I’ve been spending lots of time with Laudie-dog the last couple of weeks, especially the last number of days. I’m sure there are those who think that pets are a waste of time for a priest.
But she’s been very sick. The last picture above was yesterday morning.
And then, some hours later…
I did everything I could to keep Laudie-dog going, to no avail. She was quite old in dog-years.
She adopted me as a puppy at the hermitage, skeletal thin, a bit mangey, and it seems whoever her owners were dumped her in the forest and shot with bird shot between the shoulder blades, surely to make her run away and never come back. Was it because she was the sweetest dog in the world?
After being nursed up to good health Laudie-dog saved me umpteen times from bears, coyotes, red wolves, a grey wolf, lynx, mountain lions, and, worst of all, a panther, twice. The last incident with the panther was a bit scary. That went on fully forty minutes.
Meanwhile, moving to civilization here in Andrews, she was shot with a hunting pellet on the side of her neck, then later, according to the Vet, again shot with another hunting pellet point-blank in the esophagus. On that latter occasion she was also poisoned, as was Shadow-dog. They were both dead sick for some days.
Meanwhile, Laudie-dog was a good friend, totally the outside dog, but when I would come home, totally the inside dog. She was the best at running a million miles an hour down steep forest ridges, but even better at catching up with some shut-eye inside. From what I’ve seen of how PTSD dogs work, she would have been the best ever.
Meanwhile, did not Charlene send her treats galore. It was the Milk Bone marrow nuggets that kept her going in these last days. Others stopped in personally to give Laudie-dog treats, and then leave the whole bag or container. If she was the sweetest dog, she was also the most spoiled dog.
It’s always good to have such as Laudie-dog ’round about. Did not Don Bosco have Grigio? And how about that dog who fed Saint Roch?
Meanwhile, Shadow-dog is a bit disoriented without someone to play with.
Meanwhile, I thank God for Laudie-dog…
As requested, Laudie-dog smiling, here just having woken up:
Diagnosis from the doctor: Laudie-dog’s sick. Some hope, but… So, she’s got some meds for a while.
Updates: So, I’ve been bedside nursing Laudie-dog at home…
Monday and Tuesday: She wasn’t drinking any water at all. Not a drop. So I was taking an oral syringe marked for 5 milliliters for meds but which can handle 8 milliliters. I was squirting full syringes to the back of her mouth a zillion times. We have a great system for that: I ask my guardian angel for help, and Laudie-dog is totally good with it. Every time. The vet recommended a diet of rice and chicken. Laudie put aside every single grain of rice and ate just a little chicken on Monday night, maybe just a 1/2 ounce. Tuesday she ate a whole chicken breast. I had to carry her back and forth to do her duty outside.
Wednesday: When she stood up she fell over. But then, about half hour later, Laudie started chugalugging water, like four times that I noticed. She ate a whole bowl of rice and one and a quarter chicken breasts, 15 ounces altogether. Three pieces of bread (someone said that wasn’t the best, so, I’ll stop that) and about 1/4 cup of peanut butter.
Thursday, today: She ate about 11 ounces of chicken breast straight away and has chugalugged water already thrice early this morning. She looks brighter eyed, is doing her duty on her own. I still need to help her up the steps back inside. Last night she actually slept throughout the night instead of walking about aimlessly, instead of standing in place like Styrofoam for long periods of time. She’s still unsure on her feet. She’s resting better.
I’ve gotten quite a number of hints that I haven’t been posting enough about Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog. Today’s the day.
Laudie-dog, the fiery-orange dog as the fire-dog was captured in the picture above was last evening. For about the last six months she’s become quite a bit more frail in her old age of eleven to twelve years. She gets super-pampered, of course. She’s the princess! Treats have recently been hand-delivered by a guy who, in his 28 year military intel career, once was in the habit of messing around with DISA across from the NSA. Laudie-dog very much likes both the shish kabob and the bacon treats, as does Shadow-dog.
Meanwhile, Shadow-dog is forever the dance-of-death-dog, as was captured in the picture below early this morning. His shadow seems to be more solid than himself as he dances the death of the rope he’s ripping to shreds. The rope, mind you, is 1.5 inches in diameter, and three feet long but with five huge knots, bringing the real length to six feet and weighing in at just over two pounds, the average weight of a full grown Timber Rattler or Crotalus horridus horridus. The rope itself, being ripped about like this at lightning speed, can just about break your leg if it hits you as you walk by. I know. And Shadow knows this as well. He’s proud to report his advances as a martial artist with his arsenal of weaponry.
Shadow is at the perfect age, at the top of his defense game over against the constant flow of druggies around the house, but is also the perfect gentle-dog with me. He’s now inside with me at night, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t perfectly aware of what’s going on outside. The other night, for the first time, he went ballistic at the front door and then came running through my little rectory to get me, insisting that I follow him as he barked at the front door. That scared off whoever was there. Now they know not to mess with this house at night.
Maybe. In Kansas the other day, a cop was at home for a quick nap, cruiser in the driveway. Someone, awaiting the opportunity for terroristic threat logistics, grabbed the cop’s puppy silently, perhaps a baseball bat to the head to keep it quiet, removed the dog to another location, beheaded the puppy, brought the body back (not the head), smashed the house open to dump the dog inside (blood everywhere, of course), then fled, knowing the cop was inside and would come to that door but would be stopped.
Stats are that anyone who does that to an animal will do that, will already have done that to human beings. Here’s the puppy, just before all that, alive, just like a little Shadow-dog:
It’s not always the case, but the other night Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog were both inside with me. But then, at zero-dark-thirty (as always), one of the local thugs knocked quietly on the outer walls of the rectory, surely not to get my attention, but to see if he could get the attention of the dogs. I’m sure the dogs would have been shot yet again with a pellet gun had they been outside. Shadow-dog has now been shot some eight times plus a 9mm to his dog house since he adopted me by way of the Police Department, while Laudie-dog has been shot twice since I’ve had her and once more before she adopted me.
Anyway, something must have spooked the thug, maybe someone driving by out front, and he ran in the direction of the drug-house through the creek-side of the back yard of the rectory. Of course, maybe he was smacked by a feather of my guardian angel to get him running full speed. :-)
On the creek-side of the back perimeter of the property there’s four-foot high goat-wire fence, plain as day for all to see, even at night if my flood-lights are on; the lights are about as bright as the sun as pretty much everyone in town informs me. This guy seems to have run full speed right into the goat wire. I’m not sure what that makes him… The neighbor pointed out the destruction to me the next day, calling me up all upset. Together we noted the dynamics of how the fence was violently stretched out of shape blown out from the rectory side of the fencing. The goat wire is attached to the chain-link fence on the one side, but just stands loose and is lightly wrapped around a tree on the far side by the creek (not attached at all).
I can only imagine the scene of this guy running into that fence, flipping him head over heels, having him hit his head hard on the cement driveway of the neighbor. Ouch! Karma? Not so sure about that. How about irony. No, there’s got to be something more personal. Let’s see… my Guardian Angel! Yes, I think that’s it.
I immediately smashed into the ground a couple of what we Minnesotans call snow-fence posts along the fence line as a temporary measure. These were from the once-upon-a-time hermitage, after which I gave them to yet another neighbor. He’s re-envisioned his garden for next Summer and just gave them back to me.
That’s just temporary. The goat wire will be tied up much more sturdily, and I’ll be adding some more lengths of goat wire fencing on the creek side with the help of yet more posts. Meanwhile, the back yard neighbor – really nice guy – gave me quite a lot of barbed wire to add to the top. Heheheh. Of course, any good thievery tools will be able to cut down all the fencing within seconds. I don’t put my trust in fences. I just want to do what I can to protect the dogs. This is also to protect the neighbor at the back. The creek is a kind of highway for the druggies and home-invaders. My neighbors, especially those with little kids, don’t like all the heroin needles and ruffians around the back doors of their homes. The little goat-wire fence helps to dissuade the dark side from making this their avoid-the-police path.
Meanwhile, a funny story about fences and priests:
Some tough church ladies told me a funny story down in Australia as I was installed as the new pastor in that outback parish. I was in Australia to teach in the new country seminary, and the bishop had me doubling up the work by having me do up some trouble-shooting, having me also follow an all-too-weak priest who was doing way too much fence sitting. His fence sitting upset the tough church ladies, and so they hauled him aside and told him the truth of the matter in no uncertain terms, no fence sitters they:
“You can’t be sitting on the fence these days, Father, because these days we make fences out of razer-wire.”
Perfect. I love that. Church ladies are always tough.
Charlene is one of the toughest people I know. She has all sort of things going on – including having a fall the other day – and yet she finds time to send treats to Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog, for which they dance for joy. It’s really something to see. This time there was something also for me in the Amazon box in the carport. It’s what’s in the purple tie-bag in the picture. I’m thinking that it’s a Christmas Rum Cake. Mmmm Mmmm. Thank you, Dearest Charlene. Merry Christmas to you. Blessings upon you. And thanks for remembering this donkey-priest. You are very kind. And for your health: Hail Mary…
And I had better give an update on Laudie-dog. She finishes her antibiotic meds at 4:00 PM this afternoon. It’s been every eight hours for seven days. But the wound is all healed up and even a bit of hair is growing back. The main thing is that she’s a very happy puppy. Charlene has made sure of that. I’m so happy she has.
Above, a while back, Laudie-dog wakes up safe and secure, happy as ever. But recently that wasn’t the case, with both she and Shadow-dog having been poisoned. But as I now find out, that wasn’t the worst of it.
Laudie-dog has been having problems with a wound on her neck where she had been shot with a pellet gun quite a while back, but the vet recognized that although there might surely be a bit of shrapnel there, causing occasional minor eruptions, that wound was good to go as is. You gotta know, thugs and buffoons shoot dogs in WNC not infrequently. Vets see some of the worst humanity has to offer and know what really needs to be treated or not, or at least not yet. Being a vet might be about animals, but it’s the behavior of human beings that veterinarians all get to know all too well, with which they are burdened. They have to deal with the injuries of illegally placed bear traps, shootings, poisonings, dog-fighting, neglect…
Meanwhile, I inquired about a very recent skin-event on Laudie-dog’s neck, a pyoderma bacterial infection that is most often occasioned by, that is, secondary to local trauma. Looking at the unrepeatable circumstances of what was happening, the doctor said that it’s her best hypothesis that Laudie-dog was shot with a pellet gun yet again. Because of the location this would likely have had to have been point-blank, centered perfectly on the esophagus under her chin. Sweet Laudie-dog, the friendliest dog in the world. Why? That’s the point. She’s defenseless, and the cowardly thugs and buffoons take advantage of her sweetness. For this pyoderma to develop as it has, the timeline is that this would have been triggered, so to speak, when she and Shadow-dog were also poisoned.
For all of my bluster about the tender snowflake bullies, with all their gang safety, their bowie knives and machetes and lead pipes and chains and pistols and rifles and baseball bats and threats to beat the brains of the dogs in the neighborhood, and for all of my complaints about Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog getting shot with pellet guns previously (and Shadow-dog’s dog-house with a 9mm), this most recent violence against Laudie-dog still surprised me, as I guess I just didn’t want to go there.
I’m all the more streetwise, and Laudie-dog is now taking the usual course of 500mg of good ol’ generic Cephalexin every 8 hours for seven days. And she’s as happy as ever. BUT… warned the good doctor, if there is anything weird that develops with that wound, I’m to bring Laudie-dog straight back for a check-up on her progress or lack thereof. I’m keeping close watch. GOOOOD DAAAWG!
Meanwhile, I should examine my own behavior to see if I’m the one bringing this on in some manner, you know, the ol’ if something goes wrong I should blame myself thing: It’s the victim’s fault! That must be it! Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!
I bet if I cave and take down my thin blue line flag, it’ll all be better. Yes, I’ll do that, take down the thin blue line flag… NOT!
On second thought, maybe such violence is taking place because of the angels and manger scene, because of Mary and Anthony of Padua. Maybe such a presentation is a microaggression worthy of being punished by way of the dogs…
No, no. I bet it’s the combination of all these things. THAT’s it! I’ll go take it all down right now!
Marcus is the Lone Survivor Navy SEAL guy, married, with kids, your normal Texan. Back Stateside, provided a service dog, he named the dog after his team: D.A.S.Y. That is:
Danny = Daniel Phillip Dietz Jr: Navy Cross, Purple Heart – 25 years old (RIP)
Alexson = Matthew Gene “Axe” Axelson: Navy Cross, Purple Heart – 24 years old (RIP) – [Note that one of Marcus’ kids is named Axe, after Matt Axelson. That should tell you something]
Southern Boy = Marcus Luttrell: Navy Cross, Purple Heart – Lone Survivor
Yankee = Michael Patrick “Murph” Murphy: Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Silver Star – 24 years old (RIP)
It’s not just that the dog murderers shot DASY. No, no. They also beat DASY’s brains out with a baseball bat. Stats are that anyone who can randomly do that to a dog is also doing that human beings, usually a defenseless partner, usually children, only those who are much weaker than they are, you know, because, as always, guys like these are total cowards. They hit DASY in the middle of the night. In the 911 call played out above we find out that they have also called 911 on themselves so as to be saved from the guy whose dog they murdered. Meanwhile, Marcus, gentleman that he is, had already called 911 so that Law Enforcement and the American justice system would be put into action properly. As Marcus says of himself, he’s no murderer, but rather someone who supports Law Enforcement and the American justice system. That’s why he served in the Military. Yes.
Meanwhile, John Wick’s dog, called Daisy, is an obvious reference to Marcus Luttrell’s DASY, as there are another dozen parallels as to how this film series is all about an alternative ending to the dog-murdering, surely to point out how, instead, Marcus is above the fray of mere vengeance. And that makes Marcus a hero to me, that is, not someone to render hero-worship (that being a sickness), but rather someone whose example I try to follow in my own life.
Meanwhile, my own Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog were both poisoned the other week. They survived, but only because, as I found out later, the perp was interrupted by my good neighbor just before I got home. Continuing to inquire about what the poison could have been, the substance has been narrowed down to that which has a lot more lethality to it than what I originally thought it might be. In this case, as far as the dogs’ owner goes, myself, I’m guessing that the perp knows well that I myself am a relatively easy target, so very much unlike our run of the mill citizen of Texas, the great Marcus Luttrell, and the later fictional John Wick. That I was considered to be an easy target was the opinion of an Army sniper here in town, the one who now owns Jenny the Jeep. We all know how lethal a Navy SEAL can be, but what about John Wick? Take a look at this short analysis of the skills of John Wick and his director at just a 1/4 speed (stunning attention to detail):
Anyway, yours truly, obviously a “weak target”, who’s never pulled a trigger on anyone for any reason, is given over to being at the ready to defend those who are successfully being unjustly aggressed in a deadly manner right in front of me, say, during a mass shooting in my church, but that defense is not comprehensive of Shadow-dog nor Laudie-dog. Sorry for you who are just as much dog-lovers as me. They have many times put themselves on the line for me, but still… Mind you, murdering my dogs right in front of me is going to raise some intensified situational awareness by way of the all focusing adrenaline. I’ll be 360ﾟat the ready to send off – if need be in unrepeatable circumstances – two to the spinal column and one to the brain box into any number of targets, you know, if I’m fired upon and am actively being hit, set on fire with my lungs being singed, stabbed repeatedly to bleed-out parts of the body, you know the drill. I have done up a bit of scenario drills. The aim, so to speak, would be merely to neutralize not any aggressor(s), but any ultra deadly threat actively being delivered by any aggressor(s). You take out such a threat, not necessarily any aggressor(s) bearing any such threat. Just to be clear. The relatively speaking freakoid record for yours truly which I’ll never repeat again (no target ammo in these USA to keep up the skills…) from a locked holster at a randomly set Competition Electronics’ Pocket Pro II shot timer is – for the two plus one drill – 1.01 seconds. Slow for those mentioned above, of course. And now I’m much, much slower than that.
My neighbors and I have noted how the local cowardly thugs and buffoons carry bowie knives, machetes, baseball bats, lead pipes, heavy chains, pistols, shotguns, (sniper) rifles. Whatever. They look tough, well, laughably, but all that “toughness” only means that they are cowards, always in packs, always almost incapable of even standing up without falling over. The local thugs and buffoons have expressed disdain for dogs to me and have three times stated that they will kill the neighbor’s sweet dog by coming back with a baseball bat to beat that that puppy’s brains out (witnessed). Yep. But, I know, the last thing a thug and buffoon will carry with them is any violence or threats of violence they have ever done or made. Thier own evil is not on their own radar. So, no real ongoing threat. Not in the least.
Having said that, I should add that Laudie-dog was shot in the neck with a pellet gun just under her left ear the other year, and that wound is still festering enough for Shadow-dog to tenderly offer some dog-medic treatment for quite a few minutes even now, with Laudie-dog very appreciative with all that tender care:
The Vet didn’t want to do anything with that ongoing wound just yet. Meanwhile, as I have sometimes said, Shadow-dog is himself well aware of the hurt coming from pellet guns, having been the victim already four times. We’re all happy that, as a wolf-dog, he has fully three coats of fur, all the more thick and heavy around the neck. A bit more worrisome, however, is that his doghouse – next to the house – was hit by a 9mm bullet. I changed out the doghouse so as to confuse the idiot perps a bit. Confusing idiot perps is easy, unless they are not on drugs, unless they are determined just to be evil outside of any evil wrought merely for political correctness with thug peers. Some of the druggies are not druggies at all, but deal only with money and suppliers, keeping track of suppliers, enforcing debt collection. They are likely to be just a bit more dangerous, though I doubt that even they know how to work any safeties on guns, or how to load up a magazine and lock it in, or even whether or not there are any bullets in whatever gun. However, if you yourself get shot in a totally unprovoked attack, you can judge in that very nanosecond that a deadly threat is presently being delivered and if this is in turn judged not to be an accidental discharge but someone continuing to fire at you, the self-defense you render over against such an unprovoked attack is not only justified, but is certainly a contribution to the exercise of the virtue of justice.
The 911 call at the top of this post is after the initial nanosecond of the actual murder of DASY, and Marcus himself was not shot at or attacked with any baseball bat: the perps, the cowards, ran away. The way Marcus brought DASY’s attackers to justice honors those after whom DASY had been named.
May Danny, Axe and Yankee rest in peace. Amen.
And thanks, Marcus, for setting a standard to strive after.
BTW, the comments section after that YouTube 911 call are some of the best on the internet, not because of the hilarious ones (there are a lot) but because the occasional one which is in obvious solidarity with Marcus in a way that could only be done by someone who likewise has suffered for all that is good, who has likewise seen his close friends taken out in front of him. Quite sobering, really. And we need that in these crazy anti-American times we now live in here in these United States of America.
And, yes, it is in God that we trust. Always. Everywhere. In every situation. Amen.
Shadow-dog is not barfing up that rope-toy. Pictures are tricky that way. Both Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog are in great health once again, and are celebrating with super special treats from dearest Charlene.
Shadow-dog was eager and happy to have a taste of these, but sweetest Laudie-dog was over the moon, dancing, happy, bright eyed, smiling. I think Laudie-dog will get the lion’s share, as it were, because, you know, she’s a Rhodesian Ridge Back Lion Dog.
If you can spot the note on top of the treats in the picture farther above, it is only Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog who get a Happy Thanksgiving. Yours truly is, however, tacked on to the thanksgiving to God, after Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog!
Dearest Charlene, we also thank God for you and the service you’ve done right around the world at the Department of State and now for many years for Father Gordon and so many others. Blessings upon you. God reward you.
That’s Laudie-dog above, the sweetest dog in the world. She’s good now. But who would poison her?
And that’s Shadow-dog below, the most playful dog in the world. He’s good now. But who would poison him?
Early Wednesday, just after midnight, I arrived back home after the epic Day Off, relieved in seeing Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog peek through the chain-link fence gate to ascertain it was me. But then they disappeared again to check out I didn’t know what at the other side of the house. That’s never happened. But then they came back to greet me once again as I got to the gate. Whatever had been happening at the other side of the house was now ended. But something was wrong, terribly wrong.
They were totally in malaise, no energy, no dancing around, no fake-fighting with each other to get the first pats on the head, no eagerness, like dead dogs still alive but hardly able to walk without falling over.
Shadow-dog stays out 24/7/365 now that he’s somewhat outgrown his all-night commentary on the druggies and assaulters and rapists and murderers in the neighborhood. He got his supper-dish filled with his evening meal, late, but better late than never. Except this time. He wouldn’t touch it. He was vacuous. A shell of a dog. Empty eyes. Receding into the background. Not this:
Laudie-dog was able to make it up the few steps to come inside but I thought she was going to drop dead right then and there. I put her supper dish down with the usual evening ration. She’s always eager to eat and eager to never stop eating. But Laudie-dog wouldn’t eat. Every movement was painfully slow. She slowly sat down, and then ever so slowly tried to turn her head sideways to stare at her stomach. I’ve never seen that before. Then she took a few steps, sat down, and stared ever so dully at the wall. Vacuous. Nothing there. A shell of a dog. Receding into the background.
Next morning Laudie-dog still hadn’t eaten anything. Shadow-dog did eat sometime during the night, but, like Laudie-dog, was still in total malaise. Later in the morning, Laudie-dog would also eat, choosing just this bit, then that, ever so very slowly, one chew, then opening her jaw with effort, as if in great sadness, then another chew. Excruciating.
Before rushing down to Georgia’s National Cemetery for a military burial, the neighbor filled in some of the details about the previous evening while I was away. It’s said that Shadow-dog was barking, really a lot, fiercely, for hours. The neighbors finally came out to investigate and noticed that the two dogs were on the far side of the house looking up toward the street, barking ferociously. But that’s just when I arrived home. I didn’t see the good neighbors and I didn’t see who had been bothering the dogs. I’m happy with avoiding trouble that could escalate into what nobody wants.
I’m thinking that someone noticed I wasn’t home, and was trying to figure out how to do a home invasion, then went away and came back to give some tasty bits of food to the dogs to eat, but with poison, to knock them out in order to do a home invasion. I’m guessing Laudie-dog ate everything she could while Shadow-dog investigated the first one or two offerings, but let Laudie-dog finish the rest. She got a lot sicker than he did. He was altogether occupied with keeping yet another home-invader, dog poisoner at bay. He did do that. But as soon as the danger was gone, just when I arrived back home, their adrenaline dump now left them and the effects of the poison came to the fore.
In other words, they gave their all to protect the home-front, risking death to do so. Goooooood daaaaawwwgs.
Meanwhile, as I write this, late Thursday, early Friday, I’ve never seen the drug house out back so very, very busy. By Thursday both dogs were back to normal, super-energetic, super-eager, with super-appetites. Great. But. What was it. Sounds like a date-rape drug that guy had at home, and he decided to use it on the dogs.
The other year, at an Advent meal up at Fire House, I was bragging on Shadow-dog, about how good he is at keeping home invaders away. The guy just blankly asked why I thought that. I described Shadow-dog’s anomalously massive size and ferocity over against those judged to be malicious (for instance, those who shoot at him and Laudie-dog here in town), but the guy didn’t accept that as anything to judge their worth. I should have known not to ask why not, as surely this guy was speaking from experience and the topic had to hurt (I’m so stupid):
“Any experienced home-invader is going to open the gate to get to your back door, shoot the dog without breaking pace (with a suppressor I’m guessing), quickly break apart the door(frame), and proceed firstly to make sure there are no further threats before taking whatever it is that he wants.”
“I see,” said I, taken aback at his sad tone that told a story.
Mind you, I’ve had trouble getting Shadow-dog to eat before, but not because of malaise for having been poisoned. I only figured out recently just how much he considers me to be part of the security team, just how much he is depending on me, that is, as much as I depend on him.
I stupidly put his supper dish next to the house (as people do), so that he faces the house in order to eat. That’s bad for situational awareness. I should have known. He didn’t feel safe to eat if I was standing next to him, but also facing the house with him. He would spend minutes circling out back of me to bait me to turn and do surveillance for him much the way I’ve so many times seen a buck keep watch while the does put their heads deep into the grass. Having finally figured out what he was doing, all I have to do is put his supper dish down and face away, busy trying to spot those Shadow-dog senses to be malicious.
But this didn’t work the other night. The second the danger was over, both he and Laudie-dog, making sure I was safe, then just collapsed.
But they are good now. It’s all good. Thanks be to God.
Laudie-dog is her happy self. She guards the door when I’m gone, then insists, as a reward, that she come inside when I arrive back home. Happy, happy, happy! She gets pampered in every way.
She’s been traumatized by her previous owner who, it seems, shot her between the shoulder blades with bird shot when dumping her on the hermitage road to get rid of her. She’s been even more traumatized right through her younger years consequent to her maternal protection of yours truly over against bears and panthers and wolves and all that which also goes bump in the night, dark and stormy nights with dreaded thunder, which sets her to shaking. She still has nightmares.
Someone, playing dog-psychologist, said that the nightmares are all my fault, inasmuch as they continue, in that surely I don’t pamper her enough! Instead, she well knows that she is the princess. As far as I know in speaking with some of our special operators, for human beings anyway, PTSD doesn’t go away, even though in waking moments one might learn how to deal with it. I’m guessing it’s the same for dogs. Laudie-dog also knows she has help with the protection thing, that it’s not on her anymore. Enter Shadow-dog:
And, yes, he’s had a number of baths and some brushing events a few times since this picture was taken. And his collar got a good scrubbing, and his new rabies shot tag was added to the collar. He’s a strictly outside dog now. He guards the door while I’m gone along with Laudie-dog, but also patrols the fence-line. Although he’s been shot a good four times with a pellet gun, and his dog house was shot with a 9mm bullet, that’s only made him more confident in his abilities to face anything. If Laudie-dog is the princess, Shadow-dog is simply the king. I’m the “alpha” only until there’s trouble, and then he unceremoniously literally knocks me out of the way so that I’m fully behind him. Amazing. I’m grateful to have him.
Did I mention that he can put his jaws entirely around the entire head of Laudie-dog? All in play, mind you. That’s not at all scary to Laudie-dog. Instead, it’s the other way around. She knows that Shadow-dog can fully take care of any situation which comes up. She can relax. Not that she does. Fairly recently I’ve seen her raise her Rhodesian Lion-Dog Ridgeback four-inch wide, shoulders to tail ridge, which stood straight up. I’ve only seen that just the one time when a pit-bull was threatening. She won, actually scaring the pit-bull. :-)
Laudie-dog comes in at 45 pounds. Shadow-dog comes in more than twice that, at 95 pounds. He could easily be 120 pounds or more and still be trim, but the Vet said to keep him a bit on the thinner side, as a dog his size is much happier when light on his feet, and it also helps perhaps to delay any hip dysplasia later in life.
Both dogs are rescues, but not really.
Laudie-dog adopted me. I think my guardian angel directed her my way going on ten years ago. We’ve been great friends since.
Shadow-dog was arranged for me by friends in the police and firefighters. He was just a pup and needed a home. They brought me over to pick him up at the house of someone who couldn’t take care of him. The school cafeteria couldn’t keep feeding him, liability and all that.
“The LORD God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals.” (Genesis 2:19-20)
Both Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog have the same nick-name: GOOOOD DAAAWG!
Dunno if you can see it, but Laudie-dog, as usual, has a smile on her face. Always content. Doing what she was created to do by God our loving Heavenly Father. Is she oblivious to the Coronavirus pandemic and panic? Sure. So she’s happy. But we who do know what’s going down should be as serene and incomparably much more joyful inasmuch as our Lord intends to bring us to heaven forever. By the way, you see that she looking to me, not to my visitor to my left. She’s already figured out that guy.
Meanwhile, Shadow-dog always has his guard up. Yes, he does smile, but with watchful eyes on that visitor, a law enforcement officer to the rectory driveway. He doesn’t care about any law enforcement credentials. He’s going to protect me regardless. Shadow already knows the officer and is friendly with him. Nevertheless, the guard is up. And so should our guard be up with the Coronavirus.
But having your guard up doesn’t cancel out the hope that what we’re all created to have as we walk humbly with our God, in thanksgiving, with joy that God intends us to be taken out of this world and have us in heaven forever. Hope is essential for life. Hope carries with it a joy that opens unto life eternal.
So why did such a good God create such a dangerous world?
Let’s not forget what original sin was our choice, crushing our integrity and honesty so that instead of absolutely dominating the universe, including viruses[!], helping each other, we instead, selfish idiots, don’t cooperate, become secretive, and even inflict such viruses on each other.
Let’s not forget that God didn’t forget about us and the consequences of our own bad and evil choices. He stood in our place, the innocent for guilty, and took on the death we deserve because of original sin and whatever rubbish of our own sin so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us, truly offering us mercy based on this justice, so that He – the Author of Life – might bring us to life once again, this time united with Him, this time in life eternal.
So, I’m as happy as a Laudie-dog, and so very enthusiastic that I can continue to be on guard against, say, the Coronavirus, and not be all depressed and despairing, but rather, in His grace, retain the hope that leads to heaven.
We see lots of bashing of those who BOTH faithful and reasonable and prudent and who are of service. If those self-righteous bashers who bash entire categories of people would spend even half that energy on doing something to be part of the solution, we would have a much better world as regards both physical and spiritual health.
Let’s pray for each other.
Let’s help each other.
Let’s be joyful.
Let’s be of service in whatever way we can.
Let’s be an occasion for others to get hold of that hope which our dear Lord holds out to all of us with great solicitude for our eternal welfare.
Out of the blue my favorite State Department Diplomat (now retired) has sent in some doggie-treats for both Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog.
As you can see, Shadow-dog is doing his happy-dance in the freshly fallen snow. Laudie-dog doesn’t much care for the snow, but retains her most photogenic happy-smile:
But don’t be fooled. Both are fiercely protective of yours truly. The happy-dance of Shadow-dog is actually a battle drill, seeing if he can be as aggressive in the slippery snow as he is on dry packed soil:
Yes, I should think so. Those paws are about as big as Laudie-dogs whole face. Good thing they are friends.
Meanwhile, I apologize for having disappeared for some time. Sooooo busy doing the priest thing. I love it. There are many emails and comments I have to get to. Sorry if it seems I’ve not been getting to these. No intention to snub anyone. If I were to give a rundown of my day yesterday, absolutely running from 3:00 AM to 7:00 PM it might be more understandable.
Yes, Shadow-dog does get hosed off. He likes that as much as getting muddy. He likes to bait Laudie-dog into playing, and she shows him who’s really boss, boxing his ears with both front paws at the same time, though not baring her ferocious fangs for a second. They really are best friends. She’s just cleaner, and wants to stay that way.
In an effort to change out mud holes, I restricted Shadow dog to being closer in to the house, as there is still an old fence to use. But his hopping from side to side in front of that fence when making his usual commentary on passing events has made for some embankments. As I kid, when I did that for downhill skiing up in the North Woods: moguls. I got good at it, enough to get little impromptu audiences. But maybe they were just waiting for the crazy-insane-kid to be out of the way.
It’s hard to tell from the picture, but the turning mogul on the right is dug down and built up from the hopping turns so that from bottom to top is about 1 1/2 feet high. That only took one day of unintentional mogul building. I’m impressed. Shadow gets his exercise all day every day.
The anomalous all-black GSDs have a slightly different genetic structure, closer, I would guess, to wolfdom. They have what some call a straight back instead of the back sloping down from shoulders to tail. But Shadow-dog’s back actually is higher. The speed factor is amazing.
He can go from the not-lying-down-but-actually-crouching-attack-position – closely eyeing a potential enemy who needs to be vetted out – to full speed racing as a test-attack to see the reaction of the would-be enemy, the ol’ going straight from zero to a hundred thing in bare nanoseconds. I like that. A lot. Even if the enemy is a squirrel, a cat, the neighbor’s therapy pony or the next-door neighbor’s dog. Sometimes, though, it’s a possibly nefarious human who instantly understands the instruction not to come over the fence to do up a home invasion. To see the speed, I only need to open the side gate to let him go in the bigger back yard.
Laudie-dog is much calmer. But she knows that she doesn’t need to prove herself to me. She’s already saved me so very many times from monsters: bears and lynx and coyotes and snakes and red wolves and now grey wolves, and even a panther. That last one was a fright.
Dogs are the best. Cats are… cats…
Dogs are man’s best friend. Cats are… cats…
Dogs protect you and yours. Cats… watch the worst go down…
Dogs are eager to learn. Cats think they know it all…
Dogs watch birds. Cat’s eat the birds for whom you put out bird-seed…
I mean, if you can add to the list, or defend cats (which I would be interested in seeing), drop a comment. Let me put it this way, although dogs and cats are equally God’s good creatures, my fallen human nature says:
Dogs are better than cats. Change my mind.
There were both dogs and cats around the house when I was a kid. I have dogs now, but no cats. Am I therefore wrong to even voice an opinion? Do I need to get a cat to be able to legitimately express my inner creation commentary?
If I were to get a cat, it would have to be black (to match priest-clothes), have short hair, not shed, be content with dry cat food, not scratch-attack, purr really really really a lot, and loudly, get along with both Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog without scratching their eyes out, and otherwise not be “catty”… or is that something cats absolutely have to be?
Shadow-dog plays at ripping imaginary beasts apart all day. He does have some of the biggest canines I’ve ever seen on any dog anywhere ever. Meanwhile:
That’s the normal state of affairs for Laudie-dog. How sweet. But she also knows how to play with Shadow-dog, even if she does get her paw stepped on and even if she does get gently nose-butted in the shoulder:
Notice that no one is baring any teeth. Just play. The good-old days for the doggies.
Analogy: Is this not an example of how to go about helping each other to be more rounded out, so that Laudie-dog becomes more trained up in self-defense, even while Shadow-dog learns to become more of the gentle-dog? Do we allow ourselves to be trained in to be more rounded out by others in our lives?
STATUS QUO is wrongly perceived in received meaning to refer to the state of affairs in which something persists without change, such as the “Status Quo” of the holy sites in the Holy Land. And that could be an understanding of the ablative case in Latin (“in quo”). However, it instead actually refers to another ablative use of another understood preposition in Latin (“ex quo”), so that one is referring to a state of affairs that is a base-line, a starting point, that from which circumstances will now begin to change, hopefully for the better.
What’s your status quo? What are you doing, with the regular use of the sacraments, to better those circumstances? If we have the wherewithal to improve, these are the good-old days for us.
A group of Ink Cap saprotroph mushrooms in the backyard… thinner than paper…
They come up in hours at night, burn away in the sun hours later after dropping their spores. So, I thought that’s all I would see. Instead, the backyard has been taken over by these guys.
Laudie-dog is scared of them, even though they seem to have contributed to her getting over her fear of heights:
Laudie-dog has not been shrooming, by the way, as these mushrooms are harmless if one doesn’t drink alcohol at the same time. These mushrooms are called Tippler’s Bane. Laudie isn’t a tippler.
Anyway, I know these aren’t exactly flowers, and I know they these are the ultimate “Natura morta” presentation to Our Lady, but – Hey! – this oldster is still fascinated by all that is nature as all that is nature shouts out the glory of God, with things being as they should be, each thing having its place, each cooperating with all other things to make it all work.
“Natura morta” or “Dead nature” is badly translated as “Still Life,” as in paintings that include fruit and flowers, things that are dead because they cut off from the supply of life from a plant or tree, and therefore are for the moment especially to be valued because of their passing beauty, the reference to “the flowers of the field” made by our Lord Jesus, the Divine Son of Mary.
I myself have often been the subject of analogies to mushrooms of all kinds, you know, someone who is kept in the dark and fed, well, you know…
Why give such a saprotroph to Our Lady? Isn’t that an insult? Not at all.
On the one hand, saprotrophs, in and of themselves, have a beauty all their own.
We, on the other hand, have only our sin to claim as our own, and that sin makes us less than the animals, less than anything, including saprotrophs, which instead feed on us and turn us to dust when the time comes, and it will come, much much sooner than later.
Good thing that Jesus even takes away our sin, so that we have nothing, as the neighbor to the hermitage told me recently.
And that last point, then, is what giving saprotrophs to Mary is all about, namely, it is about the wounds of Jesus witnessed by Mary, we casting our sin unto Jesus and, revealing the glory of the love of the only Begotten of the Father, we see His mercy upon us, having us die with Him, but this time on the Cross… under which Mary stood.
All that comes to mind with a saprotroph. :-)
Of course, we don’t need to overthink it when giving a flower to the Immaculate Conception. We can just do it.
The ever amazing Charlene Duline has been sick enough to land her in the hospital. We are all concerned and praying for her. Laudie-dog is anxious since it is dearest Charlene who pampers her, and Laudie-dog will not tolerate any news of Charlene not feeling well. Laudie-dog is her fur-baby. So, a prayer for Charlene, please.
Laudie-dog is pointing out one side of a two-turn race course, the deep banked holes assisting in skidding to stop after flying through the air, and, using the now banked up back yard, instantaneously turning about, flying in the other direction. Landing on the opposite side of the yard, there is the same skid to stop banked up hole, exactly the same, identical, just in reverse. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.
Laudie-dog looks bewildered as this race course of changing of course doesn’t belong to her. This was created by Shadow-dog because Shadow-dog thinks he’s clever. Shadow-dog is a maniac. Behold, Saint Paul speaking of when he was a maniac, running from his good religious plan right into sin and back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, with his good religious plan being the same as his sin, you know, because he is the one doing it under his own “power,” which, of course, is nothing:
“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold into slavery to sin. What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I concur that the law is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh. The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand. For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self, but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body?” (Romans 7:14-24).
The idea here is that Saint Paul is critiquing his manipulative usage of religion as a way to congratulate himself. Note the constant mantra of egoism – “I” – “I” – “I” – as in “I myself come up with a religious plan that I think is good for me and I’m clever and I can save myself by my religious plan because I’m so special! Look at me! Look at me! I’m saving myself! /// He’s saying that that kind of attitude is B.S., or better, Chicken S***, inasmuch as what he’s depicted himself as is a chicken with it’s head cut off, running around mindlessly like it’s all normal and good. There are those who don’t get this until they read the last verse which I didn’t include above. You’ll see it below, but don’t read it just yet.
Let me tell you of another crowd who have been a very large part of the crisis of priests not knowing who they are, and of the abuse crisis. They knew the last verse cited further below, but purposely went out of their way to ignore this. There’s a psych institute over in Rome connected to the Pontifical Gregorian University which trains up sisters and priests in psychology to be staff psychologists at seminaries right round the world. Their guru guy, a Jesuit priest, but actually a guru guy, Rulla, cites this passage as the be all and end all of proof that God made a mistake in creating us, or better, that God created us in a way that encourages us to save ourselves with coping mechanisms, you know, to cope with all the mistakes God made in making us. In other words, as I heard one student of Rulla say, “We’re the first ones in the history of the Church to find a way to save ourselves!”
I have very many friends who went to this psych institute and I bought the expensive books of Rulla and the institute, such rubbish, and have studied it all with some intensity. I offered the critique about Rulla’s treatment of this passage of Saint Paul to one particularly close friend who was a student of Rulla. He threw such a hissy fit. He left the lunch table angry and pouting and wouldn’t sit at the same table with me or speak to me for weeks. Finally, he apologized and said I was right. Then, after many years, having become a seminary rector, he contacted me though another friend to repeat that, yes, indeed, I was right. How’s that, you ask?
My critique is that they don’t think of sin, at all, even though Saint Paul here speaks of sin repeatedly. And that’s why they then don’t think of redemption. They don’t think of Christ. Saint Paul does. Behold: after criticizing himself, casting aside coping mechanisms such as is also a manipulative use of religion, Saint Paul points us directly and only to Jesus who is the One to save him, wretch that Saint Paul, on his own, is:
“Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:25).
Do we change course by running back and forth, back and forth, back and forth? No. Christ Jesus reaches down and grabs us and snatches us up close to His pierced Heart, and we say: “My Lord and my God.” Thank you, Jesus.
/// Having said all that, don’t think I’m against a good and wholesome psychology. If one takes up the Sacred Scriptures, the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint John of the Cross and Saint Therese of Lisieux, to name but a few, one will be able to glean a well rounded and useful psychology, but this is all based on a good, honest friendship with Jesus Christ our Lord.
I categorize this post with “Missionaries of Mercy” because I insist on all this talk of Jesus to my own peril. One makes enemies in this way. Some years ago over in Rome, while I would ever so quietly mention my opinion, the Rulla-ites, overhearing this, would go so far as to threaten a major public debate. They were actually beginning to plot this as something to be held at the Lateran Basilica of all places, that being chosen cleverly, however, as it is the Cathedra of the Successor of Peter. Perhaps one day.
Pelosi saying that the State of the Union address should be put off because there is no security (that’s a lie, by the way), speaks to her desire, I guess, for a wall around D.C., or is it a fence, or slats, or a barrier, or a force-field, or more drones, or entitlement to nice thoughts?
I’ll loan Laudie-dog to the Secret Service for the evening. She’s a decent attack dog should any ne’er-do-wells show up to take over the District. Sorry to wake you up, Laudie-dog…
Did you ever notice that Shadow-dog is much bigger than Laudie-dog? When it comes to treats, Shadow-dog is always the perfect gentleman, letting little Laudie-dog get her treat.
Dearest Charlene Duline, the best diplomat of the State Department that the world has ever known (now retired) – and long-time helper of Father Gordon MacRae, has just sent in a big jug of dog treats along with a box of treats for yours truly. I am humbled.
The thing is, she just had a really bad fall recently and is still going to be recovering for some time to come. How she was able to do this I don’t know. Her favorite of all of us, of course, is Laudie-dog, who, I must admit, is as sweet as ever.
If only I could get Main State to send me something else: