Spratley and Spirituality

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Spratley and Spirituality
Reading the book, Cowboy and Wills by Monica Hollaway engendered reflection on my own experience of owning a pet.

We inherited this winsome hyperactive demanding bitch from my son, ironically, also a winsome hyperactive demanding individual. She came to live with us because my son Sims joined the Marines. We had no intention of falling in love with her. Unfortunately, we proceeded to do just that before we knew how much she sheds. She sheds complete furry animals on a daily basis---I'm not exaggerating. So Spratley has woven her way into the warp and woof of our lives in ways we never knew possible.

Spratley was trained to work as a wilderness guide with my son, so she is highly disciplined. You can place a treat on the tip of her nose and say, "composure" and she will sit there until Glen Beck turns Democrat. When you finally say, "Okay," she flips the treat in the air and catches it with her mouth. But her spiritual life is the trick we should all be emulating. Spratley prays before all meals and all treats. She will pray alone or give her paws to the people on either side of her and hold hands with the whole family. Spratley doesn't bark prayers, she gently growls in a manner that bespeaks Thomas Merton or Mother Theresa. When a friend found it necessary to point out that "she isn't really praying, you're just making her do that so she can get a treat." I silently thought how sad that my friend could not perceive the devout center of this most precious of God's creatures.

Spratley loves choral music! One of my most profound spiritual moments occurred riding in the car with her and our grandson Tristan. Husband John and I were cruising and singing along to the St. Olaf College Choir CD (John sang in this choir of all choirs as a student). In short order, it became the most celestial quartet I ever had the privilege of singing in with the addition of Spratley and our then fifteen month old grandson. These cherished non-verbal creatures accessed their spiritual centers and sang with passion and abundant joy. As with all transcendent moments, the essence defies adequate description but you know you will never forget the experience.

It was not difficult for me to get my mind around the connection and contribution of the yellow labrador, Cowboy in Monica Holloway's new memoir Cowboy and Wills. It is Monica's account of the strides Wills makes with autism because of his relationship with Cowboy. Many pets change lives. Don't miss this vital life experience of loving and being loved by a pet. Open yourself to the possiblity of one of God's creatures changing your life.

I was provided a complitmentary copy of Cowboy and Wills as part of my affiliation with www.fromlefttowrite.com

updated: 6 years ago

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Spratley singing in the carThursday, September 2nd 2010 8:39PM

She only stood still because. Tristan's car seat was blocking her pacing route

SandyThursday, September 2nd 2010 8:28PM

I'm not sure how you got her to sit still long enough to sing in the car but I'm sure it was beautiful.

Charles J TaftThursday, September 2nd 2010 10:14AM

Well, having met Spratley in person, I'll just add an "Amen, Sister!"

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Sharon YoungThursday, September 2nd 2010 1:11AM

What a good dog!

linda carruth davisWednesday, September 1st 2010 10:06PM

PHEW! I was so afraid you were going to say that Spratley had died! You forgot to mention that she was also my only attendant at my most glorious wedding!