July 2013 Newsletter

July 2013 Newsletter

Instead of saying anything profound or theological in my first Fishkill newsletter article, I have decided to talk about my dog, Ruthie.

Ruthie is my ambassador.  She has been my introduction into the world of Brooklyn, New York, as her daily walks have moved us from the park across the street to an 8-block radius of two neighborhoods.

Ruthie is an 11-year-old English setter.  She is Kansas born and bred.  She was used to running along country roads with her older sister Phoebe, a black Labrador retriever, who died last April.  Now she is an only child and has had to adjust to city life, which she has done quite well.

I call Ruthie my ambassador for two reasons.  First, she is my reason for getting out of my sister’s apartment and exploring the surrounding neighborhoods.  I would not have explored so much, had it not been for her inquisitive nose, which she pokes into everything she sees (especially if it smells bad).

Second, she captures people’s attention.  I have learned that while most Brooklynites will not look at me, they will almost always look at Ruthie.  I think it is because she is cute and trots attentively down the sidewalk.  Some people shy away in fear.  One child said she looks like a lion. 

But most people look at her and smile.  There are a couple of apartment buildings where we have to stop if certain “little old ladies” are out on the stoop.  If people pay special attention, I usually offer to stop so they can pet her, and Ruthie tolerates this well.  People scratch her behind her ears or run their hands along her face, and tell her about their own dogs, or dogs they had when they were kids, or their wishes to own a dog.  All the while, Ruthie just stands there and absorbs their touches and their wishes, wagging her tail and waiting to continue our walk.

These encounters don’t last long, but they usually end with smiles.  I hope that Ruthie has added a little joy to their day.  And I hope to have lots of encounters in Fishkill when Ruthie and I go exploring.  Feel free to stop and tell her your pet stories.  I’ll listen, too, if you let me!




Rev. Linda M. Willey