How’s Lent Working Out for You So Far?

My pretty boy's face

Sometimes I think my dog is a better Christian than I am.

He’s never read the Bible. Never studied the Catechism. Never been inside a church. He’s never attended a prayer group, never joined with others in praise songs.

But he knows how to act lovingly. He grasps wrong from right and generally seems to choose ‘right.’ And he knows who his mistress is and how to stay on her good side. Witness these examples:

  • He doesn’t fail to put me ahead of everything else (well, except maybe food!).
  • When I call, he listens and responds. I’ve never heard him reply, ‘Just a minute, ‘k?’
  • He doesn’t demand to know why he has certain ‘talents’ instead of others. He’s good at herding, for example, but doesn’t pine for a swimming pool.
  • He never grumbles and complains when things don’t go his way.
  • His greatest delight is spending time with me. If I interrupt his nap to go for a walk, he’s right there with me.
  • He’s content to follow me wherever I go, without fighting me for the reins.
  • He’s always thankful. For a full tummy, a scratch beneath the chin, a romp through the house.
  • If I’m gone ‘too long’ by his book, he shreds a few newspapers, but never does he lie when I ask him about it.
  • He never questions my judgment but assumes I must know what I’m talking about.

We could learn a lot from our dogs!

Of course, there are dogs and there are dogs. Some, through poor early socialization or bad breeding or whatever, are doomed to be less than they could have been. They don’t bond with their owners; they prefer the animal world to that of humans.

Others are like Mary Poppins, ‘practically perfect in every way.’ They seem attuned to you, to be the better part of you, keeping you grounded when life gets crazy, making you laugh through hardships, nursing you through illnesses, adoring you with their attentions.

Soul dogs, they’re called. And if you’ve ever been owned by one, you’ll know what I mean.

I don’t know whether all dogs go to Heaven when they die. I imagine, just like with people, there are some who won’t arrive there. But I’d bet my last dollar soul dogs go!

Who among us is as patient, as trusting, as kind, as unselfish, as a soul dog?

No, they can’t be born again, in the Christian sense. They can’t actively choose Jesus Christ. But perhaps God doesn’t call them to the same standards He calls us. Perhaps it’s enough that they do what they’re best at doing — loving, trusting, obeying.

12 thoughts on “How’s Lent Working Out for You So Far?

  1. My Jack Rascal is not obedient, could care less on any given day about pleasing me, has me firmly wrapped around her paw but she does one thing very well 99.9% of the time–she makes me happy and is practically perfect in every way even when she suns herself on the dining room table…because that is where the sun spot happens to fall. Sheltie people have it much to easy!!

    There is a reason dog is God spelled backwards. Dogs don’t have religion but spiritually speaking they, as you pointed out so well, have a lot to teach their human companions about love. If you have not read, “Dog in heaven” here is the link to one of my favorite stories (there is a link to a better written version of this story somewhere in my files but this one gives you the gist)

    • I love that story! It’s one of my favorites, along with the Rainbow Bridge. Adam was the one who named the animals, wasn’t he? I guess he must have known the dog was almost divine!

    • There’s nothing quite like the love and devotion of a faithful dog. Cats? Not so much. They’re more independent, I guess. Who was it who said, ‘Lord, let me be half the man my dog thinks I am’?!

  2. Well, I can think of one thing I do better than my dogs…go to the bathroom in the proper place! (Yeah, I know, it’s sad that’s the only thing I can think of, and that I’m so proud of it :))

  3. I sure do know what you mean about dogs. Mine is great, always happy to see me, forgives me when I’m late in getting home, and though he has a passion for eating, will wait until he’s served. Plus, he’s great at protecting from the UPS truck!

  4. Sing it for the furry friends, sister! I’m with you all the way! In my humble opinion, these little friends of ours have their place assured in heaven. They’re loving, unconditional, faithful, friendly, loyal and most of the time, in a good mood. What’s not to love! Debbie, I can seriously tell you that my life changed for the better when Roxy made her way into our home. She provides me with so much joy it’s crazy! 🙂

    • I knew you’d understand, Bella! Shelties can be so stubborn and much too “vocal,” but mine capitalizes on his cuteness, and I can’t stay angry with him! Judging from Miss Roxy’s lovely face, you can’t be mad at her for long either!

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