Tango and I love to have dog visitors, and this weekend I am dog-sitting a Catholic dog. After she arrived yesterday afternoon she sniffed out every nook and cranny of the house. Finally I asked if she was looking for anything special. She replied, “A rosary”. Oh my, at that moment I renamed the pious pup Saint Winefred of Wheatland. A halo glowed around her serene little face.
I explained that we are a Protestant household and do not use rosaries.She sighed in a saintly way and continued to investigate the home. Finally, I said, is there something else you need? Wini wondered where I kept the incense. She was in luck. I have a few cones leftover from the 70s so I dug them out, set up a little altar at the fireplace and Wini settled in for awhile, apparently at one with God.
After her prayer session the Saint then offered to bless us and ensure a safe entry into heaven in exchange for a steak, cooked rare. I explained that in our tradition we don’t need an intermediary to schlep us into heaven. The mini Saint snorted loudly but did not pursue the matter.
Later in the evening we all watched Lassie reruns and ate doggie treats. While the dogs were enthralled with the TV, I dug out the “Works of Martin Luther”. I wondered what would happen if I read some to her, perhaps Luther’s 95 Theses. Hey, no one would know about my sly attempt to proselytize little Saint Wini. So, after we said all our nighttime prayers, we cuddled up for the night in bed. There, I started reading from Luther:
- “Any true Christian whatsoever, living or dead, participates in all the benefits of Christ and the Church; and this participation is granted to him by God without letters of indulgence (steaks)”
- “The true treasure of the church is the Holy gospel of the glory and the grace of God.”
- “And let them thus be more confident of entering heaven through many tribulations rather than through a false assurance of peace.”
It turns out that little Saint Wini is a pillow hogger and was soon fast asleep on my favorite pillow. She slept soundly through my reading of the entire 95 Theses; however Tango caught the Holy Spirit and started jumping up and down on the bed howling in a voice that was not his own:
- Praise Jeeeeeeesus, hallelujia
- The Priesthood of all believers, AMEN
- Sola Scriptura, Owuuuuuuuu, Praise the Lord, Praise Jeeeeesus.
Now, apparently Saint Wini had never heard a spirit-possessed dog before. She watched for a moment then went back to her altar, apparently to pray for Tango’s lost soul, or at least for a quiet place to sleep with better behaved Christians. Such infidels.
In the morning I let both dogs into the backyard. At breakfast time, I decided to feed Saint Wini inside so that Tango would not steal her food (it is certain damnation if you steal a saint’s breakfast). I put down her food but she just kept staring at me.
” What? What?” I asked her.” Do you need gold-plated bowls? Special blessings before breakfast?” I said a little pre-breakfast prayer but still, the saint stared at me.
“What? What? I asked her. I thought I heard “box”, which is what holds her traveling stuff (a Jack Daniels Liquor box,by the way). I peaked inside and see that she has a special bottle of Holy Water. So I opened it up and sniffed the contents. Hmmm,…smells like mouthwash, but maybe that is how they bless water nowadays. So I give the Saint her Holy Water and at last she begins her feast.
Feasting is quite a ritual for saintly dogs. They don’t wolf down their food in one gulp like infidel dogs. Rather, she would go into the kitchen, gently pick out a kibble, crunch serenely, then retreat to the cool hallway for another prayer. Then, back to the kitchen, select the holiest kibble, crunch, and pray in the hallway. On and on until just a few kibbles remained. She probably thinks that will be a little snack for later, but won’t she be surprised when Tango races back into the house and scarfs it down without even breathing!
At the moment, both dogs are in the fenced yard. Saint Wini is taking confession from the fat Robins who steal all my garden worms. I can hear the “Hail Mary’s coming from those sinners. I am hoping she will get to work on the crackles soon. Tango? Still possessed by the Holy Spirit he is on his back, kicking and shouting, hear me Jesus, hallelujia! . Here is a view of my backyard right now:
So much for a quiet Saturday morning on Walnut Street.
- London’s dogs get their own yoga classes (standard.co.uk)
- Retired Vietnam veteran works to honor war dogs with monument (victoriaadvocate.com)