There should be a support group for owners of Jack Russell terriers. Well, there probably is, but we live out here in the boonies, and I probably wouldn’t drive to the Big Town for it anyway. As I was hollering at him, reflecting on how we should apply for the Dog Whisperer to come to us (and how he never has Jack Russells on his show!), I couldn’t help but draw some parallels between myself and the dog. I couldn’t help but picture God, standing at the kitchen door, hollering his heart out at me, frustrated to the gills, red in the face. But then I wonder, does God get that frustrated? Reading the Old Testament accounts, I think maybe he does. And I have to credit my patron saints for my survival this long, I’m sure! I’m not sure what has kept Petie around so long (I can sure understand why there are rescues for these blasted dogs, let me tell you!), except maybe a grudging fondness on our (mostly my) part.

When he pulls clothes through the venting holes of the hamper, tearing delicates and shredding t-shirts, all because he managed to get his ball or toy in the hamper and needs it out NOW, I could strangle him. In the silence of the pre-dawn house, as I cozy up with my mug of coffee and putter around doing my morning chores, his unexpected barks stop my heart and give me a year less to live! And then there is the happy dashing from one end of the five acres to the other, right after he has been standing outside clamoring to get in. He’ll chase cars on the road – he’s smart enough not to go out on the road, though we worry when we see cars swerving away from him (which only encourages him and makes them his victim). He hogs the bed and steals my covers and scratches so hard sometimes in the middle of the night that he wakes me up.

So how must it be for God? I complain because I feel I’m in the spiritual desert, yet I turn away from the oasis of his love and forgiveness by not going often enough to confession. I gripe about the failings of those angelic people around me, all the while poisoning the very air I speak in with my foul attitude. I admire the saints for their humility, but so often to put it in practice for myself. I feel compassion for people, but then do not help the needy in my midst. I am given so much, but all I see is how much I lack.

Do you suppose there’s a support group for God, as he deals with Jack Russell humans?