It was rather a shock to learn that some people don’t seem to realise I’m a dog — a real, live, actual dog; and not just any dog but an old-fashioned scent hound, with a low-slung body, large ears and a nose you could perch a mountain on. Being a dog is the essence of my being, from the tip of my nose to the tip of my tail. I am all shaggy doggyness and sheer doggedness, even when I’m asleep, which is quite often now I’m getting on in years (sigh).
For those who want precision in all things, I’m a PBGV (Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen) of the truest type — happy, handsome (or so I’m told), and insatiably curious about Life. Most of the time my curiosity takes the form of exploring everyone and everything, especially if it’s edible or chase-able. That is what it means to be a hound-dog; and, sadly, that is all anyone ever thinks a dog bothers about. But I have a big secret to share with you, what you might call the secret of my inner life, only that’s a bit OTT for me. I, Duncan, am a canine contemplative and have a duty contemplare et contemplata aliis tradere (‘to contemplate and share with others the fruits of contemplation’).
Being a dog gives me a special perspective on this God business. It’s no accident that His name is my name in reverse. I love everyone, and so does God. My happiest moments are spent sharing food with people; so are His — in the Eucharist here below, in the Heavenly Banquet up above. I am always listening for the voice of my friends, and so is He. I am ever eager to help, to cheer, to comfort, just as God is. Sometimes, when I think it advisable, I disappear for a bit and go about my private business, ‘off the radar’, so to say. Of course, I am always within earshot, but humans have to learn not to take me from granted. God was telling me the other day that He has the same problem. I guess it’s even tougher for Him as He has even more people wanting His attention. I’m not soppy, but I am very fond of the nuns who form my little pack. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for Them, even to laying down my life for Them. God says the same, but with this difference. In the person of His Son, Jesus, He did exactly that, and not just for a little group like my nuns but for everybody on earth.
God and I have a lot in common, which is why I think He likes to chat to me sometimes. He knows I’ll never betray His confidence or let Him down. I’m happy to follow where He leads. It’s a pity that after He made us dogs He went on to create humans, because they aren’t nearly as good at following in his footsteps. He should have realised that with us He’d reached the peak of His creation. That’s the trouble with God. He never knows when to stop. He is really too good and too generous. So can I share with you my thought for the day? It may be that you have rather neglected God of late, throwing Him the occasional bone, as it were, but not really spending time with Him or enjoying His company. Why don’t you change that and spend a few minutes with Him today, doing nothing in particular but just chilling out with Him? It would please Him enormously. It would also please me.
Dunc xx (@BroDuncanPBGV)