She was the most adorable puppy ever born, a collie/shepherd mix with the sweetest disposition. Sure, she belonged to the whole family, but in my mind, she was my dog. Her mother was named Princess so we thought it fitting that she should be named Queen. Okay, that doesn’t really work, but I’m pretty sure it seemed logical to us kids.
After a quick perusal of a book I checked out from the library, I considered myself a skilled dog trainer and proceeded to instruct Queenie on the fundamentals of come, sit, down, and stay. She was an excellent student and had it nailed in less than an hour.
When I got my own car, she loved going along wherever I went. She also enjoyed going out in our canoe on the lake. She was a good passenger and never made us tip. No pet is perfect, however, and Queen’s Achilles heel was her dislike of anyone pulling her hair. Since she was part collie so she needed to be brushed and the person doing the brushing would get a gentle nip if they pulled a little too hard.
These pictures are from October of 1979, taken in Alanson, northern lower Michigan. This is what an incredibly cool nineteen-year-old girl in a puffy jacket looked like back then. When I went off to college and later got married, my little sister stepped up and made Queen hers.
Animals have always played an important role in my life. In recent years, I’ve been shocked and horrified at the way we treat animals, made changes in my lifestyle to do everything I can to minimize their inhumane treatment, and adopted Hannah and other pets from a local animal rescue.
On May 24, 2015, in his encyclical, Pope Frances said, ‘The Catechism firmly states that human power has limits and that “it is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly”.’ Last week a group of Evangelicals made a declaration regarding caring for the animals entrusted to our care. I’m encouraged that pastors, scholars, and other leaders in the religious community are stepping up to do something about the issue. If you have a moment, watch the video and consider joining the movement.
What animals have made an impact on your life, shared your joys and your sorrows, and taught you lessons? Please share your stories and pictures with me and other readers.