God is good.
All my life, except for the ten years I was a Benedictine Monk, I have had a cat and a dog as pets.
During the first 15 years of my retirement I lived on a small cattle and sheep ranch with a cat and several dogs, most of them were working dogs guarding the livestock.
After I was forced off of the ranch by the five-year drought I moved back into the house in Corpus Christi provided for me by the Diocese.
I immediately acquired a gray tabby kitten from the local cat shelter, but after a year without a dog I really felt the need for the companionship of a dog.
Cats are wonderful in their own mysterious way, but they can be very, very independent when they want to be left alone.
While I was living on the ranch a friend visited me with a two month old Belgium Malinois male puppy. During the visit of my friend the puppy jumped up into my lap and stayed there for the whole hour’s visit of my friend. Needless to say, the puppy’s bonding with me made a deep impression on me.
So, when I decided that I needed to have a dog in addition to my cat I thought of the Belgium Malinois breed.
The big problem was that the breed is in great demand by the military, the customs service, the border patrol, and law inforcement. Consequently the going price for a male Belgium Malinois dog is in excess of $1,000.00
Since I could not afford to buy a dog at that price I sent emails to several Belgium Malinois breeders inquiring if they had a female I could buy at a very low price. None of the breeders answered my email; I guess they thought I was crazy trying to buy a Belgium Malinois at a low price.
Months went by and one day after an appointment with my doctor I thought that maybe I should check the Coastal Bend Humane Society Shelter. I had never been there before and even thought I thought it highly unlikely that they would have a Belgium Malinois I had the time free so I went there.
When I entered the receptionist asked me what I wanted.
I thought that I would be ‘smart’ and so I replied, “I want a female Belgium Malinois, three or four years old, fawn color.”
The receptionist looked at me and her mouth dropped open.
I asked what is wrong, thinking she may not have appreciated my sense of humor. “Do you have such a dog?”
She replied, “Yes, two days ago we got the first Belgium Malinois we have had in 20 years!”
I said, “May I see the dog?”
She said, “Yes” and took me to the dog. I took one look at the dog, Ginger, shown in the photo above, and I said I will take her.
God is good! Don’t ask me why God would bother to work such a ‘miracle’ as he did by moving me to go to the Coastal Bend Humane Society Shelter. With so many more important things going on in the world and in the Church you would think that making it possible for me to have such a loving companion as Ginger in my last years on earth would not make it even to the bottom of God’s list of prayers to be answered.
But here I am with Ginger.
Glory be to God for dappled things-
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced–fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle,. freckled (who knows how?)
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Gerard Manley Hopkins, Pied Beauty, 1844-1889