All these funerals and obits and nothing has made me cry until I read the blog this morning of Grendel, the Misanthropic Dog.
I got to know Grendel because he is the friend of various Episcopal bloggers and Episcopal dogs and cats, including +Clumber, canine bishop of Pittsburgh.
Grendel is a sweet little guy whose profile reads in its entirety, "Hi, I'm Grendel. I like Gravy." He didn't blog very much but he had a very distinct and tail-waggy style, even in hard times, such as when his cat companion did not come home from the vet.
He also provided a great example of prayer and Christian charity: "Please, God, smile on Mr. Underwear and his Family and the Woman named Martha and all the people who are Under the Passes to keep them Safe and Warm and with Love. Bless him for the Hard Work that he Does, and make me grateful for all the Gravy and Warmth and Love I have. Amen."
He was also very food-focused, which is a good thing in a dog. In this post, he provides a Public Service: "I like Chinese food very much. (In China, they just call it Food.) Natalia didn't know that It Is Okay to give dogs Treats from Plates. I informed her. Now she is More Aware. I feel this is a Good Public Service."
And then all of a sudden, reading one of the other blogs today, I learned that Grendel had died. I went to his blog and it appears it was very, very sudden; the limp that was thought to be arthritis was instead a tumor on the spine. And that was that.
Hearing about Grendel's death made me cry harder than anything has in a long time. I'm not alone. The Mad Priest felt the same, and Father Christian Troll actually admitted he didn't know everything because of Grendel. As crazy as it is, this little dog, whose guardians channeled his personality through a blog, touched a whole lot of people. That's not a bad thing for a little dog.
Here's hoping that we can each touch others to a small degree, that we can do as much simple good as Grendel, and that we can live and die with as much dignity, silliness, and joy.
And give the special dog in your life some Gravy today.