Daily Archives: September 13, 2009

Divine God and Canine Mutt


I really like this song. It’s a simple reminder that on those days when I feel the most alone there are always two by my side. I didn’t always remember that. Of course I haven’t always had a DOG, but I have always had GOD.

I love the “Footsteps in the Sand” pictures. There have been myriads of times in my life that I felt God had left me. I was too insignificant for any Supreme Being to care about one lone human being whom I pictured as being smaller than a single quark in the eye of God.

Quite early in my life I decided anything other than support for my physical self (food, clothing, shelter) was not going to happen, so I had to rely on my own independent strength. It was a tough row to hoe. Looking back there may have been people I could have turned to, but as shy as I was, that was difficult. Besides one of the things my aunt drilled into my head was, “Don’t intrude.”

I went to church quite regularly until I was about a junior in high school when I started to doubt. The old gray long haired bearded guy on the throne really wasn’t helping matters much. I needed more.

I tried to reconnect in college my freshman year and then again my senior year when I dated my first fiance and went to his church. After I married we tried to find a denomination and a congregation that fit but none were all that satisfactory to my ex. I didn’t like going without him so we went fewer and fewer times.

I tried again to find a church home after he left, but I was not successful. I just couldn’t find a comfortable fit. That is when I became unchurched for close to twenty years. I did go to one church long enough for my son to go through several years of Sunday School and confirmation, but, just like my father, I didn’t engage him in any kind of conversation about beliefs so I don’t think too much “took”. He is now among the unchurched himself and that topic is off limits.

Those twenty years were a lonely time in my life. Not only did I not have much social contact going on, I also was getting more ill by the year with CFS. I would come home on Friday night and stay in my bed or my recliner until Monday morning. Church was out of the question. It was at that time I felt I was walking in the sand alone. I had a tremendous sense of guilt that I was shutting my then middle school child out of my life. It was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other.

My ex and his family had a Sheltie before his wife left him. His name was Soupy. My ex claimed he missed Soupy so after we were married when I was pregnant, I gave him a Sheltie named Misty. Misty was such a lady. She was very dignified and quiet. The first day I brought my son home from the hospital she parked herself under his crib and would not come out until I carried him to another room. I think she thought she was his mother. When my ex left, he left Mistybehind too. Misty was never much his dog any way. She stayed with us three more years until 1986 when my son was in fourth grade, and then had to be put to sleep. That was a hard day taking her to the vet before school. There I was, no dog, no God and very achy and sick. It wasn’t a pleasant time in my life.

Several months later, a friend’s Sheltie had puppies. They were half Sheltie and half “jump-the fence”. I kept hoping all of them would be adopted. A spunky one by the name of Mr. Tipps (because of the white tips on his paws) was still with them eleven months later. My son convinced me he wanted the dog so I brought him home with us and rechristened him Tippy. I tried keeping Tippy inside the house but I could never get him to behave. He was very rambunctious and had his own ideas about where to pee. He was relegated to the world of the enclosed patio and the back yard. He had spent his puppyhood in the same type of situation, so I think he really didn’t mind not being a house dog.

My son was grown and had left home by the time Tippy died. Tippy was close to fifteen years old. The solitary yard life was good for him. I had someone who took care of my yard at that time. He was called Hernandez. Hernandez rang the doorbell at 7 o’clock one Saturday morning and said, “Your dog, he is dead. You want me to put him out with the garbage?” Now I had never really bonded with Tippy, but the thought of him being in a can and unceremoniously dumped on Monday morning was a little much. I asked Hernandez to bury Tippy. By the time I looked outside, the burial was complete and Hernandez was gone. I never did ask him the exact spot of the grave, but I assume it is in an area behind a shed which is pretty much in its natural state. I never go back there and it isn’t mowed in that area. May Tippy rest in peace.

I have already blogged on Ri-Leigh, my third Sheltie. In case you missed my blog, you can go back to it.

That’s basically the story of God, Dog, and me. Ri-Leigh keeps to herself. She comes in every night now and most the time sleeps on the cool tile right outside my bedroom door. Once in a while I hear her collar jingle by my bed or out in the family room where she jumps into my recliner. She’s a cross between Misty who always came back inside and Tippy who never came in inside. Sometimes it’s as early as 5:00 but most of the time she waits until around 9:00. When she is inside she will occasionally assume she is a lap dog for about three minutes at a time then she hops back down and goes to a corner. Often when she’s outside she lies right outside the patio door where she can keep an eye on me moving around inside the house.

God’s kind of like that in my life too. S/he is always with me now, but not on top of me. I know it when s/he’s close and when s/he is a little farther away. Both my dog and God kinda sorta maybe know when they are needed. It’s nice that things are that way. You have a nice Sunday. Namaste. Attic Annie


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