Daily Archives: December 14, 2011

It’s a Dog’s Life

“The dog is the most faithful of animals and would be much esteemed were it not so common. Our Lord God has made His greatest gifts the commonest.” ― Martin Luther

“Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer.”  Dean Koontz, False Memory

When people talk about their dogs like they are nearly human there are some that think them crazy. Of course they are entitled to their opinion but then they haven’t had our dogs.   Judy and I both grew up with dogs and neither of us can imagine not having one to spoil.

Our little dog Molly has a rough life. She is our third dog and has all the benefits negotiated by our first two dogs. She gets a dog biscuit because our first dog, an incredibly stubborn Wire Hair Dachshund that we got on Christmas Eve 1984 in Wiesbaden Germany named Frieda. Now Frieda was the “dog from hell” and tested us every day of her life. She never got it that she was not the top dog and every day it was a different power fight. Eventually she succeed in getting us to pay her to do her business outside and not on the rug. Our second dog, Greta a fat little Red Dachshund that we got in San Antonio when Frieda was four years old also got the same deal even though she was easy to housebreak.

Molly simply takes the “cookie” as we call it as her due.  We talk about “renewing her contract” when we buy dog food and well she has a more toys than some kids. It is funny to see dig through her toy basket for specific toys especially when she drags out toys from her puppyhood.  She is a fearless little creature and absolutely calming. When we went to the beach to watch fireworks on July 4th she was steady as a rock as people set of their own show grade fireworks above our heads and I was trying to control PTSD related flashbacks and a major anxiety attack she seemed to sense it and kept close to me, her calmness helped me calm down that night.

One of the things that she loves to do is come with us down to the Island Hermitage in Emerald Isle North Carolina. Since I am stationed at Camp LeJeune and I am a geographic bachelor this means that I make the trip home to Virginia every couple of weeks. Judy had surgery on her Achilles tendon two weeks ago and this week came down here with me since my apartment is all at the ground level and there are no steps to negotiate.  Of course our little dog Molly made the trip as well.

Molly like the island life.  I live about a quarter mile from the beach in a quiet neighborhood with a lot of woods and wildlife.  Molly has discovered that the local deer like to hang around where I live, she loves the beach, the walks where she can track various animals and of course the 6 foot long bean bag in my living room which she has decided is hers.  Molly is half Dachshund and half Papillon and weighs all of 15 pounds.  However she has decided that the bean bag is hers thank you.

She came down the first time with Judy during the summer and then had a short vacation with me here in October.  When we came down here this week she seemed to anticipate where we were were going, obviously a trip this long means that she is going on vacation.

Yes she is spoiled. She was a rescue that we got when she was about 6 months old.  We don’t know if she was a run away or dump but we came out with a gem. Incredibly smart, sweet and always playful she seems to know that she is cute and funny.  She can be obnoxious and is entirely too entitled but she is a monster of our own making.

She has a sense of fairness about her that is funny. She will divide here time between us almost as if she doesn’t want either of us to feel left out.  She has figured out that Judy hasn’t been well and has poured out extra attention on her while ensuring that I take her out for her walk and make sure that she has her food and water.

Anyway she is entertaining and sweet and always fun.  We are blessed to have the her and hope that if you have a dog that yours brings as much joy to your life as molly does ours.


Padre Steve+

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All I want for Christmas is Christmas and Our Country Back not another Political Debate

I don’t know about you but apart from the bad political theater I wish that it was like December 2012 so I could celebrate Christmas in peace, except that if it were I would miss a full baseball season.  I mean really all of our politicians seem to come from the same shallow and insipid gene pool, it’s like political inbreeding on a grand scale, even the outsiders are insiders and the insiders are so out there that it makes one want do the Linda Blair 360 or be sent back to the Dilithium mines on Rura Penthe.  Regardless the show is about the quality of an atrocious reality TV show and I’m already tired of it. The sad thing is this reality TV cast is trying to become President of the the United States and they are sucking the life out of everyone listening and stomping all over the Christmas season.  But there are just over two months before Spring Training begins so I think I can outlast them.

I feel that the political campaign season is infringing on the the great capitalistic venture that we have made Christmas but I don’t feel very that holiday spirit this year.

Now please know it is not a matter of faith or lack thereof I just don’t feel very christmassy this year.  The sad thing is I really do like Christmas and not just the part about Jesus which thankfully I still treasure.  I feel like Charlie Brown this year only instead of just the commercialization of Christmas I feel that the politicians, pundits and preachers are doing their best to make it less merry. I mean the whole lot of them. Religious and secular Atheist and God Fearing alike they seem to have turned Christmas into a political battleground that even makes the commercialization of the holiday look positively benign.

Amid all the business and the incessant drone of the politicians, pundits and preachers who have managed by their ineptitude and unwillingness to work together for the nation I still hope to find something to celebrate.  I think I will but it won’t be from any of those that are killing the season.  Frankly I am offended that political hacks have pushed the opening primaries to nearly the first of the year turning a time that used to be somewhat reflective into a self destructive and bitter political season.  We have budget and tax impasses in Congress and a bitter primary campaign that is and will trample both Hanukah and Christmas and probably even ruin the Winter Solstice for the Pagans.  There is something unholy and vile about what is happening this year, there has been no pause for reflection by our leaders, no attempts at reconciliation and certainly no good will on Capitol Hill.

Frankly I find the whole political and social atmosphere this year to be repugnant and I have nothing against Pugs. People popping pepper spray on the faces of competing shoppers on the high Holy Day of Black Friday, people walking over a dying man to continue shopping in a Target.  That is bad enough but really we do have a choice about when we start our primary season. This year had not a tiny shred of common sense prevailed had a primary or Caucus on December 27th.  Instead the first are a mere three weeks from today.

I just wonder why the rush and why the political hacks and their backers have insisted on moving everything forward on the calendar.  But then I answer myself. The fact is that they cannot help it.  They have to be the center of attention for as long as possible. Dragging the primary campaign season forward means that the rest of us have to pay attention to them. They have created the perfect poisonous self licking ice creme cone.  Power and money feed the bold narcissism of everyone in the beast of the belly of the machine. They cannot get enough.

However our politicians pundits and woebegone preachers, that unholy trinity that afflicts our nation have forgotten that old adage that “familiarity breeds contempt.”  We have become so familiar with all of the Candidates to include the President that many people can no longer stand any of them.  All the polls say that, they may support a candidate but this is no love fest between any candidate and the voters.

What I would like to see the next two weeks is for the whole bunch of our leaders, pundits and preachers to chill out, go out to a dud ranch in Montana and have a two week holiday party, get drunk, smoke some dope have a few good natured bar fights, watch football games together, sing around the campfire.  Hell maybe they can sleep together and do all the things that they tell us that we shouldn’t do, put pictures of Pelosi in bed with Eric Cantor on Facebook and You Tube and get it all out of their systems.  No debates just joyous holiday debauchery and when they come back rested refreshed and with some much incriminating information on themselves that they will all have to be good in order not to create a total meltdown of their exalted position in life and maybe start working for the rest of us.  Some would say that they all should go pray together but they wouldn’t get past the issue of who gets to be in charge. Maybe a few hearty souls of faith will pray during that time for something other than their reelection.

But in the mean time all I want for Christmas this year is Christmas. The truly sad think is that Christmas meant more when I was in Iraq.  That I do miss,  celebrating the holy mysteries of the Eucharist on Christmas Eve, Day and night with tiny groups of Americans and even a few Iraqi Christian interpreters. For me and other Christians a time where we try to take a portion of the year to remember the Advent of Jesus, that tiny manger where in our tradition God became incarnate in a baby who was called Emanuel, God with us, the Prince of Peace, the Savior of the World.  The one who comes humbly not with the swagger or polish of our modern politicians, pundits and preachers who like to use him as a campaign prop  or show segment.

Yes my Christmas will have Jesus at the center but I do plan to have some of there less relies Christmas cheer. Time with Judy and our Dog Molly, friends in the area on contact with those that we have known for the years.  I will remember and celebrate the humbly first nativity, I will reflect on the Second Coming and the times that he comes to us in the little daily things of life. The things that happen because we live in what Bonhoeffer called “the uncomfortable middle.”

I am really offended by the political hacks that have driven us to this point.  But God loves them too so I reckon that I best pray for them and that as not sarcasm.  .

I feel better already.  Thanks be to God.


Padre Steve

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