Soul Search for Janice and Pat

Psalm 36:6    Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O LORD, You preserve man and beast.

Psalm 50:10,11    For every beast of the field is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.  I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine.

Proverbs 12:10    A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

Job 12:7-10     But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you.  Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?  In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

“What a Dog Taught Me about God”   Phyllis Schomaker  Franciscan Spirit Blog  May 11, 2021


It’s funny how God works things out for us sometimes.  And I am using funny as odd and comical.   I’m writing this as two separate friends commented on it and it was a discussion in the first contact class of my church, ‘do animals have souls?’  I’m unsure if they have souls, but they certainly have spirits.

Anyway, many of you know I foster dogs fairly often.  I have gotten the ones who have been beaten and when called they cower as their expectation is to be hit, scolded, or somehow punished and abused.  Those break my heart.  The others have been found on the street, have been owner surrendered for a myriad of reasons, but they need a temporary place to go until the find their fur-ever home.

I also have three cats, one of which is an indoor outdoor and she loves the dogs.  She doesn’t snuggle, but she races when she hears us start on a walk.  The dog’s job is to pee on the walk; the cat feels her job is to interrupt them, distract them so they do not follow through.  Being the cat, she only shrugs when I scold her and try to get her to go home.  I know she is chuckling behind the face which is turned just slightly away.  Anyway, the poor dog has the challenge of trying to comply and go on command, and ignore this “beast” who dashes quickly in front of it, and should be chased. . . except for the mighty hand holding the leash. 

I had over-burdened myself on Thursdays for a few weeks—there was a specific start date, and an end date—I only had to go through 6 Thursdays and my schedule would return to normal.  In the interim, I got this lovely black lab-hound mix.  She had the long droopy ears of a hound, the webbed feet of the lab, and when she barked, there was NO question she had hound!  Initially, it seemed she did not even understand simple commands—sit, stay, down; and I only got her to routinely sit by the end of my time with her.

She was a digger; I like to garden.  And I do not like dogs digging in my garden.   You have a fairly sandy backyard, full of weeds, dig to your heart is content.  Thankfully, she seemed to get it.  She left my garden alone, and dug her pleasure.   Then she discovered outside potted plants.  Those did not mean “garden” to her.

“Oh, look, I can take this out, shake it, shred it,  dig in the soil.  This is awesome fun!”   I lost my favorite three geraniums. . .and before I could scold, God reminded me they were easily replaced—next spring, and not worth scolding since she was just being a puppy.

She must have been primarily an outside dog, and had spent time in the shelter, so it took a while for her to realize the house was not to be peed in; and I must say, she did the other in the yard—but also on my upper deck. . .” but it IS outside, right, Lady?  I’m still a good girl since I went outside.”

But back to Thursday.  Usually bible study is 10-12, with lunch frequently following.  But with my additional Thursday evening bible study, I learned that was too long for a bored little puppy.  I left bible study, went home, took the urchin for a walk, and house looked good, so praise, praise, praise.  (It was the wrong kind of praise….I should have been doing my own prayers)

Anyway, I hurry home after evening bible study, full of trepidation, and walk into the downstairs of the house.  No pee, no destruction.  I call her, she comes a little hesitantly but comes, happy I am home, and again, praise, good girl, no mess, so proud of you. . .

I get about 2/3s of the way to my next level, and stop.  I am so stunned, overwhelmed.  I only had one potted plant on the coffee table, and she had never shown an interest in any of the inside plants. . .until now.  Truly, I was speechless.  I think I stood on that stair for 1-15 secs unable to do anything or say anything.   Dirt was spread from my living room, through the dining room and into the kitchen.  How much dirt is in one of those pots?  This was a couple of inches thick through the house.  There were dirty paw prints on the furniture, and very little of the plants remained, a few nubs.  But then she had gotten the bird seed, somehow opened that container, and had birdseed confetti mixed in with the dirt.  I truly had no idea where to start to clean this mess.

First, dog out.  Then I got my shovel, and shoveled the dirt and bird seed into the trash can, then was finally able to use the dust pan.

The next morning I ran into one of my bible study buddies, and related this story, and she felt it should be part of the blog.  Next at the connect meet on Sunday, another bible study buddy mentioned that I occasionally foster dogs, and lastly, one of the  questions we dealt with during that meet was whether we believe dogs have a soul.  I’m unsure about the soul, but I certainly believe they have spirit.  And we all know dog spelled backwards is God.  And if that is your pet, you know that critter is loyal, wants the best for you, will always protect you, and literally die for you if you are ever in a circumstance threatening you, and they often compassion and comfort when you need it, and they love totally and unconditionally.  I know they are God created and designed, and I do believe God wanted them to be our best buddies, after our relationship with Him, and after our mate.

I could feel God’s urging for me to write this blog after the three pokes. . . and yes, I recognized His sense of humor. 

Thank You for the dogs I’ve cared for and for all they have given me over the years, to me and ‘mybellaviews.’