual event for me, very very very peaceful. By that I mean something beyond Saint Paul’s chapter one of his letter to the Romans. All creation speaks of the glory of God, yes! But more… It was as if Jesus was with me watching the eclipse, which, although He is creating that eclipse, although He is creating me, He can come in His wonderfully condescending love (in the absolutely best sense) and be in His own creation (He is incarnate!). And, by the way, He can also give a flower to the Immaculate Conception.

eclipse beginning crescent andrews nc 2017

Meanwhile, with the crescent sun a thought came to mind about the crescent moon and Islam.

While I was studying the Syrian language I came across a cultural tid-bit well known to every Muslim in that part of the world but not to someone like me from the North woods of Minnesota: the moon is a man, enlightening in difficult circumstances, helpful and kind, never threatening, even while the sun is a woman, always threatening, burning, hurtful, unrelentingly cruel. During a solar eclipse, the moon beats down the sun. The phases of the moon are actually just the sun trying to escape on the other side of the earth. Once in a while the moon hunts down the sun and shows the sun who is boss. The crescent moon is lifted up above every mosque/cultural center. The meteor rock in mecca is part of the moon come to earth, right? In that part of the world, the received mythology treated various celestial bodies as the gods, that is, the sons and daughters of the original deities which progressively became more material as time went on.

Meanwhile, the woman clothed with the sun in the Apocalypse (and our Lady of Guadalupe) has the crescent moon under her feet. Heh heh heh.


Filed under Dogs, Nature, Spiritual life

Laudie-dog Surveillance Dog: Living a sheltered life or with the full view?

laudie-dog surveillance-dog

Laudie-Dog, so very happy to be the Surveillance-Dog.

“The opiate of society” is what the Marxists / Communists / Socialists like to call religion, whereby, in that view, the Holy Family is a saccharine escape from the harsh realities of this world. In my travels to such countries that impose dialectical materialism on the peoples they oppress on purpose (with capitalistic narcissism wrought by the government being the goal), what I’ve noticed is that theirs (such governments) is an attempt to let greed drug the members of such governments into violence much worse than any opioids ever could. Opiods, by the way, always lead to violence. What I’ve noticed is that the only ones doing anything for anyone in any way in such places were and are believers, whose love and goodness and kindness and respect for others were the driving engine that drove them not right up into some pie in the sky, but rather into the most desperate of peripheries. For instance, pretty much every Catholic religious congregation in the world has a house opened up in Porte-au-Prince or Caracas or in the nearest ghetto near you. Laudie-dog the Surveillance-Dog is right to take up her post next to the Holy Family. That’s where the needs of all are seen and dealt with, of every man from Adam until the last man is conceived, the greatest need being our redemption and the grace by which we can let go of opioids and violence and live the love and goodness and kindness and respect for others that Jesus brings to us.

Isn’t it ironic, by the way, that the ones pushing drugs on the world are the Marxist guerrillas trying to make a few bucks by way of their violence?


Filed under Dogs, Drugs

Laudie-dog, the State Department hypnotist-dog, or…

laudie-dog hypnotism

You’ve been had! Laudie-dog doesn’t get hypotized. You’re the one hypnotized by her while she fakes getting hypnotized, awesomely smart dog that she is. ;-)

Thanks go to the wonderful Charlene – whose amazing State Department feats right around the world at significant moments in recent world history I’m getting more acquainted with as time goes on – for she sent in a shipment of milk-bone dog biscuits (one pictured above) and doggie bacon strips and… and… even lots of trail mix. I’m thinking that the trail-mix is for yours-truly, though I had better behave myself lest Charlene say that the trail-mix is also for Laudie-dog!

I am reminded of a mass hypnotism incident of my entire senior class of some 135 students of our smallish Prep School in Central Minnesota, when the Headmaster did a psych experiment on all of us together. While he did this he kept glancing over at me, getting ever more frustrated. I was actually trying to be polite, playing along just to see where he was going with all this. He kept up his hypnotism antics and was having success with the class, but then stopped and explained his frustration with everyone, an explanation which made everyone really pretty upset, enough for a good half the class to complain rather loudly protesting that what he was saying was not true at all and that they just couldn’t believe what he was saying because, of course, they were always in control of their lives. They were really disappointed with themselves. Shaken.

The Headmaster, a good friend, was telling them that he could easily hypnotize the entire class except for one person, me, insisting that he could never ever hypnotize me, ever, no matter what. Maybe he realized that I was hypotizing him by faking that I was being hypotized. ;-) Things are never as they seem. Rare is the person who realizes that things are never as they seem even in unexpected situations when one’s guard is down because one thinks oneself to be in control. Charlene is one of those people and, of course, has had to be, working for the State Department where, truly, nothing is ever as it seems. That’s all they do is deal with politicians and spies. And now she has to deal with me to get Laudie-dog her treats with no one involved getting hypnotized. You gotta be pretty clever if you ask me.

spy vs spy


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Filed under Dogs

Laudie-dog mint breath treats? What would Pope Francis say?

laudie-dog lick

Hey! It’s not my fault. Someone gave me these treats for Laudie-dog today. They looked really disgusting to me. But dogs love everything disgusting, and she loved these.

laudie dog treats

“One a day” say the directions. Hmmm. Maybe every third day or once a week. I don’t want her turning green on me.

I say: Laudie-dog deserves to be pampered. She saved me many times from bears and wolves and panthers.


Filed under Dogs

Laudie-dog, famous among United States State Department dipolomats


A retired State Department diplomat has sent in a Valentine, but not for me; it’s for Laudie-dog. As we know, however, dogs can very much reflect the moods of their masters. So…. ;-) At any rate, I must come up with a video of Laudie-dog dancing, because….

I might add here that our famous diplomat got the street address of yours truly wrong. Apparently, that doesn’t matter. It was delivered to me straightaway since everyone knows and loves Laudie-dog.

I recall a similar incident with mail delivery in Washington D.C. Someone wrote a letter to the most obnoxious major network news anchor (back in the day, when you could distinguish), just putting on the envelope:

To: !@#$%^&*()_ @#$%^&*() @#$%^&*(O); Washington, D.C.

It arrived to him straightaway. ;-)

Here’s the deal: the Lord God made the animals to assist us. I don’t think it’s the case that dogs merely imitate us. I think they lead us along to praise God. Kind of the other way around. That’s why I call Laudie “Laudie.” Laud in Latin means praise. She gives praise to God by just being a dog in all her dogness. But we have original sin. But we also have grace. And a good natured Laudie-dog can help us all praise God. Praise God.

Update: A gracious reader sent this in…


Filed under Dogs, Humor

2018 Bishops Synod: young people and vocational discernment: no rigidity


I’ve decided today to delay the popular version of the thesis on Genesis 3:15 and the Immaculate Conception so as to finish off another project, much shorter: “The Dog-Woman” commentary.

You’ll remember the Syro-Phoenician-Canaanite-Greek lady in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, the one with the severely possessed infant daughter way up in present day Lebanon. I’ll extract what I’ve done so far from the book on the women in the Gospels and make it a stand-alone. I’ve been preaching and writing on the “Dog-Woman” for decades.

What I’d like to do is turn that commentary into something which is addressed to what is bound to be one of the main topics of the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the formation of young people for their vocational discernment whether that concerns life as married, as single, as religious or as priests.

I’m thinking that there just might be a lot of psychological smoke-screens making one lose sight of the Holy Spirit, making one forget about the one thing necessary, listening to Jesus and those who are with him. There will be plenty of talk about the evils of rigidity without much of a clue about how to rid oneself or anyone else of such a dreadful suffocation of the Holy Spirit.

So, why not? The “Dog-Woman” is perfect for the occasion, with the two accounts of her forming the perfect paradigm for the formation of young people, that is, on how to rid them of rigidity. That is, after all, the non-stop theme of late by Pope Francis, at least for those discerning a priestly vocation, but the theme applies to everyone. I can’t think of a better way to provide a holy and wholesome remote preparation for such a synod on the formation of young people’s vocational discernment on psychological and emotional (human), spiritual, intellectual and pastoral levels.

With a title, sub-title, and sub-sub-title like the ones on the cover as envisioned, I realize that many will wonder what deep end of dark existential peripheries it is which I’ve obviously stepped off of, losing all sense of balance to be drowned in my own idiocy.

And yes, yes, I know. People must already be saying that the final document of the 2018 Synod may well have already been written a long time ago, decades ago. Even if that is true, I still have hope, hopelessly naive that I am, of having a say in this upcoming Synod.

Just as I started to work on this, a sign appeared, that being a package delivered to the door. Perfect timing. There were two 25 oz. bags of doggie-bacon strips. It’s a lot of work to eat them, so a big yawn and a nap is in order just below the desk where I’m writing about the “Dog-Woman” (the blue-light is the glow from the computer screens):


The doggie-bacon strips were sent in from the State Department’s recently retired foreign service diplomat from Indianapolis, C.D., a good friend of Father Gordon MacRae, actually. There was no note, just two gargantuan bags of doggie-bacon strips and… and… nothing for me. But don’t get me wrong, I was very happy for Laudie. She obviously knows she rates as the princess of the rectory, with me being but her bacon-slave. I had to laugh. She is very content. Hey, anyone who saves my unworthy life multiple times deserves to be pampered. I’m happy the State Department agrees, at least someone recently retired therefrom.

Anyway, back to the “Dog-Woman.” I have someone promising to translate it into street-jive Buenos Aires dialect just as soon as I send it to him. ;-)


Filed under 2018 Synod, Dogs, Vocations

Laudie-dog / PTSD-dog: a reminder…


Laudie-dog has now claimed a plastic bin as her favorite bed in the rectory where she can be happy and lazy and secure, checking every so often to see if I’m O.K. I’m her security project, her little puppy she adopted on that far away mountain top so many years ago, coming to me skeletally thin, with a bit of mange, and shot between the shoulder blades.

After smiling with the realization that I’m just fine, she falls asleep, but every so often this can be traumatic with fierce nightmares, growling, barking and, from the movement of her legs, she looks to be on the attack. And she is. In her dreams.

She saved me from wolves both red and grey, from bears and, most memorably, a panther. I’m guessing it’s the panther she dreams about, as she was the prey while protecting me.

I don’t wake her up at such times, hoping that the process will be even just a little bit healing for her, and afraid to add to the trauma by waking her up in the middle of it. I am thankful to God at such times for creating such marvelous creatures who are so tied to mankind and of great service to us. She deserves a bit of pampering.

Of course, all of that immediately has me think of those having experience in law enforcement, the military, the “Company”, and so on, those who may be suffering from PTSD, which never goes away, though you can somehow in some way learn at least a little how to deal with it, the ongoing battle, the ongoing trauma, not in being pampered, mind you, but by doing what one has always done best, continuing on in a spirit of solidarity with others whether or not these others have a clue about how to be in solidarity with those who serve them often in secret and therefore seemingly thankless ways.

I stand in awe of those who have been of great service all their lives, suffer for it now in every way, and who would – if they could – continue to serve in extraordinarily self-sacrificing ways. Lest we forget, we at least pray for them. And that’s already something very worth while. Hail Mary…


Filed under Dogs, Military

Laudie-dog the LEO-dog (updated)


Sheltered city slickers of the bigger cities might be offended by what is written here, thinking that it is the end of the world and have all sort of unfounded worries, getting themselves all flustered and causing no end of problems a thousand times worse than what is written here. Really. But that’s not my purpose in writing this account, which is just another of my FWIW “for the record” posts, you know, for the sake of a history, which can be useful. Nothing to worry about. Stop worrying! Having said that…

Laudie-dog was inside the rectory with me the other night since there might be thunder somewhere in the world and she doesn’t like thunder at all. It was getting on toward midnight and I was writing away in the front room. Of a sudden there was a solid bump on the kitchen window, sounding exactly like the side of a human fist pounding once on the window, not strongly enough to break it, but enough to get one’s attention if one happened to be at home.

Laudie-dog instantly transformed into LEO-dog. I had to let her outside so that she could anxiously patrol the perimeter, snorting the air, offering a tentative bark in this direction and that. She never barks unless there is real danger. I didn’t see anything, so I just went back in and to the other side of the rectory to go back to writing, though I remained a bit concerned about the window incident.

And then I heard some very soft human whistles, such as you might use to signal a partner in crime or to call a dog without anyone else noticing. I ignored that and went back to writing. After all, there are plenty of dogs and dog owners out at all hours of the night. It’s a little town, right?

But then Laudie-dog started to cry a bit. In all these years, she’s only done that once before that I know, when a panther was about to make a meal of her. “What’s going on?” thought I. I peered through this window and that, and then saw the cause of her terror, the biggest, strongest, meanest looking choke-chained-but-no-tag brown pit bull I’ve ever seen trying to get through the fence regardless of also seeing me. Hey, I’m not accusing anyone, but the bump on the high-as-a-man-is-tall kitchen window is inside the perimeter of the small fence in the rectory’s back yard, and the whistles were human on the side of the house, and there was a dog on the opposite side of the back of the house interested in getting in the fenced-in area where the kitchen window is, and when I went out there was rustling in the back bushes, sounding ever so much like a human being crashing through the branches trying not to be seen, but these are all just coincidences I’m sure.

But prudence is the better part of valor, so I guess I should think that the strong bump on the window was a test to see if there was a home-alarm system set up to go off with, say, any sudden vibration of the windows, and if not, to see if there was, in fact, someone home who didn’t bother to arm the alarm because of, after all, being home. If I were a thief, that’s what I would do: bump a window and wait to see what happens.

Laudie-dog through the years has literally saved me from bears and panthers and wolves and snakes and all sort of what-not that goes bump in the night, or during the day. That was not in a town, obviously. But I’ll add a human thief to the long list. I’ll have to nick-name her Laudie-dog the LEO-dog, saving me from any bad result of a test home-invasion. She got an extra dog-treat.

UPDATE: I mentioned all this to the Police the other day, saying that it’s all just coincidence, surely, but that they might want to keep it in mind if they see a pattern develop.

Also, I stopped by to see my medical provider (we used to call them doctors) to tell him that the NC-SBI and FBI CCW check is merely looking for a few checkmarks, not my entire boring medical history. When I went to open the door of his offices, the door instead opened for me. There he was with his wife receptionist and two nurses, with him exstatically greeting me, saying how cool it was to have a future CCW priest. Needless to say, he’s quite the gun fanatic. I don’t think he’ll be raising any objections. He did give me one bit of advice, however, saying to never ever but never carry with a bullet in the chamber. All he gets are cops who blow their toes off. He said you’ll always have time to rack the gun. To prove the point, he said that Mossad insists on this practice. Does he know I have some friends… Or that though I’m a Catholic priest, I’m Jewish? Or is he a Mossad, you know, cooperator? … ;-) I’m happy to have a good imagination!


Filed under Dogs

Laudie-Dog the fearless Rectory Dog

Laudie-dog rectory dog

On the top step of the back door of the Rectory at night, then out front in the morning, then back here under the patio overhang when the sun is  hot out front. I think this will work. 

My neighbor at the hermitage encouraged me to take Laudie-Dog up to the rectory in Andrews. It’s time to renew her shots. Propitious timing! She was great on the ride up through the ultra-super-curvy roads, anticipating curves, leaning this way and that. She never put her head out the window once: Laudie-Dog the Race Car Dog.

The second we got to the rectory I started taking her around the neighborhood and introducing her to all the neighbors and the neighbors’ dogs:

  • Franky, a Basset Hound, across the street (steady)
  • Pyro, a smallish Terrier (terror!) of some kind, to my right (adrenaline and loud)
  • Buddy, a Pit-Lab-Terrier mix (HUGE), across the street to the right (friendly)
  • Gary, a Chihuahua, who makes the rounds (shy, or not, depending)

I’m convinced Laudie-Dog won’t get beat up, though there might be some growling if need be with Pyro (the fire dog) next door, though he stays in the neighbor’s house pretty much 24/7 and only gets out on a leash. Laudie-Dog is used to the mountain ridges. My only fear is that some of the crowd which zips by on the street out front (a circumvention of the traffic lights in town) might not care if they hit her or not. It’s a major drug route from the back ridges.  But all the other dogs survived. They often just lie right in the middle of the road and make everyone stop and go around them. So, O.K.

Pope Francis might not see any use for animals whatsoever, but I must say that Laudie-Dog, who won’t defend herself, defended me when the need arose, at the hermitage. She had no hesitation whatsoever, even if frightened, to get right in the face of bears and panthers and wolves and all manner of scariness, successfully. We’re both still alive. She’s the perfect watchdog, totally friendly with anyone with good intentions. But dogs can sense aggression and danger, and react accordingly. I think she would likely tear any robber to shreds. GOOD LAUDIE!

I think that I’ll have to put her on a diet. Too heavy for her own good. Perhaps I should do the same. Anyway, as you know, there are:

  • guide dogs
  • hearing dogs
  • mobility dogs
  • seizure alert/response dogs
  • psychiatric service dogs
  • autism dogs
  • therapy dogs
  • emotional support dogs
  • PTSD dogs (these are incredible dogs)
  • protection dogs
  • riot control dogs
  • bite dogs
  • pursuit dogs
  • first in SWAT dogs
  • fire dogs
  • drug dogs
  • cadaver dogs
  • search and rescue dogs
  • herding dogs (shepherds!)
  • duck dogs
  • bear dogs (transmitter dogs-many around here)
  • watch dogs
  • “rescue” dogs of all types and sizes
  • Did I miss any?

Dogs, I contend, are a help to mankind. Man’s best friend.

Cats are… cats.


Filed under Dogs, Missionaries of Mercy

Gunslinger Priests: qualification. More on the local CIA, Army, Airforce…

Glock 19 gen 4 with 3 clips + 1

Just full metal jacket for now. Cheap for practice. Self-defense rounds are pretty expensive.

I’m a priest, that’s remains true. I’ve never carried up to this point. I don’t even have a holster, concealed or otherwise. I’m a peace loving guy. Really. My main prayer these weeks is mentioned in the Apocalypse (3:20) by Jesus:

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.”

This prayer is not at all disturbed by my new Glock 19 Gen 4. Why should it be? Was Jesus offended that Peter carried a sword as a matter of course? No, He wasn’t.

I think I should write about what’s happening in my prayer life, but it’s one of those things where I would be at a loss for words (yes, even me, speechless). I can only say that our Lord is very good, very kind, and that our very bodies are to be temples of the Holy Spirit, the house, if you will, where the Holy Trinity then resides. How pure of heart and agile of soul we must be for the presence of the Great King, the Most High God, who delights to walk with us simply as one Friend with another! It is all His work. We can and should and must be in humble thanksgiving in all reverence. Just because we live in a vale of tears, are we not to walk humbly with our God? We are commanded to do this. This is not a special or unique thing, out of the ordinary. This is to be the case for all of us.

Is such a prayer contradictory to this series of posts about guns and priests? No, this series is meant to clarify some issues in these days of self-indulgent pacifism that is so aggressive it puts even our Law Enforcement in danger. See, for instance, the shameless anti-Cop statement of the the bishops of these U.S.A. (US Catholic Bishops: Law Enforcement Officers are guilty always & everywhere of racist violence because they are LEOs). Having cleared that up, let’s continue with the saga!

The Glock 19 comes with three clips (15[+1 for carry] then 15 and 15). Most instances you never need bullets if you know how to diffuse situations. When all disintegrates you most often need only a few bullets. But with increasing frequency, more complex instances are making their way into these back ridges of the mountains and elsewhere. With deference to Sheriff Clarke, we’ve already had two terrorist attacks stopped in the area, one involving a bomb at a local school and one involving guns. And then… Anyway…

I loaded the clips up and discharged them against some targets at 3, 5, 7, and 10 yards. This is the first time I emptied out full clips in any pistol. I’m a total neophyte. But I did O.K., enough to qualify, at least according to my own timing in my own circumstances,  but knew I needed some more pointers, and didn’t want a shooting qualification hanging over my head. I need the qualification to do the CCW course and, with that code of completion, sign up for an appointment for fingerprinting toward the completion of the continued checks. So, off I went to a shooting range where a friend is mentoring me a bit.

He said I needed 28 out of 40 to pass. I got 40 out of 40 first time. Of course, he said that’s nothing to be proud of, that I had to keep up the practice to improve speed and accuracy in increasingly difficult circumstances. Afterward, he gave me a few more pointers showing me what happens when shooting with but one hand, with the right and left, why it is that the out-of-date advice about “isometrics” is out-of-date, why I should let gravity do its work without further intervention, etc. He said that taking all that into consideration, I should be able to put in a bullet in back of a bullet in a target in quick succession. He had me fire off the last five rounds of my ammo in this way and… wow… One in back of the other as fast as I could pull the trigger, the ol’ splitting the arrow in the target with another arrow trick.

I saw two good friends at the range, renewing their concealed carry. I guess I’m a good influence on them! And then a third wanted to get his…

In going to get more ammo afterward, I met an Airforce/CIA guy who knows my Army/CIA friend. What a great group of people in this area. Both these guys took care of our Embassies and Consulates right around the world. They all know each other of course. They all retire here. They would all know my FBI friend who issued me a false passport for my own protection years ago, you know, the once in charge of the investigation of the sites of the Nairobi and other embassy bombings at the time.

Just to say, I find dealing with guns so entirely second nature however much a neophyte I am, having been a bit of natural at being a sharpshooter as a kid and now, I think, pretty handy with a pistol, that I have to thank our Lord for protecting my vocation by keeping me away from guns during my teenage years. My dad was pretty close friends with the FBI, inviting them over for conferences for instance, that I would surely have been sorely, sorely, sorely tempted to join up with the FBI instead of the seminary had I been a gun fanatic. What did I know of the CIA in those days? I would get to be friends with them (or vice versa, as they hunted me down) after I was ordained a deacon and started winding up in difficult circumstances with rather interesting people. Again, I’m very thankful to our Lord that I’m a priest and I’m happy to be a priest.

Anyway, the second I started to write this post (before publishing it!) the CIA paid a visit. I think the CIA crowd are great. They can a bit Kryptos. Anyway, I’d like to give them a retreat fit for their circumstances in life. It would be something along the lines of that post: Solving Kryptos – Part 4 – Coriolis effect – Crux stat dum volvitur orbis.

BTW: One of my mentors is Jewish (like me). He lives on a road where the locals pretty continuously take pot shots at passing cars that “don’t belong there,” and that, of course, would include the usual targets of the KKK, that is, Catholics, Jews and black people (with me being two of the three). He said they don’t shoot at him because his reputation with a gun is well known. He would shoot twice: the first bullet would knock down the bullet coming at him, and the second would hit its target. I told him that this is a frequent occurrence in my parish (I won’t say quite where), as I have now been told by quite a number of parishioners who are pretty disgusted with the situation.

Anyway, I really do realize I still have to dedicate a post to why priests can and even should carry. Patience!


Filed under Dogs, Guns, Priesthood, Rectory, Vocations