Praying for dogs

July 19, 2022

A tumor like a portabella on its neck,
a Pomeranian has poked its head
into my timeline where its owner posts
please pray. And later at the Wednesday night
prayer meeting Widow Jones requests a word
of intercession for her Labradoodle
who has a blockage in his doggy gut
and is as bloated as a bullfrog’s chin.
And so at night I find myself in prayer
like this: Oh, Lord of endless mercy, Lord
of grace and wonder please bring healing down
to Cupcake and to Captain Fluffyface
.

The list grows by the day. My buddy texts
to ask for prayer when his Great Dane gets hit
by a school bus. My kids come home from sleep-
overs and ask their mom and me to pray
for all the dogs of friends: the overweight
and cancerous dachshund, the beagle plagued
with heartworm, three asthmatic pugs who snort
and cough like dirt-clogged carburetors.

So without ceasing now I pray for them.
Oh, Father God, I lift up Bruno, Dot,
and Buster. God, I pray for Stinky Pete.
Oh, You who made the endless cosmos run,
who hung the stars and filled the ocean depths,
who brought your people out of Egypt’s yoke
and raised our savior from the dead, please bless
Little Lord Fartington
.

                                     What else am I
to do? They mean so much to all those who
grind open cans of wet and stinking meat
to drop into their doggy bowls, who clean
up all the splendid messes that they make
by eating pillows and crapping feather tufts
on kitchen floors, who brush the beggar’s lice
and tangles from their ever-shedding coats.

To pray for one dog is to pray for all
of us. And so, I bow my head again,
scoop up the scattered kibbles and loose bits,
and kneel beside the sloppy water dish.