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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Little Dog

Last year, I wrote on this blog how I watched a little black and white terrier swim across Balluta Bay at one of the widest parts before one is actually out of the bay and into the sea. Yesterday, I saw the two again in the water from my table on the Sliema promenade. The little dog and his master swam the entire width of the bay and back again. Then, the dog played in the water with two people, and, in addition, after an hour or more playing with his master, fetched something the man threw in and got it, swimming to the near side of the bay, where I was sitting.

The physical prowess of both man and dog must impress anyone, but what strikes me this year, as last, is the great loyalty this dog has for its master.

The dog enjoys the entire hour-and-a-half of playing, exercising, being praised by its man.

This scenario reminds me of St. Therese the Little Flowers statement that she is like a little ball in the hands of Christ, Who can pick her up and play with her as He wills, but sometimes sets her down in a corner and does not pay attention to her. Of course, Therese does not mean literally that Christ forgets one. We are all in the mind of God constantly, or else we would not exist.

But, the love the dog has for its master, and the love Therese has for Christ overlap into loyalty despite difficulties.

Now, this dog obviously loves the water and enjoys the swim. But, it had to be trained. To swim that distance with a man takes persistence and discipline.

To be a ball set aside in a corner takes persistence and courage as well.

The dog is with its master, can see him, can get feedback and praise. In the Dark Night, God demands that we live by faith entirely without seeing Him, or if we do, we see Him in Gethsemane, before Pilate, being scourged, and on the Cross.

I hope to see the dog and master again. The joy of the dog seems to be a lesson on loyalty and persistence.

Is this not what we need today?