This edition of This Week’s Thoughts is an ode to dogs, an ode to one dog in particular—my foxhound, Fritz.  Now Fritz is not perfect.  He’s the smartest dog I’ve ever had in my life, though also the most stubborn.  (Hounds are notoriously difficult to train.)  I adopted him from an animal shelter in Salem, MA when he was about 7 months old (that organization rescued him from a kill shelter in Tennessee.)  Though I realized early on that he gets nervous around men he doesn’t know.  So when he meets a man for the first time he won’t let said man pet him, but will rather size him up suspiciously.  Or even bring bones around to chew aggressively while staring him down to let that man know what’s up.  He also loves to dig and will refuse to come inside because he loves the outdoors.  And he gives judgy looks, his side-eye skills are strong. So yes, Fritz is not perfect. 

But I’ve never encountered a dog more loyal.  Funny enough some say that the phrase “man’s best friend” was originally said about a foxhound named Old Drum.  I can easily believe that.  On Tuesday he proved once again that he always has my back.  Fritz was especially slow to get up in the morning and was acting strange.  I knew something was off right away as he was acting odd and the house was freezing.  Somehow the heat wasn’t working.  When checking the level of the oil tank in the basement and trying to assess what was going on (as if I actually could!) I found a squirrel!  Now I don’t let Fritz go downstairs, so he was anxiously waiting for me at the top of the steps as I barreled into the kitchen yelling.  When it seemed that the squirrel had left the house and the heat was working again, Fritz eventually came downstairs with me and stared intently at the ceiling.  Then began barking his head off.  The squirrel had been in hiding the whole time!  (Thanks to Rich and Tom helping later, the squirrel left.)  As of my writing this Wednesday evening, the squirrel is back…though hopefully the squirrel will leave again soon.  All I know is that the rules in our house have changed and Fritz is not only allowed downstairs in the basement, he’s coming down there with me at all times from here on out!

Here’s the thing, we all need people and creatures in our lives who have our backs.  People and creatures who are loyal through and through.  Because when the heat goes out and the squirrels wreak havoc (that’s just been how this week has gone), who wants to go through any of that alone?  We can give thanks for everyone who shares our lives, for people and animals.  Since companions on the journey are truly gifts from God—but better to avoid asking me anytime soon how I feel about squirrels.  

Love,
Pastor Lauren

(This Week’s Thoughts 3.14.19)