Jasper and the Face of God

Turning to first light in the day’s bold glare
Each dawn two eyes cast a furtive stare.
The first sight each morning I see o’er my face
Is furry and long-eared, demanding embrace.
Canine eyes, limpid and brown
Filled with anticipation of that eager hound,
Hold me entranced and drawing a smile,
Eliciting joy, eschewing all guile.
I take the leash and fasten with care
The link of union we both now share.
Then out the door jolly as one,
Our day is early, it’s now begun.
A small bowl of treats is the morning repast,
And with that consumed, it’s play time at last.
Nap time comes in the ebb of the day,
For that is important right after the play.
As I lay back still on my old plump couch,
Up jumps Jasper on my chest to there crouch.
Head turned back, full on my neck,
His eyes upturned my face to inspect.
Two limpid orbs radiate their love
And respect and devotion, far above
What human creatures can ever produce
Or even remotely think or induce.
Those brown eyes shining divine,
Through them their Creator who’s also mine,
Sees me whole and presents His desire
That I, too, come close and burn with His fire.
Fire that is mine and shown by those globes,
Whose vision is that of He who us robes
In His good Grace and the soul’s full communion,
Exiling death and offering reunion.
That little canine, nature’s own jewel
Is the vehicle for my renewal:
A sign of God’s limitless affection,
A barking angel whose connection
Brings me before the face of God.
  Boyd D. Cathey

We asked Boyd’s inspiration behind his poem, he told us, “Jasper is a four-year old AKC registered American cocker spaniel. He came to live with me the day after Christmas, December 26, 2016. He had belonged to a neighbour but she had remarried and inherited two additional canine family members, but Jasper, who likes to be the boss, did not get along that well with them. So my neighbour asked me if I might like to become Jasper’s new human companion. I was delighted and said yes.”

Robert (left) with Jasper, less than a month before Robert died in July 2018

Boyd already owned a pure-bred Cocker Spaniel called Robert who was past thirteen years of age when Jasper came to live with them. The pair looked like twin brothers despite an 11 year age difference, and the they became canine best friends. Sadly, after a year and a half of Robert and Jasper living together, Boyd had to say goodbye to his 15-year-old companion, which seemed to affect Jasper greatly.

Boyd continued, “Jasper for days afterwards each night would search on Robert’s side of my bed for his friend, looking both under the bed and under the chest of drawers, and then at me, as if to ask: ‘Where is he, where is my beloved companion?’ And all I could do was comfort him and myself, and be thankful that in Robert’s last year and a half, and last moments on earth, he had both me and Jasper beside him.”

Jasper recently

Boyd continued, “One day I sat down and began writing, attempting to give expression to that emotion, to the immeasurable gift of love that Jasper has given and continues to give to me… and that he gave to Robert.

“Perhaps others will have had the same sensation and will fathom that same joy. It is so very special and unique.”
Photos by Boyd D. Cathey

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