(Photo©Father Lawrence Lew, O.P. Used With Permission)

“To let Jesus look at us: it is the most important thing in our life.”- Father Jacques Philippe

Monday Musings - A Dog, Deceit and Death

[I thought a change of pace was warranted. We all need a good chuckle. But in actuality, death and final judgement are no laughing matters, as we will discuss next Monday.].


(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

There was quite an assortment of souls lined up at the pearly gates. St. Peter had to interview each of them before any decision as to their eternal residence could be made. Frankly, I was quite surprised about how rapidly he went about his business – a most difficult one no doubt.

“Next,” I heard an angel call.

It was already my turn!

“Let me see, whom do we have here?” St. Peter asked.

“Michael Seagriff,” the angel said.

“Welcome, Michael. Have a seat. I’ll be back to you shortly.” 

I wondered what the delay was all about. No one who had been ahead of me had been plucked off the line and told to take a seat. I was soon to discover that no one behind had been pulled off either.

“Dear God,” I mused, “maybe it is true – there are no attorneys in heaven!”

“Just relax Michael,” St Peter said, “there are a few things we need to clarify.”

Noticing how I was squirming in the chair, my heavenly Inquisitor asked, “Have you ever lied to a government official?”

“Not that I can recall,” I responded.

“Have you ever intentionally broken a law and encouraged your children to do likewise?”  

Oh, oh! Sometimes, it is better to remain silent. This seemed like one of those times. Ignoring my own advice, the fool that I am, I unconvincingly murmured a weak “Doesn’t ring a bell.”

The words no sooner left my mouth than a movie screen unfurled in front of us. “Maybe, counselor, this will refresh your memory. Let’s watch this video together.”

I immediately felt very uncomfortable. I had never seen myself on the big screen. Something told me I was not going to enjoy this experience.

“Pay close attention,” St. Peter directed.

The video began and this is what we saw:

I was sitting on the couch in my living room looking out at the blinding snow. Suddenly, there was a knock on my front door. “Who would be out in this weather and at this time of night?” I asked myself. My dog, Lady, looked at me, ran and hid behind the couch.

“Who is it?” I asked.

“The dog control officer. Can I speak to you?”

I opened the door and let him in. “Do you own a dog Mr. Seagriff?”

“Why, yes I do officer. Rescued the poor critter from an animal shelter several years ago. A real loving meek animal. Been a blessing to the family.”

“Do you take her for walks every day?”

“Either I or my children. Sure do!”

“Is she always on her leash?”

“Never leaves home without one.”

“Do you ever let the dog out on her own without a leash?

“Wouldn’t think of doing that sir! I respect the law!”

“Well, Mr. Seagriff, I have received more than 15 complaints over the past month from five different people that there is a beige dog that roams the neighborhood in the evening hours unaccompanied by any human. The most recent complaint was just 10 minutes ago. Would that be your dog?”

“Couldn’t be her. They must be mistaken. Lady has been at my side all night. There are other beige dogs in the neighborhood, you know.”

“Any of those other dogs have a large hump on their right hip?”

I swallowed real hard and decided to shut up.

“Have you taken her out for walk tonight? “

“Are you kidding? Neither man nor beast should be out in this weather.” 

“Can you explain then where all the dog paw prints in the snow in the roadway, on your sidewalk, your front porch and across your living room came from?”

Silence seemed again prudent.

Holding a treat in his hand, the officer called in a soothing and inviting voice, “Come here, Lady!”  The dog ran over, licked the kind gentleman’s face and grabbed the treat out of his hand. She even allowed the nice man to touch the hump on her hip and her wet paws.

The images on the screen disappeared.

With much shame and trepidation, I glanced into St. Peter’s eyes.  He stared back at me and simply said, “Counselor, don’t you just love it when there’s a video?”


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