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Living with an Old Dog: Every Moment a Blessing

This morning I thought my old girl, Ingrid, had died, and I was stunned as I tried to lift her head and leg and they just fell, heavy, onto the bed. I didn't even see her breathing. It felt as if there was no life in her body at all. I surrounded her with my body, thinking she was gone, calling her name.....and then she moved. :-'(. I thought, "this is the way I want you to leave," peacefully, without drama. Maybe she was practicing. I cried much of the morning. But she's still here....a blessing.

She turned 14 last week and quietly enjoyed a small birthday party attended by her two housemate dogs and three other dog friends.  She was subdued but enjoyed enough birthday treats to the point of vomiting them up onto the couch at midnight.  
She can no longer climb into the bed and anxiously paced back and forth along the foot board until I lifted all 50 pounds of her and she curled up and slept till morning.  On occasion I would awaken in the middle of the night to f…

God’s Covenant With Animals: Stewardship, Not Rule

What is our human responsibility to the earth and its non-human inhabitants?  Traditional Biblical scholars would say one of master-servant and ecologists would say one of caretaker.  However, using either frame, neither movement has responded in full view of the evidence presented throughout the Bible that God clearly included animals in covenantal relationships. With Biblical scholars neglecting  the sanctity of animals and secular environmentalists neglecting God.  A closer look at the Old Testament reveals that God designed humankind’s role in relation to the animals as one of stewardship rather than domination.  Traditionally religious people often cite  Scripure justify  a master/servant relationship between humans and animals  rather than one of partnership, but  deeper investigation invites us to see texts rich with references, both literal and figurative, to the partnership between humankind and the animal world.  From Genesis through Prophets and Wisdom Literature, the write…

Listen to the Message. Really Listen.

In the late 80s and early 90s, I was just beginning serious metaphysical work and simultaneously experiencing rough patches in my exterior life. In between jobs and desperate, I did a lot of Walter Mitty type fantasizing: thought I would go work on a reservation in South Dakota, move to a village in South Africa and live among lions, and if that didn't pan out, move back to NY and resume life as a starving poet.

 I was living in Coral Springs at the time, just having moved there from Delray Beach (I have lived all over South Florida).I was broke and finally using the Publix gift certificates that my friend had given me when I'd lost my last job (most generous gift and most humbling experience). In meditation,thinking I would see myself communing with the buffalo clan, I sought confirmation from the spiritual realm and received a very clear answer: SOUTH.

 Well, first I got pissed off that my intuition was clearly not working. Then I started laughing and threw it back to my guide…