Jesus Had A Dog

22 03 2008

My wife and I love dogs. We like the big dogs, but occasionally a beagle works its way into our hearts. Our dog Max has been a source of comfort, love and protection. We have learned countless lessons about life and love from our lab/boarder collie mix. And we’ve often mused that the best Christian we’ve ever met is a dog.

Please don’t think I’m adding some new dogma to religious thought. It’s just that the dogs we’ve welcomed into our home have been forgiving to a fault, loving to the nth degree, and completely giving of themselves for the good of others. That’s more than most of us manage to muster in our walk of faith.

We also find ourselves often conjecturing what Max is thinking. I’ve mused here before about his perfectly appropriate andthe kids and max human-like responses. Just last night, Barbara made a comment about Max that drew a deep sigh from him. We just laughed.

Don’t get me wrong, a dog is a dog. But that’s a great thing. If a dog were human, it would surely render it full of faults and flaws.

With the dearth of Jesus related specials on TV here in the Easter season, we’ve been presented with both fact and fiction in regards to the analysis of the Messiah. We like to speculate about all the details of His life. I merely have one to offer. I believe Jesus owned a dog. I have no proof, no Biblical or extra-Biblical texts to bolster this K9 kerygma. I just see it as being a fine thing to contemplate. Great men and good dogs seem to go together well in my mind.

Why even bother to mention these odd observations? Merely out of fancy and frivolity I suppose. But if there is something here that can be taken away, it’s the reminder of the awesome lessons of God we can learn from his so-called lesser creatures. Certainly there is nothing lesser about a dog. Their examples of pure, undiluted, unshakable love and devotion causes us to see that such devotion does not have to take place blindly or foolishly. A dog is devoted because that’s his nature; his desire to to fit within his pack. We too have longings for relevance and belonging. Yet we so often pursue that through self-promotion and self-adulation. Not a dog. Without giving up a whit of doghood, our precious four legged friends give themselves to us without regard for their own well-being. Ignore a dog for days, give him no food or water, smack him around like a rag doll, and he’ll still love you. I pray, though, that you never experiment with that proposition!

It really doesn’t matter if Jesus had a dog. Such talk is silliness. What does matter is knowing that intelligence and faith, devotion and well-being do go hand in hand. We learn this from one of God’s greatest gifts… our dogs.




5 responses

22 03 2008

Of course Jesus had a dog. He was the Good Shepherd, after all.

Thanks for this post. Beautifully written. Makes me smile and want to hug my dogs.


22 03 2008

Thanks so much! Give your dogs a hug for me too. Good dogs know how to love a stranger and take them in.

26 03 2008

“adding some new dogma…”

Ohh…bad pun indeed. Might be considered a bit ruff around the edges…

27 03 2008

Glad to see you caught the joke… it’s really been dogging me wondering if someone would.

30 03 2008

Good idea. Another part of the pun is that dog is God spelled backwards. Perhaps God made dogs to be constant reminders of him. In a lot of ways dogs are what we should be: loyal, loving, devoted, committed to pleasing, forgiving, and understand of their place in the world. Even the most aggressive dogs are humbled by the presence of the Alpha-male. Much like we should be humbled by the Alpha and the Omega. I’m going to go spend more time with my dogs. Thanks!

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