The Holy Dog of France


Brother Dunstan and his new friend Clare.  That’s David’s leg!

I’m too tired to write something this afternoon because my eyes are tired.  Partly its from watching the PBS series Finding Your Roots and listening to Henry Louis Gates reveal very troubled family histories of refugees which made me cry.  Partly my eyes are suffering from the pool where the chlorine sometimes affects my sinuses. And partly its because I’m a bit older and everything affects me more.

One of the gals at the pool this morning said “Don’t go there’ when I said “Sometimes we don’t get better.” I asked her if she had ever heard of denial.



 I’ve continued to research Mom’s family tree and discovered many interesting facts, some of which have stirred memory bubbles.  Before their deaths, Aunt Audry and her cousin Elaine had given me reams of paper copies of various vital records they acquired in Michigan, and Cousin Ankie sent much information from the Netherlands.  I went through part of the material this morning seeking verification for the marriage of a fourth great-grandather who had 3 or 4 wives.   My quest: to match a third great-grandfather with his own mother. Death, divorce, remarriage, with immigration thrown into the mix and after a while I’ve got eye strain.


Our Benedictine friend, Brother Dunstan, visits us every Sunday afternoon.  David cheers up enormously when Dunstan stops by.  Last Sunday, Clare our five-pound Pom decided perhaps Dunstan was a friend and rather than spend the hour he is here barking at him, she allowed him to stroke her. (The photos are crap because my phone is old and our living room is dark, hence David’s Happy Lights which he burns all winter.) 

Brother Dunstan, always tells us a story.  This past Sunday he told us the story of the Holy Dog of France.

In the 1100s in France, a dog saved a child’s life by killing a snake that was about to attack him.  The child screamed, his father came running and when the father saw the fightened child, he killed the dog, believing the dog had hurt the child. Afterward the father saw the dead snake, realized what had happened and felt so badly, he buried the dog and set up a marker to honor the dog.  

Soon all the peasants from miles around heard the story and came to honor the dog, and the site became a place of pilgrimage for centuries.  When the Benedictines discovered this, they closed the site.  However, today the site has been rediscovered by a new generation, and a renewed interest in The Holy Dog of France has made it place of pilgrimage.

Brother Dunstan told us the story while Clare listened to him and allowed him to stroke her head.


19 thoughts on “The Holy Dog of France

  1. I once had a dog named Claire. She was a lovely girl I got from the SPCA. A mix of some kind, medium height and very sweet. I know I’ve still got a picture somewhere. I’m going to find it now. Sweet memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Our dog always pesters every visitor to insanity for as many strokes as possible. We joke that if a burglar broke in, we’d only because the dog would ‘detain’ them for cuddles.
    The history of refugees is a good reason to cry. And to think the world hasn’t learned anything. So many atrocities are still going on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I also love “finding your roots “…wish I could pay someone to do that extensive search of my family tree. I only know a little and none from my Moms side

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Many have problems wrapping their minds around — or even letting in — any mention of the inevitable that’s been with us since birth.

    I have a problem with one eye, especially, watering — seems to be related to my sinuses and allergies to various airborne pollens especially certain times of year including now. Very annoying!

    Dogs are very empathetic and I wouldn’t be surprised if yours understood the tale. I once owned a Pom — Ducmoor Billy’s Wee Sandy — but that’s another story. He was cute!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s