Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2014 > Daily Dispatch #115

April 27, 2014: Church of Dog

Dog is good, dog is great.
Thank you dog
for licking off my plate.

I decided around Easter to become a Pagan. This was not without considerable forethought. I was raised Catholic, and I distinctly recall in the eighth grade, Sister Paulita (who became Sister Anna) telling me, when I said that I wanted to become a Pagan, that I ought not jump ship and take up a differing religion until I knew all there was to know about Catholicism. It took me several years to figure out that her logic was easily refutable. This was that her argument was a causal fallacy. Catholicism wasn’t like a permanent tattoo, never to be removed. Rather, it was like an ink


tattoo, there to be washed off if one wished.

I will never fully get the ink off my skin because the beliefs, practices, and rituals of this squirrelly religion were, as a child, ingrained in me by the likes of Sister Paulita (who became Sister Anna). But I can tell you this: the religion that I recently embraced is the religion for me. My described religion is one of my own making – and why not? Don’t they all have their origins in someone’s head? Well, mine does too.

I’m now a born again Pagan, and I belong to the dog sect. God is Dog backwards, and Dog is God forwards. Rainbow, Jenna and Ryder are now my acknowledged spiritual guides. And our church (since ya gotta have one) is the great outdoors. Nothing brings me greater joy than accompanying them to our place of worship, which is the great outdoors.

I may have been a dog in a past life, or I may be a dog in a future life. But I am not one now. However, nothing gives me greater joy than to watch our three bound around on a bright spring day. I watch with great interest, and some envy as they eat dead stuff, chase live stuff, and roll in stuff that is now of an indeterminate state. Some see dogs as a lower life form. This, I am now thinking, is reverse logic. For example, engaging in an extended conversation about things that really have no relevance to one’s inner state of being (like the state of the economy) is to a dog, a complete waste of time. Hear, hear, dog running off to check out a moose at the distance, I agree.

My being a member of the Church of Dog frees me up from having to engage in what I always considered to be inane rituals, such as kneeling (this was always hard on my knees) or singing hymns that are not of my choosing. Rather, I hike, singing what I want to sing. I also no longer have to spend valuable time staring at the back of some guy’s head, wondering if his overly tight, starched shirt collar is hurting him. Rather, I can take in the birch trees, and speculate as to when they’ll begin to green up.

There is also the matter of air quality. The air in the more exterior located Church of God is far better than the air in the more interior located Church of One’s Choosing. I’m all for being in a fart free environment. The fact that there is no sermonizing going on in the Church of Dog is also a plus. Instead, I watch the dogs communicate with one another. Rainbow often stops and waits for Ryder, who sometimes still runs off. And upon Ryder’s return, the two run off together, leaving with me with Jenna, who happily follows at my heels. What, if anything, do they talk about? I really haven’t a clue.

There is no talk about the division of church and state in the Church of Dog because there is no state.

As for communion – I am in communion with the critters when I give them treats.

I could, if I wanted, get others to join the Church of Dog. But I have no interest in doing this right now because this would take time away from going for long walks and making dog and god related metaphorical comparisons. My only regret is that Sister Paulita (who is now Sister Anna) is nowhere to be found. For sure, she’d now see that my decision, to abandon one religion and take up another, was in this particular instance, the right thing to do.

Next: 116. 4/27/14: Dog Training: A Tail of Two Search and Rescue Trainings