Bernese Mountain Dogs Gallery of Friends
from Sherwood Folk
Dear Friends, Christmas, 2009
It is Sherwood Folk, the new family dog, with my first attempt at sending you tidings of this joyous Season. My predecessor Charlie departed this earth last June after loving and devoted service to his family. To paraphrase Lord Byron, Charlie possessed strength without insolence, courage without ferocity and all of man's virtues and none of his vices. May I be so consecrated. I arrived as a pup in September and was immediately baptized into the family as a Presbyterian.
Coming from noble breeding, I condescend to serve commoners Joe and Susie in exchange for a warm bed and endless affection. Life is good. Susie maintains this odd notion that I should be trained while Joe lets me do anything, leading to some lively squabbles.
The BIG news is that a fourth grandchild arrived on May 28. Andrew Morton Kreeger of Cary, NC, was so anxious to join his family that he popped out only fourteen minutes after his parents arrived at the hospital. His father Dave continues with his painting franchise while Mom Karen and sister Ilana share the same passions of reading, gardening and exercising.
Karen's brother Jim is the Reverend James Folk of Ocala, FL. Jim served on a mission trip to Paraguay last summer. Jim and Emily have two precious daughters, Muriel (4) and Corinne (2). When the grandparents visit, Pop Pop is often requested to tell "tall tales". If his recounting is the least bit foggy, he is greeted with a chorus of protest, "No Pop Pop! That's not how it goes!"
As a dog I strive in my letters to be objective, so none of this endless boasting about grandchildren. Proverbs 17:6 says it best, "Grandchildren are the crown of the aged." Per author Ruth Goode, "Grandchildren accept us for ourselves, without rebuke or effort to change us, as no one in our entire lives has ever done."
So, friends, that's a summary of the latest poop on the family news. Dad is delighted with retirement. Mom is often suggesting volunteering out of the house for her doting husband. Dad and Mom seem to get along fine as long as Dad doesn't go into Mom's part of the house.
I conclude this Christmas dispatch with four suggestions for humans from a companion that Almighty God created as "man's best friend:"
1. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
2. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
3. Never pretend to be something you are not.
4. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them.
Never miss an opportunity to tell someone, man or beast, how much they are loved. And never underestimate your pet-they may be closer to God than you are! Said Lincoln, "God prefers ordinary people. That's why He made so many of us." Stay humble.
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