"A dog will teach you unconditional love.   If you can have that in your life, things won't be too bad."     - Robert Wagner

In 2001, Sarah and I made at least three big commitments.  The biggest commitment was to one another, we got married that summer!  The second was that we bought our first house together.  The third was finding our first dog.  I had grown up with dogs and cats, but there is something different about this, especially as a young couple.

I remember the day well, we had hoped to get a dog for a while and it was nearly Christmas.  We went to look at some Bassett Hound puppies and there was no leaving without one.  We took her to my parents house where Sarah and my mother conspired to name her Ophelia, ultimately saving her from my naming selection process.  My mother is fond of names from Shakespeare and we all agreed a dramatic name is in order for this particular pup.

Ophelia proved to be a pastoral soul, who was always ready to comfort us in hard times.  She also celebrated life's many joys with us and shared a great many experiences as we moved from place to place.  She watched our family grow and helped keep the floor clean of dropped food through all of it.  She surprised us all as she exceeded all expectations of life-span for her breed, but we knew she would not remain with us forever. 

Last Thursday our Ophelia died.  We gathered close and kept watch with her in her final days.  We miss her more than we can say.  She was a part of our life for a long time and indeed part of our ministry here.  We appreciate your prayers for comfort.  We treasure our memories as we seek to soothe our souls, something that always seemed easier with a dog by my side.  

Blessings -

Fr. Paul