Does your love of dog prevent you from going to church or have you found a new way to “worship” because of your dog? Is there a fine line between dog and god? Well, for me, sort of.
Raised Catholic, I am now a practicing, well… I am spiritual. I choose not to associate with any particular religion and though I love the beauty of the religion, I choose to worship a God that loves me for me and I am much happier and at peace with myself for it. We all should have the right to our own spiritual and/or religious path, whether that involves worshiping a God or choosing to abstain from practicing any religious tenet. I draw the line with acts of violence or disdain in the name of “God.”
So when I found myself sitting on the steps of a church recently, my dog by my side I paused for thought about the last time I actually entered a church. Growing up, I did all the things a good Catholic girl should do: First Holy Communion, Confirmation, church on Saturdays, confessionals, penance, etc. And I was told that if I didn’t behave, God would “get me” — the Old Testament and all. I don’t knock religion of any sort, I just know in my heart that a loving God and the one I choose to follow would only “get me” in the sense of “complete me” and not with a vengeance.
I now follow the word of dog, and yes it is ironic, but god and dog and the whole spelled backwards thing…let it be said that it applies to me. I often feel like my life is a bit backwards and unconventional, and I like marching to the beat of my own drum. I love the feeling of independence and self-awareness I have at 44 years of age. It’s a long time coming and both dog and God have been a part of it.
A sense of peace swells over me when I sit at the doors of a church, my dog and I looking at the setting sun and enjoying our after-work peace and solitude together. I imagine he thinks of the mole or the rabbit driving his senses insane and I reflect on the goodness of my blessings and the many aspects of my life that make me whole.
I haven’t been to confession in over 25 years, but I do talk to my God: In my mind, on the steps of a church, and with a Cocker Spaniel by my side.
We can’t enter the church because dogs are not allowed, but that’s okay, too: I’ve got the greatest sense of peace sitting on the other side of the doors in my judgment-free and peace-filled comfort zone.
I think of the sign at the helm of Dog Chapel at Dog Mountain in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, where it is stated, “Welcome all creeds, all breeds. No dogmas allowed.” This is on my bucket list of must-visit places, and I will get there one day soon.
So says the word of dog.
Are you more or less spiritual/religious since a dog/pet entered your life? Do you not go to church because pets are not welcomed? All thoughts are welcomed in this judgment-free zone.