Sunday Conversations for any day of week

Sunday Conversations for any day of week

The Dalai Lama & Tibby photo at St. John the Divine, NYC

The Dalai Lama & Tibby photo at St. John the Divine, NYC

i am finding myself in need of holy conversation – so i am trying this format, think of it perhaps as the long form tweet, a deeper dive than facebook — or the occasional life prayer study group or modern midrash

so today, i was sent this video…Dog rescued from 10 years on a chain

and i watched it, and, in part, this is a lovely story….

of a rescued dog –

taken out of poverty and ignorance

into loved and yes, well funded, bliss.  but in these stories, i can’t help but think about the woman who had chained him.  Does she need some ‘rescue’ as well?

Is it that explaining something as ‘cruelty’ to those who perceive and live in a cruel world — or is that some view a world where cruelty is so much a part of the landscape as to be invisible (does a fish know it is wet? or only when it is dry) —

What might sacred activism look like if it was to  reach out to ALL who want/need/desire rescuing – rather than sharing stories only the pets and farm animals  that make us feel better, that give us a label of rescuer? (a label i used to wear a little too proudly, i must admit)

Sister Mary Corita Kent once said, ” There are so may hungry people that God can not appear to them except in the form of bread.”

What might be the equivalent phrase be for touch and love, and belonging?  A hunger that is so often filled by a dog?  “There are so many heartbroken people that God can only appear to them as unconditional love in the eyes of a dog.” ?

Is there a story of a chained dog who is rescued by having both ends of the chain freed?  By both ends of the chain finding themselves deserving of love…..where she and he could find each other unchained together….


and as always,


Rev. Lizzie


About eteal

Reverend Teal is a minister, chaplain, artist and storyteller. She specializes in the human-animal bond and all its healing aspects.
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2 Responses to Sunday Conversations for any day of week

  1. Nancy says:

    Thank you Liz. This is beautiful. I so much like the direction you are going, with compassion to the woman chaining Rusty…. what kind of prison does she need help with. I am often so far from my own compassion when my mind goes quickly to ideas of punishment or constraint. The lessons don’t end, the stretch out is infinite. I also have been really disturbed by the moral status that the word “rescue dog” gets. There is something off, that I have not been able to put in words. Thanks for this Liz. Appreciate your contemplation. XO Nancy

    • eteal says:

      i have been thinking about this a lot recently. I have been introduced as Liz and her rescue poodle, Tomi. I am not sure where to put this… more complex perhaps because he is a ‘purebred.’ Someone asked me if i ‘rescued’ Tomi, my Standard Poodle, and i answered that i feel perhaps i rescued the whole family – at least at that moment. They could no longer afford him, and were in dire financial straights, She was pregnant with her second child, they had just lost their house – and i know she loved him. But when you hear only the side of the story that he was skin and bones, weighed 32 lbs with his full coat, that he stole coffee grounds out of the coffee maker and so very carefully carried them to his crate — i admit to watching him do this from the other room fascinated at his skill…til i went to over take them away – the only time he has ever growled or guarded…i simply went to the fridge and got a slice of organic bologna and said – ‘trade ya’ the look of disbelief on his face was amazing — ‘no really, trade ya’ and he dropped the coffee filter came out of his crate and gently bit pieces of of his new found heaven. I gave them $200. a rehoming fee far less than many rescue groups ask for. But for that family, and mine – it was all i could do – and of great relief to them for that moment. So the other question is, what is the difference between a rehoming fee and saying i bought him? Both are easily arguable true. I think it has to do with our perspective, our judgements….

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