Raoul’s Two Cents: July 15, 2022
First of all, thanks for all the heartfelt sympathies for the loss of my brother. To know there are many who are praying made this time of mourning easier to deal with.
Let’s move to a lighter topic. Let’s talk about a friend I developed in the house/farm where I stayed in Dalipuga, Philippines. The pace of life was so slow I actually befriended the local animals. One of them was a dog named Artie.
I heard a harsh bark coming from the back of the house. Sounded like an old dog straining to catch attention. What I saw was disheartening. Artie had a tight noose around her neck. Her gray-white fur was muddied and there were patches of exposed skin. Her staring eyes wondered if I was friend or foe. She cowered when I approached and moved as far away from me as the chain would allow. Slowly, I reached out my hand and pat her on the head. Eventually, I started to give her a good massage. All the while, I could see she was trying to process this strange sensation — as if, for the first time, someone actually recognized she was an animal who had dignity.
In the Philippines a few fortunate dogs (who are owned by rich masters) are treated well and live in cages and are let loose certain times of the day. Today there is a trend among the well-to-do to get the smaller breeds for companionship. But most dogs are treated as commodities. Their main use is for security. That’s why the preference is for big scary hounds. They are tied down near the entrances to sound the alarm for any stranger coming within the premises. Some home owners build up quite a collection of these hounds. One of my cousins has close to 20 of them. When one barks the whole caboodle follow like a howling orchestra; and the neighborhood wakes up; and the lights turn on; and this goes on for several minutes.
Dogs live off leftover scraps. Many are malnourished. A few limp because they’ve been run over while crossing the busy streets. Very rare are the pure bred. Many never bathe and are filthy. Yet strangely, all dogs, worship their masters. Whether man realizes it or not, they are indeed man’s best friend.
According to Tata (our house helper) Artie was in chains since she was a puppy. I had to put a stop to this abuse and had Artie bathed and released. What a transformation. She was actually all white. She pranced around the compound like a wild stallion taking in the wind rushing down her body with her tongue hanging out. After she had done exploring do you know where she went? She nestled close to the kitchen where Tata (her master) worked. And wherever Tata would go (to feed the chickens or take the goats out to pasture) there was Artie following along to make sure things were going smoothly. Occasionally, she would pounce on Tata to give her a hug making all of us laugh at Artie’s need for affection.
I would see Artie frolicking about wagging her tongue and tail, it felt good to know I had a part in her happiness. Alas, signs of the trauma of growing up were still visible. Whenever I was alone with Artie and tried to pat her head, she would move away — just like the first time I met her. I learned to let her smell my hand first to let her know I was still a friend. Then I would give her a mean massage that she thoroughly enjoyed.
Who is more important?
Before you start criticizing the Filipinos for the way they treat their dogs, take a step back and take off your western glasses. Stop judging by western standards. We who treat our dogs better than we treat some of our fellow humans — whose culture is doing a better job of compassion? Are dogs more important than humans? Growing up, the answer to that question was very simple. Today, I’m not sure we will agree.
There is a mention of a dog in the Bible in Matthew 15:21-28 — a desperate Canaanite woman asked Jesus (a Jew, her sworn enemy) to help remove a demon from her daughter. Jesus seemingly insults the woman — essentially saying “why must I help you? Shouldn’t I help my own people first? Let the Jews eat first and you can eat the crumbs that fall on the floor just like a dog would.” In genuine humility, the woman admits she is a dog but like a dog she will still be content with just the crumbs.
So, even during those times, dogs have been treated so badly. It is only today that we give them so much importance.
To choose who is more important is difficult. But it’s not difficult to show kindness to anyone — humans or dogs. If we show kindness to both, then perhaps we won’t have to choose.
Joke of the Week
Thanks to Peter Paul of South Pasadena, CA for this joke.
Thanks to Jacqueline of Pasadena, CA
Thanks to Rodney of Manitoba, B.C.
I found these series of dog jokes to fit our topic today
July 15, 2022 at 8:12 am
My sincerest condolences, Raoul. Prayers.
Enjoying your weekly treat 😊 THANKS.
July 15, 2022 at 8:13 am
You’re such a good person Raoul. Thanks for giving Artie the freedom and affection she always longed for. I wonder if she is back in chains or is still roaming free.
July 15, 2022 at 8:14 am
I don’t know what my life would be without my dog Buddy. He brings me so much joy, so much that I take him to work everyday and sharing with the clients that come through. He is the reason I get to say I love you several times a day which are three of the nicest words you can give to anyone. Heather
July 15, 2022 at 8:14 am
I love your story about Artie and the message it conveyed. Also, I’m deeply sorry for the loss of your brother. Condolences to you and your family.
July 15, 2022 at 8:15 am
Thanks Raoul Good to see you are back in the saddle again making us think and smile. Tom
July 15, 2022 at 8:16 am
Very well written narrative…
July 16, 2022 at 9:52 am
Artie is very happy. Hope they’ll follow through with her care.
You did good with Artie!
July 16, 2022 at 9:53 am
Hello Raoul, yup dogs are cool , I never considered a dog to be almost human till I actually lived inside a home with them . Lol , I was always nice to dogs but never thought I would consider them like family 🙏🐶🙏
July 16, 2022 at 9:53 am
My dog passed away 2 years ago and I think about her all the time. She gave us so much joy and love that’s so unforgettable. I am thankful for the 13 years she spent with us.
Dogs are really a man’s best friend.
July 16, 2022 at 9:55 am
Hi Brother Raoul,
I believe with you that All life is precious. I see TV commercials for the hapless critters being abused and then ask for monthly donations to take care of them. I’m sure many dog and cat lovers respond; or there wouldn’t be a continuation of those commercial requests.
My question is this: How many of those dog and cat lovers have ever made a donation of any kind to Human Orphanages or one Orphan even?
As you know my wife and I, and some Christian friends take many loads of clothes, medical equipment and toys to the children in Baja California where there there is a great need by those beautiful children just south of us for these donations of any kind. For this ‘cause’ I became a ‘dumpster diver’. Often when I go to toss our trash, I would see perfectly good children’s clothes and other articles tossed in the rubbish! Some of the things were so good that I would not have hesitated from giving them to our kids when they were small. Some of the clothes still had sales tags on them! To finish; I enjoy animals in the wild, but our home is dog and cat free. My best friend is in our home: Jesus.
July 16, 2022 at 9:56 am
Such a sweet, feel good story with Artie. That made my day!
Thanks for sharing and enjoy the weekend,
August 12, 2022 at 2:14 pm