For a while I thought I might write about the latest Pat Robertson pronouncement, because the Rev. Robertson is always good for a giggle.
In case you haven’t heard, the televangelist took a call last week on The 700 Club from a viewer who asked why “amazing miracles” — you know, blind seeing, lame walking, dead rising — “happen with greater frequency in places like Africa and not here in the U.S.A.?”
At this point, Robertson might have reminded the caller that he, himself, once prayed a hurricane away from hitting where he was (Virginia) and sent it to hit where he wasn’t (where someone else was), which should count as pretty miraculous, I would think. But instead, the preacher took this as an opportunity to suggest something else entirely.
“People overseas didn’t go to Ivy League schools,” he chuckled. “We’re so sophisticated; we think we’ve got everything figured out.” On the other hand, he continued, “Overseas they’re simple, humble.” They believe “God will do miracles ... and that’s what God’s looking for.”
So God does miracles for the under-educated them and not for the over-educated us.
This from a preacher who has a law degree from Yale.
But instead of writing about Robertson, I have decided to write about dogs, which, if previous responses from my intensely ambivalent audience are any indication, readers would rather read about pups than preachers.
They are asleep as I write.
Let me back up a bit. This weekend — last weekend if you are reading this on Thursday, a few weekends ago if you are reading this later — I dog-sat.
Four of them.
The old one, the outside dog, was no trouble. Twelve years old, she eats and sleeps in the sun. Not a bad life as long as there are no bouncy dogs to disturb her.
Unfortunately, two of the other three are bouncy.
The one that isn’t is our black Lab, Libby, 4 years old, she is already set in her ways. She likes to play but knows the old dog doesn’t, so she leaves the old dog alone. We can learn a lot from dogs.
The bouncy two are my daughter’s chocolate Lab, Willow, and my son’s blond Lab, Bo — right, we have all three colors, a regular United Nations of Labs. Both are less than a year old and in the throes of puppyhood.
Now, Bo usually lives with my son at Auburn, but on this particular weekend the ag fraternity at that fine university was raising money for the vet school with a “War Damn Rodeo,” which, from the pictures I have seen, requires female students to wear Daisy Dukes, boots and cowboy hats, while male students are required to wear their caps backward — think spring break in Amarillo. It also involves contests of various sorts — some that are really rodeo, like riding real bulls, and others not so — and the evening is capped off with a concert. Happily, my son — who is more inclined to “bull shooting” than “bull riding” — did not sign up for any real-rodeo stuff, so there was no call from the ER.
While the boy was doing what he did, we volunteered to bring Bo here to play with his chocolate cousin.
Conveniently, my wife and daughter had made arrangements to go off for the weekend to celebrate our niece’s 13th birthday.
So I got the dogs.
When Bo arrived, there was a great deal of dog-rejoicing — except by the old dog who had seen the future and did not like it.
No sooner had Willow and Bo greeted each other as dog-friends should and do, Willow took Bo over to the water bucket and invited him to get in with all four feet the way we are trying to teach Willow not to. Bo caught on immediately and I found myself with two wet, bouncy dogs.
Being wet and being dogs, they headed out into the yard to dig, and in short order blond Bo’s paws looked much like those of chocolate Willow.
Now they were bouncy, wet and dirty.
Naturally, they wanted to come in, for in addition to being bouncy, wet and dirty, they were hungry, especially Bo, who approaches food the way a vacuum cleaner approaches dust bunnies.
As they ate I toweled them off, then they went outside, did their “business,” came in and now they are sleeping.
So it was that in less than an hour three dogs outlined for me my weekend routine. Since this routine left little time to go any farther with the Pat Robertson thing, I am writing about dogs instead.
Hark, they are waking up.
Dog lover Harvey H. (“Hardy”) Jackson is Eminent Scholar in History at Jacksonville State University and a columnist and editorial writer for The Star. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.