OF FAITH AND FABLES
By Bob Haynes
The Connection Between God And Dog
In a column written months ago, I spoke about a beautiful song written by Wendy Francisco called GoD and DoG. Not only did I fall in love with that song; I also became an instant fan. Wendy now has a book version of the beautiful sentiments she transmitted in her song. I quickly ordered it and it came today in the mail…. The book is “a very moving reminder that the unwavering devotion dogs have for their owners is a reflection of God’s essence.”
While looking for the book GoD and Dog, I ran across another book, by another new writer, Marti Healy. The book’s title is “The God-Dog Connection.” The author says the book contains; “Things about God and Faith I’ve learned from the dogs and cats in my life.” This book also came in the mail and I immediately opened it and read it cover to cover. I am still savoring the message of the connection between God and Dog that we all somehow know but fail to conceptualize sometimes.
I believe both these books would make great Christmas presents for children and grandchildren and perhaps also for old codgers like me.
One of the chapters in Marti’s book that reached out to me in a special way was the chapter entitled “Be a Teacher.” In that chapter the author speaks of her dog Pookey and how she took over the training of a young puppy named Hollywood who visited them while his parents were on a trip.
Listen to these marvelous words: “In one long weekend, she (Pookey) housebroke him (Hollywood), taught him how to drink water out of a hose, how to build a fort out of the woodpile, how to chase butterflies and eat bugs, how to dig a hole and bury a bone. She also instructed him about coming when you’re called, respecting cats and defending civilization as we know it against UPS trucks. When Hollywood’s mom and dad came to pick him up, they were amazed at this new-found maturity.”
Marti continued by taking that example and turning it into a discussion of our relationship with God. Like Pookey, she said… she believes that God wants us to “witness” or minister about our faith to others…especially to our own children. She said, “I think we need to be living examples to them – give them positive, faith-based, moral, role models to imitate.” Why, did she make that statement? Here’s what she said next and it is now etched in my brain: “Christianity…religion…faith…these are always just one generation away from being lost forever. Our next generation needs us – no less than Hollywood needed Pookey – for gaining life skills and spiritual lessons, for learning about God and love and being the very best human beings we can be.” (Bug eating, of course, is optional.)
I was surprised by my wife Marci when she returned from a day trip to visit her daughter and grandchildren. As she opened the door she sang out “Happy Anniversary to you!” even though it wasn’t our anniversary – yet. It was then that I saw what she had brought home with her… a very familiar dog, “Angel” who lived with her daughter. Because “Angel” was alone all day while the kids were in school and her daughter and husband worked, they decided to give her to us and when we were out of town, Angel could then return home to her other loving family. I do believe there is a connection between God and the animals that become ‘family’ for us. Shalom!