Friday, October 3, 2008

October 4th, 1988

When I was stuck in New York for a month, recovering from an emergency surgery in the fall after college, a family friend who was also a Catholic priest, invited my mother and me to attend the feast of Saint Francis, held on October 4th at an Episcopal Church in the village. The liturgy included dancers and choirs and a parade of exotic creatures including amongst other things, a donkey, elephant, llamas, fish, snakes, birds, and a congregation of pet owners.

We sat behind a woman who had two daschunds. The first was in her arms, an obviously smaller and older dog that needed to be comforted in the presence of so many other animals. The second pet, a youthful brown pup, tried to get her attention. He stood on his hind legs. He yipped. He begged. She wasn't interested in switching the old dog for the younger. Making it through the parade of all God's creatures Great and Small and the readings, he was mollified by the occasional doggy treat.

However, the homily ran long.

The dog was tired. The dog was bored. The dog wanted to be petted and picked up and had done every trick he could think of, including licking the hands of those of us sitting behind him. Since we weren't receiving communion, this didn't pose a problem. He rolled on his belly for us to give him a rub. Alas, sitting so close to a priest, he wasn't likely to find that cradle raised Catholics would be able to divert themselves too long in his direction, even if it wasn't a Catholic mass. Admittedly, I felt freed up to pet him after Fr. C did. But we couldn't give him what he wanted, the seat of honor in his owner's arms.

Finally, in frustration, the dog peed on the church floor. It was long, it was deliberate and to make sure she knew it, he yelped to get his mistress to turn her head before he started.

Fr. C. turned to us and said, "Original Sin affects us all."

Happy Saint Francis of Assisi Feast Day Everyone!


Amy said...

My little sister peed on the church floor once. On Easter Sunday. Because I dressed her and put on her frilly panties, but forgot to put a diaper under them :)

MightyMom said...


I wanna meet Father C!

poor pup.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!