Bible, culturally a document of its own time, does not
have kind things to say
about canines, and to this day Muslim fatwas
and Middle-Eastern cultures reflect
very negative attitudes toward "curs"
and "filthy dogs."
You of course know, the unkind metaphor
of a "dog in the manger" refers to a dog lying
in a trough, not eating the grain
but nevertheless preventing a horse
from eating anything either.
the contrary, Western cultures generally revere these
loyal animals as our
will remember that in real life, a stray dog found its
way into a church one cold night seeking warm shelter
and found baby Jesus as his comfort. No one had the
heart to send him back out in the cold and so he rested
there "with You" throughout
probably all have the good sense
of this dog and curl up with Baby Jesus
from time to time.
is unreal and romantic but delightful
to imagine You, God, playing with a fluffy puppy in
your childhood, or to envision You
as having had a faithful dog companion
to accompany you, and protect You, on Your long walking
journeys with your disciples across the Holy Land.
in my imagination, my Lord,
and in my prayers, I hope it is acceptable
to You, for me to imagine You having the same regard
for these precious pets which we have
in our culture.
think of these loyal furry friends
as particularly gentle gifts from heaven.
Their wagging tails show us that in any situation in
which we may find ourselves,
in any set-back or reversal of fortune,
they remain with us, loyal, never judging, always ready
to give us a friendly lick,
walk with us, or lie patiently at our side.
You, Creator of All Life,
for these undemanding companions.
Let us learn to be as loyal and true
to our own friends and as un-judgmental
to our fellow travelers on this planet,
as these warm and eager creatures
of Your grand creation are to us.
All this I pray,