Engage – 6: Multiplied


This is an older draft, which I originally counted as 3 Engage encounters but am choosing to share as 1, wanting to spread out my Engages as much as possible.

Engage with life, people, dogs…what an active couple weeks I have to report:

  1. Several weeks ago, I went to breakfast early from work. I needed to take a dog to Safe Harbor so she could go to our Prison dog training program, Boothealers. A colleague came in early so I’d have plenty of time. Because I didn’t know how the day would go, I first headed to Panera to eat. I set myself up, saw a gentleman in “my” spot by the fire on this very cool morning; we nodded and I started eating. He soon left with all his stuff, so I moved over to his table. He, James, came back with his coffee and put it on “our” table. I apologized, saying I thought he had left. No, he said, I need to talk with you. Hmm….Turns out James is a cancer survivor, too, now living with the chronic condition of survivorship. He spent 9 months using a PEG (stomach tube) to eat as I do. What a blessing. We talked and shared “war” stories. He is in town temporarily for his job, also works night shifts, and was on his way to bed when he saw me eating. He had to talk to me about his experience, his dire prognosis, and his triumph through and during a grueling time of radiation and chemotherapy. His family kept him going: he determined to walk his at that time 9 y/o daughter down the aisle at her wedding and to grow old with his wife. YESH. (update: the dog I took to prison is adopted!)
  2. The following night, I attended, at the invitation of my friend Alice, an Easter pageant. It was well done in the dark, with the events leading to the Crucifixion and Resurrection highlighted, including Jesus at 12 y/o talking with the elders of the Synagogue in Jerusalem. Costumes, an elaborate and multifunction stage set, as well as an SRO crowd added to the drama, the truth, and the deep felt sacrifice of this season.
  3. The next week, I traded shifts to help out a nurse at work, which turned out to help me out as well, giving me the most important days of Holy Week off. I attended Maundy Thursday, after which a friend told me I was probably the only person to have my feet washed after being in cowboy boots; Good Friday, always a wrenching service when the reality, as much as we can comprehend, comes forth of the pain, reluctance, obedience, and love of Christ to suffer and die for us.
  4. Holy Saturday – no church but wow, busy in the morning/afternoon:
  • With two volunteers, took 3 Silverwalk dogs on the Cape Canine Cruisers Saturday morning dog walk. The volunteers took two new dogs with other dogs/owners and a trainer who is available to help. I deliberately stayed behind with my dog, Justus. I didn’t want the new shyer Beagles walking with the volunteers to see me; they needed the socialization, stimulation of new people, lots of new smells/sights/sounds. They found me at the end. (Update: volunteers have since taken 2 dogs on consecutive Saturdays to the walk, which is growing. I done in by a bad cold and laryngitis).
  • Zoomed home to meet with potential adopters for Denali, a senior Border Collie. We met at a local park where they and their dog and I and Denali walked, talked, got to know each other and let the dogs feel each other out. Both are senior dogs not looking for a lot of activity. They since have indicated they want to adopt Denali – YESH, again.
  • THEN, with two different volunteers, took 3 dogs to an Easter egg hunt. Again, two Beagles (one, Bailey, had been on the walk in the morning, too; I wanted to tire her out because she climbs my chain link fence; very neatly and very quietly), her “sister”, Pearl, and the aged but very adoptable black and tan Coonhound, Walter. The women who had rescued Pearl and Bailey from the Poplar Bluff pound along with 25 other dogs, were volunteering and really wanted to see their girls. Walter worked the room, so to speak. He met everyone he could. Small children loved “that big dog!” He garnered many kisses.

5. and finally but crucially, I made it to Sunday late service Easter morning. I would have been on time had not a rabbit chose that morning to get into our yard; of course, it did not survive and I had to gather and dispose of the remains as I headed out the door.


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