Tag Archives: GSD

Becoming upset with the chaos. “Beginning the Church’s downfall”

We usually get upset when we’re frustrated, which is when things are out of control, when we get nervous that the spinning of worldliness is spinning away while the true pole of the earth is tossed as irrelevant. However, it remains true that the Cross remains while the world spins away:

Crux stat dum volvitur orbis.

That’s just a two second video of Shadow-dog above. He demonstrates well my reaction to anyone holding the cross to be irrelevant. That’s my reaction because I’m not as close to Christ Jesus as I should be. So, I get nervous, upset. How stupid is that. We must retain our peace of heart even if we also have anguish of soul. Anyway, I had that frustrated reaction the other day to something someone who should know better said of a proclamation of Saint Pope Paul VI to the Fathers of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council which received something like a dozen minutes of thunderous and unanimous applause in Saint Peter’s Basilica. Try anything more than ten seconds of applause…

Because Jesus is the Head of the Body – so to speak – and the members of the Church are the members of that Body, Saint Pope Paul VI proclaimed Mary to be Mother of the Church, Mater Ecclesiae, which title is no innovation, no heresy, but is instead a title which is humbly bestowed upon her so as to celebrate the reality of her motherhood. She is the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and her prayers for us under that steadfasat Cross that we might receive the grace of redemption as salvation directly from her Divine Son appropriately confers upon her such a title, for she is, then, our mother in this way, Mother of the Church.

The nasty thing I heard someone who should know better say is that this proclamation was the beginning of the end of the Church. I was stunned. Perhaps I didn’t hear correctly. Perhaps he meant to say that Mary’s inclusion in Lumen Gentium, the dogmatic decree on the Church, was and is somehow the driving engine bringing all to hell. Or perhaps he was saying that in general about the Council itself and he had no intention of demeaning our Lady.

But this is a symptom of the times, is it not? Flippant statements smashing everything and everyone down? Two seconds to throw all into chaos, and then smirking away. Wow.

But things are not “out of control”. The Lord Jesus remains the Lord of History. And we can remain with Him. He can and does make us part of the Holy Family. He does forgive us. He does fill us with sanctifying grace. He does give us the wherewithal to continue.

If that video above were to continue, one would see Shadow-dog immediately lie down and peacefully oversee his domain. A good example. Goooood daaaawwwg!

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Filed under Dogs, Jesus, Mary

Law officers, counterintel, humility. Shadow-dog and Chesterton…

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GSD’s, being wolves, are baiter-hunters. Domesticated just enough, Shadow-dog, for instance, thinks he sees something not entirely irredeemable in me, and so is forever trying his loyal best to teach me about the baiting game, because proper counterintelligence techniques are what anyone who’s not entirely naive would want to have in their toolkit for life, you know, what Jesus mentioned to us all – commanded us, really – that we are to be as clever as serpents even while being as innocent as doves what with being sent out as lambs in the midst of wolves…

So, there Shadow-dog stands in front of me, his instruction for me being in the form of play. That one plays does not mean that one is not deadly serious. Competitive fun as a form of instruction makes learning enjoyable, and therefore naturally memorable.

Shadow-dog is not cross-eyed, but he is that ever so slightly at this moment, trying to guess how I will take up his challenge to take his bait. He’s electrified, and like a contained explosion, is instantly ready to burst in whatever direction. Do I lunge to the left or right or straight ahead?

  • If I go straight ahead he lunges at me and we collide in less than a nano-second.
  • If I go to the left, he also goes to the left, just way faster than I ever could, and is that a dog-laugh I heard?
  • If I go to the right, he also goes to the right, just way faster than I ever could, and is that a dog-laugh I heard?

You would think he would chase off in the opposite direction, but, no. He enjoys a good dog-laugh. And this is the instruction Shadow-dog provides. Trying in every which way to indicate that I’m going to lunge in a different direction, he always is way ahead of me, reading me like a book.

But then, rarely, randomly, after having taught me to lunge in a direction I think he’s going to lunge in, Shadow-dog will instead head off in the opposite direction from which I’m lunging. After just a few steps, he then instantly turns, and, now all relaxed, having done his work in instructing my stupidity, he calmly stares, entirely happy with himself. The dog-smirk is unbearably humiliating. And then it’s time to get petted for a job he knows has been well done. He trots right over to me. Gooooood daaaaawwwg! “Unbearably humilitating” is also great learning territory. And he knows it. We make a good team. Someday, perhaps, I will learn.

chess board robert van der steeg impossible world

The problem with finding the right people for counterintelligence is in finding those who have some humility. Counterintelligence baits people to be arrogant: “I’ve got them now! – I’m in control! – Look at me!” Pride is the enemy of counterintel success. Humility, humility, humility.

Let’s see what that looks like in a counterintel situation. Let’s see what that looks like in the chapter of the Father Brown stories of G.K. Chesterton called The Secret of Father Brown in the volume also by that name. Chesterton uses the Father Brown character to go out of his way to humiliate (with good intentions) all law enforcement and our intel services. All in good humor and in good faith.

Here’s the deal: When the police chase a criminal they try to think like a criminal. But thinking merely “like” a criminal is not good enough. Meanwhile, the criminal is desperately trying to think “like” the police. But thinking merely “like” the police is never enough. Such scruples on both sides are to be avoided. ;-)

If you grapple with this simple story, it’ll be an occasion to enter deeply into the reality of life, making you quite successful with counterintelligence:

CHESTERTON FATHER BROWN

THE SECRET OF FATHER BROWN

FLAMBEAU, once the most famous criminal in France and later a very private detective in England, had long retired from both professions. Some say a career of crime had left him with too many scruples for a career of detection. Anyhow, after a life of romantic escapes and tricks of evasion, he had ended at what some might consider an appropriate address: in a castle in Spain. The castle, however, was solid though relatively small; and the black vineyard and green stripes of kitchen garden covered a respectable square on the brown hillside. For Flambeau, after all his violent adventures, still possessed what is possessed by so many Latins, what is absent (for instance) in so many Americans, the energy to retire. It can be seen in many a large hotel-proprietor whose one ambition is to be a small peasant. It can be seen in many a French provincial shopkeeper, who pauses at the moment when he might develop into a detestable millionaire and buy a street of shops, to fall back quietly and comfortably on domesticity and dominoes. Flambeau had casually and almost abruptly fallen in love with a Spanish Lady, married and brought up a large family on a Spanish estate, without displaying any apparent desire to stray again beyond its borders. But on one particular morning he was observed by his family to be unusually restless and excited; and he outran the little boys and descended the greater part of the long mountain slope to meet the visitor who was coming across the valley; even when the visitor was still a black dot in the distance.

The black dot gradually increased in size without very much altering in the shape; for it continued, roughly speaking, to be both round and black. The black clothes of clerics were not unknown upon those hills; but these clothes, however clerical, had about them something at once commonplace and yet almost jaunty in comparison with the cassock or soutane, and marked the wearer as a man from the northwestern islands, as clearly as if he had been labelled Clapham Junction. He carried a short thick umbrella with a knob like a club, at the sight of which his Latin friend almost shed tears of sentiment; for it had figured in many adventures that they shared long ago. For this was the Frenchman’s English friend, Father Brown, paying a long-desired but long-delayed visit. They had corresponded constantly, but they had not met for years.

Father Brown was soon established in the family circle, which was quite large enough to give the general sense of company or a community. He was introduced to the big wooden images of the Three Kings, of painted and gilded wood, who bring the gifts to the children at Christmas; for Spain is a country where the affairs of the children bulk large in the life of the home. He was introduced to the dog and the cat and the live-stock on the farm. But he was also, as it happened, introduced to one neighbour who, like himself, had brought into that valley the garb and manners of distant lands.

It was on the third night of the priest’s stay at the little chateau that he beheld a stately stranger who paid his respects to the Spanish household with bows that no Spanish grandee could emulate. He was a tall, thin grey-haired and very handsome gentleman, and his hands, cuffs and cuff-links had something overpowering in their polish. But his long face had nothing of that languor which is associated with long cuffs and manicuring in the caricatures of our own country. It was rather arrestingly alert and keen; and the eyes had an innocent intensity of inquiry that does not go often with grey hairs. That alone might have marked the man’s nationality, as well the nasal note in his refined voice and his rather too ready assumption of the vast antiquity of all the European things around him. This was, indeed, no less a person than Mr. Grandison Chace, of Boston, an American traveller who had halted for a time in his American travels by taking a lease of the adjoining estate; a somewhat similar castle on a somewhat similar hill. He delighted in his old castle, and he regarded his friendly neighbour as a local antiquity of the same type. For Flambeau managed, as we have said, really to look retired in the sense of rooted. He might have grown there with his own vine and fig-tree for ages. He had resumed his real family name of Duroc; for the other title of “The Torch” had only been a title de guerre, like that under which such a man will often wage war on society. He was fond of his wife and family; he never went farther afield than was needed for a little shooting; and he seemed, to the American globe-trotter, the embodiment of that cult of a sunny respectability and a temperate luxury, which the American was wise enough to see and admire in the Mediterranean peoples. The rolling stone from the West was glad to rest for a moment on this rock in the South that had gathered so very much moss. But Mr. Chace had heard of Father Brown, and his tone faintly changed, as towards a celebrity. The interviewing instinct awoke, tactful but tense. If he did try to draw Father Brown, as if he were a tooth, it was done with the most dexterous and painless American dentistry.

They were sitting in a sort of partly unroofed outer court of the house, such as often forms the entrance to Spanish houses. It was dusk turning to dark; and as all that mountain air sharpens suddenly after sunset, a small stove stood on the flagstones, glowing with red eyes like a goblin, and painting a red pattern on the pavement; but scarcely a ray of it reached the lower bricks of the great bare, brown brick wall that went soaring up above them into the deep blue night. Flambeau’s big broad-shouldered figure and great moustaches, like sabres, could be traced dimly in the twilight, as he moved about, drawing dark wine from a great cask and handing it round. In his shadow, the priest looked very shrunken and small, as if huddled over the stove; but the American visitor leaned forward elegantly with his elbow on his knee and his fine pointed features in the full light; his eyes shone with inquisitive intelligence.

“I can assure you, sir,” he was saying, “we consider your achievement in the matter of the Moonshine Murder the most remarkable triumph in the history of detective science.”

Father Brown murmured something; some might have imagined that the murmur was a little like a moan.

“We are well acquainted,” went on the stranger firmly, “with the alleged achievements of Dupin and others; and with those of Lecoq, Sherlock Holmes, Nicholas Carter, and other imaginative incarnations of the craft. But we observe there is in many ways, a marked difference between your own method of approach and that of these other thinkers, whether fictitious or actual. Some have spec’lated, sir, as to whether the difference of method may perhaps involve rather the absence of method.”

Father Brown was silent; then he started a little, almost as if he had been nodding over the stove, and said: “I beg your pardon. Yes. . .. Absence of method. . . . Absence of mind, too, I’m afraid.”

“I should say of strictly tabulated scientific method,” went on the inquirer. “Edgar Poe throws off several little essays in a conversational form, explaining Dupin’s method, with its fine links of logic. Dr. Watson had to listen to some pretty exact expositions of Holmes’s method with its observation of material details. But nobody seems to have got on to any full account of your method, Father Brown, and I was informed you declined the offer to give a series of lectures in the States on the matter.”

“Yes,” said the priest, frowning at the stove; “I declined.”

“Your refusal gave rise to a remarkable lot of interesting talk,” remarked Chace. “I may say that some of our people are saying your science can’t be expounded, because it’s something more than just natural science. They say your secret’s not to be divulged, as being occult in its character.”

“Being what?” asked Father Brown, rather sharply.

“Why, kind of esoteric,” replied the other. “I can tell you, people got considerably worked up about Gallup’s murder, and Stein’s murder, and then old man Merton’s murder, and now Judge Gwynne’s murder, and a double murder by Dalmon, who was well known in the States. And there were you, on the spot every time, slap in the middle of it; telling everybody how it was done and never telling anybody how you knew. So some people got to think you knew without looking, so to speak. And Carlotta Brownson gave a lecture on Thought-Forms with illustrations from these cases of yours. The Second Sight Sisterhood of Indianapolis —— ”

Father Brown, was still staring at the stove; then he said quite loud yet as if hardly aware that anyone heard him: “Oh, I say. This will never do.”

“I don’t exactly know how it’s to be helped,” said Mr. Chace humorously. “The Second Sight Sisterhood want a lot of holding down. The only way I can think of stopping it is for you to tell us the secret after all.”

Father Brown groaned. He put his head on his hands and remained a moment, as if full of a silent convulsion of thought. Then he lifted his head and said in a dull voice:

“Very well. I must tell the secret.”

His eyes rolled darkly over the whole darkling scene, from the red eyes of the little stove to the stark expanse of the ancient wall, over which were standing out, more and more brightly, the strong stars of the south.

“The secret is,” he said; and then stopped as if unable to go on. Then he began again and said:

“You see, it was I who killed all those people.”

“What?” repeated the other, in a small voice out of a vast silence.

“You see, I had murdered them all myself,” explained Father Brown patiently. “So, of course, I knew how it was done.”

Grandison Chace had risen to his great height like a man lifted to the ceiling by a sort of slow explosion. Staring down at the other he repeated his incredulous question.

“I had planned out each of the crimes very carefully,” went on Father Brown, “I had thought out exactly how a thing like that could be done, and in what style or state of mind a man could really do it. And when I was quite sure that I felt exactly like the murderer myself, of course I knew who he was.”

Chace gradually released a sort of broken sigh.

“You frightened me all right,” he said. “For the minute I really did think you meant you were the murderer. Just for the minute I kind of saw it splashed over all the papers in the States: ‘Saintly Sleuth Exposed as Killer: Hundred Crimes of Father Brown.’ Why, of course, if it’s just a figure of speech and means you tried to reconstruct the psychogy — ”

Father Brown rapped sharply on the stove with the short pipe he was about to fill; one of his very rare spasms of annoyance contracted his face.

“No, no, no,” he said, almost angrily; “I don’t mean just a figure of speech. This is what comes of trying to talk about deep things. . . . What’s the good of words . . .? If you try to talk about a truth that’s merely moral, people always think it’s merely metaphorical. A real live man with two legs once said to me: ‘I only believe in the Holy Ghost in a spiritual sense.’ Naturally, I said: ‘In what other sense could you believe it?’ And then he thought I meant he needn’t believe in anything except evolution, or ethical fellowship, or some bilge. . . . I mean that I really did see myself, and my real self, committing the murders. I didn’t actually kill the men by material means; but that’s not the point. Any brick or bit of machinery might have killed them by material means. I mean that I thought and thought about how a man might come to be like that, until I realized that I really was like that, in everything except actual final consent to the action. It was once suggested to me by a friend of mine, as a sort of religious exercise. I believe he got it from Pope Leo XIII, who was always rather a hero of mine.”

“I’m afraid,” said the American, in tones that were still doubtful, and keeping his eye on the priest rather as if he were a wild animal, “that you’d have to explain a lot to me before I knew what you were talking about. The science of detection —— ”

Father Brown snapped his fingers with the same animated annoyance. “That’s it,” he cried; “that’s just where we part company. Science is a grand thing when you can get it; in its real sense one of the grandest words in the world. But what do these men mean, nine times out of ten, when they use it nowadays? When they say detection is a science? When they say criminology is a science? They mean getting outside a man and studying him as if he were a gigantic insect: in what they would call a dry impartial light, in what I should call a dead and dehumanized light. They mean getting a long way off him, as if he were a distant prehistoric monster; staring at the shape of his ‘criminal skull’ as if it were a sort of eerie growth, like the horn on a rhinoceros’s nose. When the scientist talks about a type, he never means himself, but always his neighbour; probably his poorer neighbour. I don’t deny the dry light may sometimes do good; though in one sense it’s the very reverse of science. So far from being knowledge, it’s actually suppression of what we know. It’s treating a friend as a stranger, and pretending that something familiar is really remote and mysterious. It’s like saying that a man has a proboscis between the eyes, or that he falls down in a fit of insensibility once every twenty-four hours. Well, what you call ‘the secret’ is exactly the opposite. I don’t try to get outside the man. I try to get inside the murderer . . . . Indeed it’s much more than that, don’t you see? I am inside a man. I am always inside a man, moving his arms and legs; but I wait till I know I am inside a murderer, thinking his thoughts, wrestling with his passions; till I have bent myself into the posture of his hunched and peering hatred; till I see the world with his bloodshot and squinting eyes, looking between the blinkers of his half-witted concentration; looking up the short and sharp perspective of a straight road to a pool of blood. Till I am really a murderer.”

“Oh,” said Mr. Chace, regarding him with a long, grim face, and added: “And that is what you call a religious exercise.”

“Yes,” said Father Brown; “that is what I call a religious exercise.”

After an instant’s silence he resumed: “It’s so real a religious exercise that I’d rather not have said anything about it. But I simply couldn’t have you going off and telling all your countrymen that I had a secret magic connected with Thought-Forms, could I? I’ve put it badly, but it’s true. No man’s really any good till he knows how bad he is, or might be; till he’s realized exactly how much right he has to all this snobbery, and sneering, and talking about ‘criminals,’ as if they were apes in a forest ten thousand miles away; till he’s got rid of all the dirty self-deception of talking about low types and deficient skulls; till he’s squeezed out of his soul the last drop of the oil of the Pharisees; till his only hope is somehow or other to have captured one criminal, and kept him safe and sane under his own hat.”

Flambeau came forward and filled a great goblet with Spanish wine and set it before his friend, as he had already set one before his fellow guest. Then he himself spoke for the first time:

“I believe Father Brown has had a new batch of mysteries. We were talking about them the other day, I fancy. He has been dealing with some queer people since we last met.”

“Yes; I know the stories more or less — but not the application,” said Chace, lifting his glass thoughtfully. “Can you give me any examples, I wonder. . . . I mean, did you deal with this last batch in that introspective style?”

Father Brown also lifted his glass, and the glow of the fire turned the red wine transparent, like the glorious blood-red glass of a martyr’s window. The red flame seemed to hold his eyes and absorb his gaze that sank deeper and deeper into it, as if that single cup held a red sea of the blood of all men, and his soul were a diver, ever plunging in dark humility and inverted imagination, lower than its lowest monsters and its most ancient slime. In that cup, as in a red mirror, he saw many things; the doings of his last days moved in crimson shadows; the examples that his companions demanded danced in symbolic shapes; and there passed before him all the stories that are told here. Now, the luminous wine was like a vast red sunset upon dark red sands, where stood dark figures of men; one was fallen and another running towards him. Then the sunset seemed to break up into patches: red lanterns swinging from garden trees and a pond gleaming red with reflection; and then all the colour seemed to cluster again into a great rose of red crystal, a jewel that irradiated the world like a red sun, save for the shadow of a tall figure with a high head-dress as of some prehistoric priest; and then faded again till nothing was left but a flame of wild red beard blowing in the wind upon a wild grey moor. All these things, which may be seen later from other angles and in other moods than his own, rose up in his memory at the challenge and began to form themselves into anecdotes and arguments.

“Yes,” he said, as he raised the wine cup slowly to his lips, “I can remember pretty well —— ”

===========

After all that, I wonder if I have to the humility to be the dog, Shadow-dog, not just “like” a dog, but, you know, a dog, and learn what Shadow-dog has to teach me.

After all that, I wonder if I have the humility to be understand just how bad and evil I myself can be, and thus think not just “like” a criminal, but as the criminal I am if I am without the grace of God, and thus be able to catch the criminal, because, you know, I’m him. Of course, when I catch a criminal it’s to bring him to the confessional. The best priests in the Confessional hearing confessions of others are the very priests who also make a practice of regular confession.

Or, heck, instead of all that I could just bait and wait for the counter-bait… and then counter-counter-bait, and then wait for the…

// Hey, I lost track of what’s being reacted to. PAUSE… Then…

Counter-counter-counter-counter-bait…

Counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-bait…

Counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-bait…

Counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-bait…

// Pause… whew! Time to get out of counterintel…

============

So, let’s see, maybe there is something to just looking in oneself when looking for any and all criminals, any and all terrorists…. If we ever say, “I would never do that,” we’ve already lost the game. Honesty and integrity and humility admit that even if psychologically I probably wouldn’t do… you know… those crimes… because of my upbringing or whatever… nevertheless I probably would if given the circumstances that others have suffered and I were without God’s grace. Yep. There but for the grace of God go I. A bit aphoristic, I know. But so very, very true. Actually, people can change pretty fast. If one has the purity of heart and agility of soul to see that even one’s very self can do such things, it’s that person that will not do such things because of looking to God’s grace with honesty and integrity and humility. God doesn’t save me because I’m good. God saves me because I need saving and can’t save myself.

Then, when that Living Love who is God and that Living Truth who is God are with me, I can easily see the contrast of what would be bad and evil in myself and therefore what would be bad and evil in others. For law enforcement and counterintel this is also a boon to catching the criminal and the terrorist, regardless of culture, regardless of religion or none, regardless of anything else.

For a priest it’s all about more ably bringing people to Jesus. We priests need to get out of Jesus’ way and let Jesus be the priest in the parish.

We all need to let Jesus work through us, and with us, and in us. Needed: HUMILITY!

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Shadow-dog’s mane up against Pit Bull

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A Pit Bull is on the loose… For the first time I saw the mane stand up on Shadow’s shoulders. Very impressive. That added another inch or two to his height, and he’s already taller than the average maximum height for German Shepherd.

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If that Pit Bull attacked Shadow-dog, or me, I’m afraid it would have been a bloody mess, but it would definitely be the Pit-Bull that would be entirely ripped to shreds, literally shaken to pieces. And it wouldn’t be Shadow’s fault. He’s definitely the protector, and when dogs are not on their own property, they are supposed to be on leashes here in town. No leash, no collar.

He looks to be well taken care of. But from this other angle he looks to be emaciated.

He seems friendly enough. Until I approached him in the friendliest manner I could. He bared his teeth.

He then went over to terrorize the neighbor’s dog – Frankie-dog, a Basset Hound, who took refuge in his dog house, until the Pit Bull insisted. Frankie-dog then chased his off the property. Gooood Fraaaankie-doooog!

I’m all for treating all animals well, but when a Pit Bull is emaciated and on the loose and baring its teeth, it’s time for animal control.

Or not. What think you?

In the unfair analogy of the account of the Syro-Phoenician Canaanite Greek “Dog-Woman” whose infant daughter was severely possessed, her take was that it might do the Apostles, the little dogs some good to eat the crumbs of faith, their witnessing of the exorcism, even though they don’t deserve to witness this, dogs that they are.

I gave the Pit Bull a doggie treat.

But that’s it. Animal control doesn’t open until 11:00 AM. Too late for me. I’ll be busy with priest-stuff. We’ll see what happens.

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Shadow-dog vomiting a serpent?

Cameras and pictures are weird.

  • Digital cameras can make their own edits, tweaking things. Part of the rope is made to look like a shiny green viper by the camera all on its own.
  • Pictures with no context can give the wrong impression. This is not Shadow-dog throwing up, but rather opening his jaws to grab what is actually just the rope.

No, Shadow-dog is not possessed. He’s a good dog!

Meanwhile, I know people all over this country who are being attacked by Satan’s minions, for real. Prayers for them, please: Hail Mary…

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BELGIAN MALINOIS Extreme Bite Dogs

Alright. Alright. I really like to see any Malinois at work. Exhilarating. Kind of like a ballet with gymnasts with teeth. BTW, I’m guessing those are metal “canine” teeth inserted into busted out teeth in the still shot of the video. Hint: Don’t bust the teeth out of a dog. Just sayin’…

Having said all that, when you want a bite-dog worth his bite, the Shepherd, along the lines of Shadow-dog is where it’s at. I asked a lady in the parish who raises King Shepherds for police work, for bite dogs, if she’s ever seen a Shepherd break the bones of the forearm and rip the arm right off in one bite, like a shark…

Niiiiice, Shaaaadooow-daaaawg!

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Shadow-dog and I are good friends. He’s loyal. He might seem like he’s the friendliest dog in the world – the prize for that going to Laudie-dog – but if pushed and he sees mortal danger… Yikes! The same for Laudie-dog.

If I could get a little phone video of Shadow-dog protecting the perimeter, you would know what I mean. If I could get a picture of him with his jaws engulfing the entire head and neck down to the shoulders of Laudie-dog, all in play, you would know what I mean.

And then there are cats. Mind you, I’ve been around panthers up close near the hermitage. But more than that, there is Jesus, the last One standing in any case:

lion of the tribe of judah

Be afraid of Him who can cast body and soul into hell. Only Jesus is the One, the Only One, He who is to come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

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Filed under Dogs, Missionaries of Mercy

Shadow-dog Guard-dog Surveilling

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Yesterday, just down the street, multiple law enforcement agencies were at one of the many smallish assisted living homes for hours on end. There looks to have been a drug dog as well. And then the Parole Officer’s vehicle arrived. Yikes! I have no idea what was going on there, but I’m guessing that there may have been some home invasion activity. I mean, what better place to get prescription pain killers from defenseless elderly people?

Meanwhile, in my own neighborhood, copper junk was found strewn about, obviously someone cutting across yards with a haphazard armful of copper rubbish stolen so as to sell at the various junk yards, which pay top-dollar for copper.

Meanwhile, Shadow-dog is playing Guard-dog. He’s sitting on the back steps entrance into the house looking out into the back neighborhood and streets for anything suspicious. I thought he might be wanting to come in – as it’s really cold out – but no.

I tried to distract him by making all sorts of noise, but no. He did look at me once for a nanosecond as if to say, complaining: “Oh, keep quiet! Don’t you see I’m trying to protect you?” I mean, if you could have seen the look. He was very much at attention. A picture hardly conveys this. He’s not just sitting there. It’s like the whole city could vaporize in front of him so much explosive energy does he have. Very, very impressive.

  • “Goooood Shaaaadooow-daaawwwg!”
  • “Oh, keep quiet!”

And then, an analogy:

  • “Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to…”
  • “Just say the Angelus!”

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Shooting my neighbor’s dog: wrong guy

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Basset Hound

When there’s illegal gunfire in the neighborhood, Shadow-dog is quick to turn his head and look in the direction of whatever it is, a pistol, a shotgun, a rifle. I’m sure he’s, like, “What’s that and is it coming this direction?” As it is, my neighbor’s dog was shot yesterday, I’m guessing point blank, Sunday morning, when people were in church. Two other neighbors (one a retired minister and one a Vet and Firefighter) want to move away. Andrews and this neighborhood in particular is getting to be way too violent.

No one heard anything because this time it was all subsonic, a pellet gun of some sort. Pretty powerful though. The pellet struck his shoulder bones and ricocheted so as to destroy surrounding muscles and tendons. That’s what a .22 “real” bullet might do. That’s why I say that it was probably point blank. I hate that. The neighbor’s dog is a basset hound, not this one. I’ll have to take a picture of the real Frankie-dog when he gets out of surgery. I’m guessing the guy who shot Frankie-dog is going to pay that bill.

I think I might know the guy who did it. I’m thinking the guy who did it didn’t grow up around here. I don’t think the the guy who did it knows whose dog he shot. You just don’t shoot someone’s dog in Western North Carolina. No. The only one who would do that is a tender snowflake from an entitlement big city. Sorry, I’m generalizing. sigh…

Let’s just take a look at what happened when a Navy SEAL’s dog was shot, this time while he was home. This is harrowing. Kudos to law enforcement for helping him out:

Here’s the deal: people who can shoot animals just to do it can also easily just go ahead and kill human beings. Those are the stats. Yep.

But maybe this is my fault. There’s a weirdness with the mail delivery and unless you know it, it’s a little difficult to know whose address you’re really at, mine or the neighbor’s. I’d hate to think that someone wanted to do in Laudie-dog or Shadow-dog but instead got Frankie-dog. At any rate, our reaction is the same no matter whose dog.

Update: here he is…

This would have been a kill shot if it had been any more powerful.

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Filed under Dogs, Guns, Law enforcement

Shadow-dog Mud-dog happiest when…

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Whoever thinks I’m mean to let Shadow-dog become Mud-dog, totally soaking wet, totally full of mud, when it’s just barely above freezing so that we didn’t get multiple inches or feet of snow in the last few days like others did in North Carolina, at least right here in town (parts of the parish were socked), well, know this, this is when Shadow-dog is at his happiest. And, don’t worry, he has a nice, dry, sheltered house outside, and comes in at night where’s it’s warm and dry so that he can dry off and get ready for another round the next day. I include the top picture so that you know he’s got plenty of grass to run on but prefers a mud-hole in which to splash about. If you don’t know that about GSDs, German Shepherd Dogs, you know nothing at all about these creatures who are not so much dogs as wolves. They train up like Navy SEALs, doing up all the bad stuff so as to be toughened up, and love it, and never, ever quit. The last thing to do is feel sorry for a Navy SEAL or for a GSD. If that’s how you feel, like feeling sorry, you yourself have to be brought to another level. And that’s the thing about heroes. You don’t say they are great and that’s it. You strive to be like them in what ways you can, and you can. Let’s take some close-ups so that we know what we’re talking about:

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Shadow-dog. My hero.

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Shadow-dog Gladiator-dog: Teaching session

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The heavy knotted short-rope, which is like, say, an enemy intruder (I have a good imagination!), is a good demonstrator tool for Shadow-dog who makes me his student in his gladiator school. In the above picture we see how one is to toss ever so calmly one’s adversary into the air with a gentle side-spin so that, in follow-up, one might put one’s entire weight and strength into viciously ripping in the opposite direction, which violent ripping could easily shred to pieces whomsoever the adversary happens to be:

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This ripping spinning motion will spin Shadow-dog himself about 180 degrees and the adversary round about some 540 degrees, and back and forth multiple times so very violently in just nanoseconds, so that I’m thinking he himself is going to be ripped in half, growling so loudly that all the neighbors either laugh with glee at the protection against home-invasion that they all have with Shadow-dog in the neighborhood, or half die of fright with the show that is put on. Meanwhile, Shadow-dog is the friendliest dog around. And the neighbors know that too. He’s so smart. Gooooood dooooggiieee!

You can always tell how good a dog is by how willing they are to teach you their tricks in their justifiable efforts to make you part of the team. Part of being more alpha than a forever alpha dog like a German Shepherd wolf is to be a good partner with him in the job that needs to be done. That’s when they’re in their element.

An absolutely inadequate and inappropriate analogy for which I beg the pardon of my guardian angel, who guards not a dog but me, nor learns from me but rather instructs as John was instructed: “I am a fellow servant of yours” (Revelation 22). But also our guardian angels are in their element, so to speak, when we are with them as fellow servants, fellow slaves, co-workers of our Lord. They teach us how to be warriors, so to speak, in this Church militant, where we fight as best we can to keep the faithfulness and hope that are given to us, the purity of heart and agility of soul that are given to us, the love of God and neighbor that is given to us. We are made into a show, of God’s goodness, really, as Saint Paul has it. Gladiators for God. Shadow-dog is a good example in his own way.

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GSD: “You have to be bad to be good”

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Shadow-dog has been racing about on his patrol, looking like the idiot-dog by practicing his spot-turns on the snowy-wet mud path he’s carved into the backyard. This sprays mud into the air as if his paws are spinning knobby off-road tires of a climber-jeep. When the acrobatics get a bit complicated, he gets himself on an intense learning curve… mid-air. And then… crash. But he gets better at it.

My mom once reprimanded me for the doing this kind of thing – being bad in order to be good – she not quite getting the gist of the process, trying to keep me from getting broken bones while she fretting during some of the more complicated maneuvers of my extreme sports. What she didn’t know is that what I was doing was surely keeping me away from broken bones. You have to be bad in order to be good.

Drawing the analogy with, say, prayer, whereby prayer is an extreme sport, whereby you are brought along without being in control of any progress, our Lord accomplishing a friendship with Him which we could not set as a goal or have any helps or coping mechanisms to lean on while He does this in His way. When He is lifted up on the Cross, He said, He will draw all to Himself. That means He’s drawing us through all the hell that was broken out on Calvary. We already know that we’ll be stupid enough to try to depend on our own strength which we actually don’t have ourselves anyway, and therefore in this way we will surely pull away from Him in this way and that, and we will look mighty stupid in all of this. But He is very patient, and we slowly learn in His grace that He is more important than our ongoing distractions, and we allow ourselves in whatever distraction that hell has to offer, to be stably with Him. Have no fear. You have to bad to be good, you know, not on purpose. No. But go ahead and just tell our Lord, in His grace, “Yes!” You want to begin. You will surely confront your weakness of stupidly depending on your own strength. But that’s part of it. You’re name might be mud for a while. Have no fear. That will turn to a name He gives you, that, as it says in the Good Book, is only known to you and Him. When He calls your name, you’ll be standing right before Him, perhaps with mud all over your face, but – Hey! – you’ll have learned to stand right before Him. And that’s where we want to be.

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Dog psychology. No, really!

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That’s actually the snarkiest smirkiest most poker-faced Laudie-dog I’ve seen in a long time: “Oooo! I wish I were in that cage (hahaha).” “No, no! I’m king of this cage,” says Shadow-dog. Meanwhile, Laudie-dog wants nothing to do with the cage, but her antics make Shadow-dog think he’s the luckiest dog in the world to be in a cage.

But really, for those who don’t know, there are certain kinds of GSDs who are still so much like wolves that they really do need a quiet space cave hole under a tree stump forest hideaway in order to really rest well, as this is what they would have in the wild. It’s not cruel. He runs, nay stampedes to his cage when I let him in the rectory. I’ve left the door open and there he stays, wishing the door were shut.

For those scandalized by the dog hair on the floor, you have to know that German Shedders can do that overnight with their double coats (and even triple if you count the longer sparser protection coat). It’s a daily chore to toss shopping bags full of hair. But that’s O.K. Any exercise is good.

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Shadow-dog commands. No fingers crossed behind my back.

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I’m guessing that if a priest takes a day off it has to be put in scare quotes: “Day-Off”. First on the agenda for me the other day on the “Day-Off”, at about 3:00 AM, was to edit the article written by Father Gordon J. MacRae (About) over on TheseStoneWalls entitled “Assassin’s Deed” (what a fright!), which, this time, included at a zillion pictures. Father Gordon says that editing counts for visiting those in prison. Never an easier visit.

At the very end of the day, some 18 hours later, when I got back to the rectory, I noticed the top picture of this post which came in an envelope from Father Gordon along with his post for next week. Hahaha. This is, of course, what Father Gordon thinks of all my carry on about our intelligence services. Hahaha. Of course, I laughed out loud because, of course, he’s spot on. But, I digress.

Yesterday, a comment came in for moderation which included this appraisal:

“One thing love about you is how much you love being a priest. In another era your affinity for “spies” might have made you a great underground Jesuit somewhere where it was illegal to be a Catholic priest.”

“Another era…” Hmm… Let’s continue on the “day off.”

About 7:00 AM Sassy the Subaru was put in gear for an easy downhill ride to northeast Atlanta. If you’re ever passing through northeast Georgia, I recommend taking Hwy 19 with its frighteningly tight curves. It’s Georgia’s answer to the Tail of the Dragon up from my parish. Anyway, I had to complete the purchase of some specialized tactical items that had been on back order for some months and the order some other items that needed the know-how of a supervisor to put it through. What happened next on my “day-off” at FBI Atlanta certainly raised my eyebrows. But that’s best put in another post…

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Filed under Dogs, Humor, Military

GSD Special Ops

infantry german shepherd

The moment you realize your GSD has had more special forces training than you thought he had. This is surely NOT Shadow-dog with dirt-colored camo paint… Or… is it? No, no. The fences at the back of the yard are not the same. Whew!

Actually, this was sent in by a reader bringing this over from conservative treehouse.

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Double reverse psychology trick

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Shadow-dog is slightly larger than Laudie-dog. But Laudie-dog is, apparently, smarter than Shadow-dog. She successfully took over Shadow-dog’s wolf-cave. She is just so laughing on the inside at her brilliant pawipulations. Shadow-dog looks bewildered that he’s been had in his own wolf-cave by someone who’s not even a wolf. Laudie-dog has the run of the whole house, so I told her to come out, and she did, happy to show me, however, that she’s definitely top dog. Shadow-dog was content that he had his own kingdom once again.

Mind you, it’s not that Laudie-dog wanted to take over Shadow-dog’s cave. It’s that she wanted to make sure that he’s jealous of his wolf-cave, so that he insists on staying there and is not tempted to cry to have run of the house as well. Hah.

Meanwhile, Shadow-dog is no fool. He plays the game, letting Laudie-dog think that she has tricked him so that she is content now to stay out of his wolf-cave, banished to life outside the wolf-cave. Double HahHah! His bewildered look above is instead a pleading with me to play along with him in his double-reverse ploy. Yes. Fine. I’m good with that.

Meanwhile, they’ve both teamed up to manipulate me… pawipulate me into thinking that I’m the true landlord of the house. At any rate, everybody’s happy.

I have to wonder how our guardian angels deal with the likes of us. Jesus says that they see the face of God right now, and then… and then… there’s us. Goodness!

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Of wolves, sheep, serpents, doves

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I’ve been thinking a lot about wolves these days, enough to research the beasts in the North Woods of Minnesota whence I hail, monsters named after the abundance of trees used tactically in groups of these conscienceless Timber Wolves.

It might be that Shadow-dog has slightly less shagginess around the jowls and only slightly less roundish ears, but he’s definitely the height and length and weight of a Timber Wolf, the Gray Wolf of “legend” (because we’re scared to think of these marauders as being real).

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His killer instincts are still shining brightly. When he wants to prove this, while growling, he takes his “basketball” in his teeth and rips it so violently from side to side that it is crystal clear that he could literally rip any creature, man or beast, limb from limb.

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Jesus uses precisely this ferocity of wolves to describe how sheep are tossed about, torn to shreds by unscrupulous wolves who kill just to kill.

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Jesus bids those sheep to be that like that which frightens even wolves, that is, like clever serpents. Mind you, clever serpents are even worse in that a clever serpent is the image used in Genesis for the now fallen angel, Satan. Meanwhile, recalling the Holy Spirit, the sheep, the children of God are to be, in all their cleverness, innocent.

Meanwhile, in such a confusing maelstrom, Satan dresses up the wolves like sheep so that they have the killer venom of Satan himself.

But that doesn’t fool the children of God, whose innocence in being forgiven, carries the very love of God that cuts through mind games Satan thinks to be clever, games of violence, of deceit, which lack all wisdom because lacking in love.

Meanwhile, Shadow-dog has lots of love for yours truly. He’s very playful, affectionate, and I think of the Creator of all, our Heavenly Father’s wisdom, and love.

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Mud in your eye! Jesus to blind guy

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Google: origin here’s mud in your eye

Laudie-dog is too much of a lady to be caught out in the mud.

Shadow-dog is too much of a wolf not to drag mud around everywhere he goes. He sees life through mud. Literally.

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Shadow-dog proud of his mud-puddle

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O.K., I admit it. It’s a Taj Mahal type of reflecting pool sporting geometric designs. But must the architect, Shadow-dog, be so proud of it that, even in the rain he has to stand guard next to it, again and again taking up his post just there?

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He looks incredulous that I could possibly appreciate his handy-work, um, his paw-work. At any rate, for all those who think I’m so mean to Shadow, making him lie down in the mud in Winter, know that he does have a warm and dry wood-shaving bed that he can climb into at will, and he does, for a while, but then has to go back to guarding his mud puddle.

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And though invited into the house during the day he loves to be outside guarding his mud puddle. When things finally dry out after so very much rain perhaps I’ll have to artificially keep his mud puddle full so that it can be his to guard ever so proudly.

Isn’t that just about how our dear Lord works with us? Thank you, Lord.

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Filed under Dogs, Missionaries of Mercy

Shadow-Dog pooped a Timber Rattler

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Ho-hum. Looking out the kitchen window this morning I see that Shadow-dog just pooped out a full size Timber Rattlesnake. Markings. Fat body. Relatively short tail. Ultra-fat head with fangs. Wikipedia says that “Potentially, this is one of North America’s most dangerous snakes, due to its long fangs, impressive size, and high venom yield.” They warn with lots of antics, but I think that only makes Shadow-dog’s adrenaline pump all the more. Sorry that this next photo didn’t focus, but this is the decapitated head:

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Out of focus or not, that’s good enough for me. All very poopy.

Not to worry. I looked it up. Dogs eating venomous snakes for breakfast doesn’t hurt them in the least. :-) Shadow-dog was simply content with a good snack.

It’s been raining and raining and raining after snowing and snowing and snowing. The back yard is a bit of a mess. I’m planning on extending the fence and planting lots of grass seed. Meanwhile, don’t feel sorry for wet and muddy Shadow-dog. He has a warm dry shelter out of the weather tucked far back under the non-mud-cement-patio corrugated roof. Also, he comes in for most of the night. You just have to know that a GSD loves water and mud. He’s been expanding his mud holes with water in them just for fun. I don’t mind. I did that as a kid. Why not?

Anyway, a thought came to mind. You can see how there is zero shelter, zero hiding places for a snake, particular a Timber Rattler which stays in, well, you know, the timber, the forest. We’re in the middle of a city. How is it that that Rattler would insist on being inside that fence line slithering immediately right into the jaws of Shadow-dog, who, by the way, wouldn’t be hidden. It just doesn’t make sense. Ain’t gonna happen if you ask me. The snake, on its own, would zip away. Poor snake. Maybe he was thrown in while I was on my day off. If that’s the case, the result is the following:

  • One proud and brave Shadow-dog.
  • One now impressed but scared snake-handler.

Analogy:

  • Just when people think they “have you”, you come out stronger for it, more character, a broader foundation of experience from which to proceed, with Jesus, of course. Hah.
  • Just when the devil thinks he “has you”, you come out stronger for it, more character, a broader foundation of experience from which to proceed, with Jesus, of course. Hah.
  • Just when your fallen human nature thinks it has won, you come out stronger for it, more character, a broader foundation of experience from which to proceed, with Jesus, of course. Hah.

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Shadow-dog eating stainless steel

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Water dishes are fair game, I guess. A bit self-destructive if you get thirsty.

So, here’s my temporary solution. Cement blocks. I’m thinking a nicer looking affair would be perhaps six carriage bolts holding the dish down to the cement slab.

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I may have to lay two standing up sideways in the back with another laid over the top front.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Shadow-monster-dog wins? edition)

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Shadow-dog, pictured here staring down at Laudie-dog next to me, is not so much sitting as now being entrenched in his starting blocks, that is, the new hole he’s re-dug. It’s now his favorite spot. He’s won. He thinks.

He’s been chewing on the rose-bush, the “super-abundant Guadalupe” rose bush. So, It’s been dug out and moved out front. I filled in the hole but he immediately dug it out. But that’s O.K. The rose has now found a new home out front near the road next to the telephone pole where the larger bed of flowers is.

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The rose was clipped down for the Winter, but Shadow-dog finished the job. Fine.

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We’ll see what happens. Perhaps this is where the little grotto of our Lady was supposed to be from the get-go, so that more people could see it. Who wins then?

img_20180121_175319427~2307854138..jpgMeanwhile, the very first warm day we’ve had in it seems like forever saw the blooming of a dandelion, a Lion’s Tooth. All very acceptable to our Lady, as this was provided to her by the Creator of the entire universe. Just simplicity, like a little child. That’s the way. That’s the only way. “Amen I say to you, unless you turn and become as little children you shall not enter into the Kingdom of the Heavens.”

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