August 17, 2015

Dear Friends and Family of the Diocese of Eau Claire,

Pets are animals that entertain us and delight in being our companions. I have a collie named Jacob. Next month he will turn 12. In his old age he asks for nothing more than to lie down near me. When I am reading, watching TV, sleeping, or eating Jacob is there. While it seems Jacob needs me, I must admit that I like being near him.

President Harry Truman once said that if you want a friend in Washington get a dog. A dog’s loyalty is more than theory. It’s real. If I have a bad day I know Jacob is ready to provide comfort and caring. He does this instinctively. Loyalty is central to his personality.

Where do pets fit in God’s creation? They have a nobility that God can’t help but acknowledge and honor. In old age Jacob has phobias and quirky behavior. He also is full of unconditional love. It is hard to admit that his love for me is stronger than mine for him. I am supposed to be the more intelligent being, but Jacob is the master of love. Could it be that pets are God’s agents? Jacob and other special animals can make a strong case. Let’s respect our pets and give thanks to God for the special roles they play in our lives. With my love and best wishes, I am,

Your brother in Christ,