Towards a Theology Based on Labrador Retrievers
- Tina Kelly
I am arguing in the affirmative: that the Creator moves among us today
in the form of a black lab named Addie.
Her benevolence is deeper
than the farthest foxhole, her gentleness thick as
husky fur. Were she human,
she would sort and fold strangers' clothing at the
laundromat. Were she only a dog,
she would not fetch without being asked. There is
abundance in her, like the butterfly
laying its eggs midair. Bountiful and democratic is
her spirit: she licks my hand
like a spa treatment, she sleeps, calm back flat by my
flank, breathing like a separate sea.
She dreams of the squirrel's flicking, scolding tail,
its visible neener neener neener.
Her vengeance is quick and awful. Yet love of
fellowship runs in her blood,
her song like the bird's that is only heard among
other birds. She has taught me
the help given to the soul by the mile-wide lawn
dotted with trees, by the tossed scrap.
I believe in her greetings, in the wide-maple way she
roams from one scent to another.
Bury me in this part of the park where the dogs run
without leashes, mix my ashes
with hers. Shield us in our joy, o protector, o
collar. Let her true heart be contagious.