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Walking Gracie

I was really aggravated today. I knew that I should take our dog Gracie for a walk, but I had other things in mind. Today was the last day of the liturgical year and I had to write my blog about the end times and furthermore, I just didn’t feel like walking the dog. The fact that she tends to get destructive if she doesn’t go for a walk wasn’t enough to sway me. Neither was the fact that my wife walks the dog every day without complaining and I almost never do it. After all, while my wife was taking our kids to the library this afternoon, I needed some quiet time on the computer. Unfortunately, my conscience finally got the best of me and Gracie and I went for our 30 minute walk.

As we walked I said the rosary and hoped to get in a better mood, but it just wasn’t happening. Gracie pulled the leash with all the intensity of her fellow huskies who instinctively pull a dog sled. The more we walked, the more annoyed I became. I thought of all the quotes by the saints about daily annoyances…still didn’t make me feel any better. Things got a little worse when Gracie “did her business” and I had the added treat of picking it up a carrying it around with me for the rest of the walk. As we walked I continued my rosary…I knew that I’d feel better any minute. Then I saw a man up ahead walking a small dog. I knew that things were about to get more unpleasant and my hunch quickly came true. As Gracie pulled even harder, I struggled to keep my balance and hold on to the “poop bag”. I decided that we’d take a slight detour and by the time we got back on track, that other dog would surely be long gone.

Gracie and I then headed off in a different direction and a few minutes later I was surprised to see that the man and his dog hadn’t moved more than 10 feet! I don’t think I ever saw someone walk a dog so slowly, but at least he was on the opposite side of the street…for now! For some reason the man and his dog decided that they would cross over to our side of the street and walk directly in front of us. Gracie was now going completely nuts and I struggled to control her as we decided to go out into the street and pass the “dynamic duo”. As we passed, I looked over at my nemesis and instinctively said “hello, how’s it going”. He smiled and replied, “Hi, How are you?” It was at this time that I started to feel bad for getting so annoyed at him and everything else about this little episode.

By the time we arrived home, I realized that I had my blog entry for today. I think that the moral of the story is that sometimes it doesn’t feel good to do the right thing, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing it. As for what I originally wanted to write about, I think that I’ll use the words of Our Lord in today’s gospel:

Jesus said to his disciples:“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life,and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)

Tomorrow begins the season of Advent…Let’s prepare to welcome The Lord!

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