Saturday, April 1, 2023

God's beautiful creatures

I arrived early for a meeting. There was time for a small chit-chat. The subject of dogs came up. A colleague from the university said his dog died three weeks ago. He showed me photos in his iPhone. The beagle looked sideways, camera-shy, his ears drooped, and his eyes contemplative. I forget the dog’s name now, but I remember his face, like a creature who looks harmless and who you'd be tempted to bring home, but who would chew off your shoelaces if you weren’t looking.

“A bad case of babesiosis. It was pretty far advanced,” my colleague said. The beagle was in the hospital for many days and eventually passed away. I did not have to be told that the master missed his loyal, faithful, good friend of many years. Because isn't that what dogs are?

I brought up the dog poems by Mary Oliver, one of my favorite poets, hoping it would comfort him. The book is a celebration of the brief life of dogs. It is tender and joyful and heart-wrenching at the same time, evoking all these emotions especially in humans who have loved and have been loved by God’s beautiful creatures.



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