Rev. Dr. Anna Verlee Copeland's Blog

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July 14 Blog Post

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“Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds; for riches do not last forever, nor a crown for all generations.” -- Proverbs 27:23-24

I miss my dog. Jazzy boy is out west on vacation for the summer, frolicking in cooler weather with his densely, curly coat. Who can blame him for preferring a dip in 50- degree mountain streams over languishing in 80 percent humidity? Nevertheless, I wish could join me for morning walks, and stick his nose in my hand, shamelessly demanding a head rub.

Our animals nurture us more than we admit, attending to us unconditionally while we falsely imagine that we’re the ones attending to them. It’s a mutual relationship that we like to think will last forever, even though most of us have received the inevitable sucker punch of losing a beloved pet somewhere along the line.

When Rusty got hit by a car when I was in the third grade, my Mom and I went to the movies so we could sit in the dark and cry our eyes out. There wasn’t much else to be done. But I’m moping just thinking about it, and have to remind myself that Jazz will be back come fall. He will greet me enthusiastically as if I were the one who left, and only long enough to pick up something at the Walgreens and hurry back. Dogs don’t hold grudges or count time.

There was a story just this week in the news about a previously lost dog, who was re-discovered years later, when his owner searched for a new pet at the local animal shelter. It seems that someone had found the lost dog years earlier, and now unable to care for him, had turned him into the shelter. The original owner adopted back her own dog, who greeted her with the unfettered joy of reunion after all was thought lost.

Wherever you find yourself this summer’s day, take a moment to recall an animal who enriched your life, one now living or one long passed. Imagine the joy you felt through that memory, and give God thanks for the privilege of companioning this creature for a time. No matter how much money we have in the bank, we’re wealthy when we have known the love of some precious creature, freely offered as a joyful gift from God.

Prayer: Thank you God for our beloved pets and for every created thing. Whether we live with an animal or not, reveal to us the joy of squirrel or rabbit or ordinary winged thing. Amen

Dr. Anna V. Copeland
Interim Senior Minister
Community Church of Vero Beach