Just the other day, a friend relayed a touching rescue dog story to me. She had been traveling in a popular tourist town and met a shop owner with a new rescue dog. The dog, it turned out, had belonged to a homeless man living on the streets in her well-known city. Though homeless, the man had been an accomplished artist and the shop owner had been designing jewelry which the homeless man, in turn, transformed into finished pieces of art which she sold in her store. His income from these occasional jobs gave him money to buy food and care for his little dog.
Several weeks ago the homeless man died, and the shop owner took in his little dog – a new experience for her. (My friend has been sharing dog training tips with her.) I was so moved by this story of love and compassion, that I began musing on the rescue dog’s perspective and how dogs and man are so very similar. Some dogs come from difficult backgrounds. Others have misfortune thrust upon them when an owner dies or moves away. We and our canine counterparts both crave love and safety and when tumult occurs. We are unsettled until it is calmed. I can only imagine the bond and understanding that must have existed between this man and his dog. And how devastating it must have been for the dog when he lost his only protector. For some reason, the shop owner’s kindness and caring made me think of the comfort of the 23rd Psalm. I was inspired, and wrote the following which I call, for lack of a more creative title, The Rescue Dog’s Psalm. Enjoy.
The Rescue Dog’s Psalm
You are my new Master, I shall not want.
You let me lie down on soft beds.
You lead me beside your quiet strength.
You restore my faith in Mankind.
You train me in the path of good behavior, for my happiness’ sake.
Yes, though we walk through the shadows and I sometimes feel afraid,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your leash on my collar comforts me.
You have prepared a home for me, the envy of my peers.
Your stroke my head with your loving touch.
My dog bowl runneth over.
Surely goodness and your mercy shall be with me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of my Master forever.
© 2012 Camilla Gray-Nelson