“Be thou comforted, little dog, thou too in Resurrection shall have a little golden tail.” ~Martin Luther
It’s the dog days of summer…without our dog. On July 26th, we thanked Porter and hugged him as he slipped into silence.
Andrea and I adopted Porter nearly twelve years ago. We were three-years-married, ready to love a dog like he was our kid. We brought him home in a Honda Element fit for young marrieds and a dog. Yesterday I hefted his 108-pound frame into the back of our minivan fit for a family. Porter was the good dog who saw us through these formative years for our family.
In recent years, Porter had an important job and joy. He and my father-in-law, Bill, became best friends and companions. After Porter recuperated from ACL surgery at my in-laws, no one had the heart to separate him and “Grandpa Cookie.” Porter was the dog who could see into the soul of this Vietnam Veteran and provide an unconditional, non-judgmental presence.
Were you aware that dogs played a crucial role in God’s deliverance of Israel from slavery in Egypt? Exodus 11:7 reads, “But not a dog shall growl at any of the Israelites—not at people, not at animals—so that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.” The dogs of ancient cities were everpresent and ever-barking. On the night of the final plague, these righteous dogs acted as agents of God, standing witness by their silence. The Egyptians would not be alerted that their slaves were preparing to escape.
“A good dog echoes the acceptance and pleasure of God. As a theologian, I find this undeniable. Also, as a father, citizen, and dog lover in our violent and hate-filled era, I find it inspiring. Like never before, we need these descendants of the righteous dogs of Egypt to nudge us with their wet noses, reminding us that we, our children, and yes, even our enemies share an infinite, and infinitely valuable, spirit.” Andrew Root, The Grace of Dogs (Available in our church library)
Today, a family dog can witness to God’s amazing love and mercy in Christ Jesus. We find it difficult to believe God’s grace for us is truly unconditional and un-ending. The grace of these furry creatures makes it a little easier to believe what is true about our faithful Creator. Thank you, Porter. See you in the New Creation! Find a good stick for me to throw.