THE RECTORY DOG

The rectory dog thinks theologically,
as you might expect.
Much more so than his master,
whose theology, the little bit he had,
has disappeared entirely.

Now as there are just two of them
the dog feels somewhat alone.
None the less
he’s glad of the rector for company.

The rector hasn’t time for theology;
Too busy in the parish,
which of course isn’t the case with the dog,
whose liturgical and pastoral responsibilities
are negligible.

To be truthful,
his liturgical functions are nil,
but pastorally he welcomes,
and puts at their ease,
even the most tormented souls
who arrive at the rectory.

When the bishop comes,
which isn’t very often,
and three dog collars
sit down to the fire,
the one on the mat is the only one
with a theological thought in his head.

The other two talk about
the weather, the garden, the Glebes Committee
and extensively about parochial finance,
but never about theology.

Meetings of the Select Vestry
are held in the drawing room,
and though not a member,
the rectory dog is always there.

He is careful to sit quietly,
but takes in everything.
So far no one has objected
that since he is not a member
his presence is unconstitutional.

But he is prepared that,
sooner or later someone will object,
and regretfully, he knows
he will have to go.

The rectory dog himself
knows nothing about parish finance.
It’s his canine opinion
that finance is for the parishioners,
and he is surprised that his master
is very knowledgeable on the subject.

He enjoys vestry meetings
and plays games to himself.
He tries to work out the theological bases
for vestry decisions,
and usually fails miserably.

At one meeting
there was some explicit mention of theology.
He turned over on the hearthrug,
put his head between his paws
and cocked his ears.

It was to do with putting a cross on the altar,
but he was sorely disappointed,
for much of what he heard
had a lot to do with other things,
but little of the matter
had anything to do with theology.

Despite much puzzlement,
the rectory dog
has the utmost confidence
in his master,
because he is always busy.

But he knows that
since he doesn’t meet
the dogs in the street,
he must wait for his next visit to the kennels
to continue his theological education.

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