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Lost Dogs and Lost Sheep

This morning, I let our labradoodle (Max) out of our daughter’s bedroom and walked behind him down the hall. He paused at the guest room door and sniffed. He never does that. This morning, something was different.

My grandson, little Omry Dennis, was asleep in there. And Max knew it.

It reminded me of something I saw posted on Facebook a couple of days ago – a post about how to find a lost dog and then the list of tricks – leave clothing with your scent on it where you last saw him, set out a bowl of water beside the clothing(do not leave dog food because it will attract other animals), and add a note telling others not to move the items.

The guy who posted this said his dog was waiting for him the next day – even though more than a week had elapsed since the dog went missing. His dog really did pick up the scent and come back, planting himself right beside the familiar things until the master showed up.

Waiting for someone to come back home to Mother Church can be difficult, too. I think it might be easier for cradle Catholics to come back than for other people to stumble along and find Mother Church. There are so many things that remind them of home.

Water fonts.

Rosary beads.


A picture of the Holy Family.

Stained-glass windows.

Grandma’s lace veil.

First Communion dresses.

A casket.

A crucifix.

A responsorial Psalm.

A prayer card.

The name of a saint.

A snippet of an old Catholic hymn.

A clerical collar.

A bell.

Mother Mary.


These are the things that point them home. Even if they have wandered far, they will remember. Even if you have gone home for the night and have doubts that they will ever show up again, they just might find their way to the things that remind them of home. Even though you barely dare to hope, they may be waiting for you – right beside the mementos the Master left for them. And maybe they are waiting for you to show up and invite them to go with you, to climb in your car and head back home – where it is safe. And warm.

And oh so familiar.

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