God to Dog

This weekend, my wife sent me via e-mail a delightful letter written by a dog to God. Being a lay theologian and a passionate dog lover, in an act of hubris I would like to send a reply. However, I don’t know who to attribute the original and so don’t have a return address.

Dear God: Is it on purpose our names are the same, only reversed?

Dear Dog: no, this isn’t on purpose. It’s just an accident of language. In German, for example, you would be “Hund” while I would be “Gott”. In Russian, you are “sabaka”, while I am “Bog”.

Dear God: Why do humans smell the flowers, but seldom, if ever, smell one another?

It seems odd, doesn’t it? But I am a Master Artist and my creations display great variety.

Dear God: When we get to heaven, can we sit on your couch? Or is it still the same old story?

Of course you can sit on my couch. In heaven, unlike on earth, your claws cannot damage My furniture.

Dear God: Why are there cars named after the jaguar, the cougar, the mustang, the colt, the stingray, and the rabbit, but not ONE named for a Dog? How often do you see a cougar riding around? We do love a nice ride! Would it be so hard to rename the 'Chrysler Eagle' the 'Chrysler Beagle'?

It does seem unfair, doesn’t it? But consider yourself. You are loyal, courageous, intelligent, and dependable -- everything cars aren’t. Do you really want to have your good name and reputation associated with them? Do not be like my creatures which aspire to roles that I never intended them to have; who leave a higher calling in pursuit of outward appearances of power and responsibility.

Dear God: If a Dog barks his head off in the forest and no human hears him, is he still a bad Dog?

Of course not. There are no bad dogs. It just that, for a while, good dogs have to live with fallen humans.

Dear God: We Dogs can understand human verbal instructions, hand signals, whistles, horns, clickers, beepers, scent ID's, electromagnetic energy fields, and Frisbee flight paths. What do humans understand?

You sell yourself short. You understand the most important thing: that you live to please your master. That lesson has not been learned by many of My children.

Dear God: More meatballs, less spaghetti, please.

Have you considered killing your owners in their sleep and eating them? (And people think I don’t have a sense of humor).

Dear God: Are there mailmen in Heaven? If there are, will I have to apologize?

Yes, there will be mailmen in Heaven. But they will have forgiven you.

Dear God: Let me give you a list of just some of the things I must remember to be a good Dog.
1. I will not eat the cats' food before they eat it or after they throw it up.
2. I will not roll on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc., just because I like the way they smell.
3. The Litter Box is not a cookie jar.
4. The sofa is not a 'face towel'.
5. The garbage collector is not stealing our stuff.
6. I will not play tug-of-war with Dad's underwear when he's on the toilet.
7. Sticking my nose into someone's crotch is an unacceptable way of saying 'hello'.
8. I don't need to suddenly stand straight up when I'm under the coffee table
9. I must shake the rainwater out of my fur before entering the house - not after.
10. I will not come in from outside and immediately drag my butt.
11. I will not sit in the middle of the living room and lick my crotch.
12. The cat is not a 'squeaky toy' so when I play with him and he makes that noise, it's usually not a good thing.

Dear companion, men have told you something that isn’t so. These are not rules that you need to follow to be good. These are rules whereby the strong (you) live with the weak (them). The rule for all living things is: “Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. ... We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor. For Christ did not please himself...” [Romans 14:19; 15:1-3 NRSV]. You know this, but living with them sometimes makes it hard for you to remember. In any case, you have my full permission to ignore rule #6. Knock yourself out.

P.S. Dear God: When I get to Heaven may I have my testicles back?

Of course.

In memorial
12/10/96 - 7/13/07.


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