My friend, Christine, has a blog on blogger.com entitled Writing for The Lord. She has had still another one of her stories published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series - this one on dogs - and it got me a'thinkin'....
I have had some amazing dogs. They have all been smart and loving and loyal and goofy as heck in their own ways. Yet, when I really started to think about the kind of dogs I have owned (or who have owned me) I realized that my entire pet experience has been heavily influenced by my favorite movie of all time:
Lady and The Tramp.
I have owned a Tramp (Snoopy), a Lady (Pupi) and three versions of Jock (Mac, Roddy and the current fellow; Duffy the Wonder Scotty). I have even owned a Siamese Cat (Samantha)...though in all honesty she was my brother's cat and loved him in the condescending way cats love people (you..you there...I will allow you to adore me the most).
I know how important animals have been to us Catholics throughout history. St Don Bosco's guardian angel took the form of a large dog (Grecio) and protected him from the villains who tried to stop his ministry in Torino. St Francis preached to birds and converted a wolf for heavens' sake. But I think in my case I have always needed a fur-baby around just to feel that incredible unconditional love only an animal can give.
Perhaps, if I think about it, that has been the connection that kept me tethered to the world even when I seemed to be doing my best to vacate the planet. My need to 'take care of____(enter name of pet here)______' often made it necessary for me to come back from the brink. Whenever I have thought of running away (off to Denver!) I have always had to consider how I would take care of _____(enter pet's name here)____while living in my car or tramping through the wilderness. This would usually be closely followed by the realization that I hate camping.
So today I have a dog named Duffy, a cat named Peanut and another cat named Elizabeth. Elizabeth, a feral cat I got neutered, fattened up and shot full of cat-medicine, now runs across the street when she hears my car coming home in the morning...or if she is already there, she waits patiently at the end of the walk for me to exit the vehicle and say good morning. Peanut thinks I am a throw pillow in need of fluffing and Duffy refuses to go to bed before me.....and when I do climb the stairs in the morning, he enters his kennel and sleeps next to the bed until the afternoon, when my day begins.
How happy I am to have these 'children' in my life.....
none of them need to go to college....
Thank you, Lord...for your beautiful creatures!