Tonight there was an uproar. We were having dinner with a new friend and we saw cop cars and heard a helicopter. Just like if it happened in your neighborhood we wanted to know what was going on! So we walked home and stood in the yard to keep our eyes open on the circumstances.
While waiting, as normal, we got to talk to people walking by. I met the nice next door neighbor guy, Sher gave a neighbor some peppers, and Taylor attracted passersby with his sad face.
Seriously, this dog is charismatic.
Tonight a neighbor explained why.
I didn’t get his name, but he rode up on a bicycle. He was probably in his late 40s, with a tired face. He was Cuban and spoke with a thick accent. He also wore big dark sunglasses and a trucker hat. He approached the yard and was drawn in by Taylor’s faint cry for attention. He laughed and looked to me to ask if he could pet him. I replied quickly with an “Of course!” After giving Taylor a few pats on the back he pushed his bike over to me and said he had met Taylor before and he really liked him.
“Taylor is a special dog.” He said. I agreed.
“I have a Pomeranian, he’s not like your dog. He turns his back to people.”
I said something about still loving them.
He agreed that of course he still loved his dog, but my dog was different. “Your dog has Jesus in his heart.” He said. “Your dog has a purpose. He makes people feel good. That’s Jesus in him.”
My eyes got a little watery and I said thank you. That was kind of him to say. Then he pulled out a picture from his wallet. It was one of those tiny Catholic prayer cards with a saint’s picture on it. It said San Lazaro and he had dogs in the picture with him. He said, “See? You understand?”
I said yes though I didn’t totally get it, but didn’t want him to struggle to explain further. He smiled, put the card back in his pocket and said, “It’s good that you’re here. It’s good that he is here. God brought you.”
Wow. Huh? That was sweet.
When I got inside (after this happened) i researched San Lazaro. You catholic friends of mine might better know him as St Lazarus. Sometimes called the Patron Saint of Dogs. When they say dogs though, they don’t mean literal dogs. They mean the dogs among us. The people we treat like dogs. Horrible. He is really the patron saint of the poor, the sick and the crippled. The dogs in the picture were licking Lazarus’ leprous sores because he himself was sick. His card is based on this passage.
It’s all a bit strange. This man, obviously poor, looking at me…me and my dog, reminded of the card in his pocket of Lazarus, the saint to the poor and suffering.A man full of disease, serving the diseased. A man broken to heal others.I don’t know what to do with it, really. But I will put this story in my ownpocket to remember how thankful I am that Taylor is here with me, that he’s so sweet, so cute, and asks for affection from everyone. I’m thankful that he introduces me to new people and has them share. I like learning about what people keep in their hearts and their pockets.Thanks Taylor.