Monday, September 15, 2008

Saint Roch

Somehow, I do not know how, I missed the feast day of Saint Roch, the patron of dogs & dog lovers. It was August 16.

He is also the man you go to when you have been falsely accused, or have a skin ailment, or the plague. Further, he is the patron of bachelors. Yes, dogs & bachelors.

Finally, he is the patron of dealers in second-hand goods. This works for me, because all my dogs are second-hand. & while A was definitely a bachelor when we met, he was also a dog & therefore, arguably, second-hand himself.

Our first dog is still with us. She came from a shelter in Texas (we lived in Houston at the time). Unlike our subsequent dogs (& horses & goats & emus, oh my!) she had no real baggage; she was a puppy, born at the shelter with no history of abuse. Megan is without question the most disfunctional of all our pets.

Because of Megan's extreme lonliness, we got our second dog. Rather, she got us. Josephine followed us home, submitted to a bath, ate a healthy dinner & slept soundly for what was probably the first time in months. Farley also came from a shelter, Florida this time. He & one litter mate survived a nightmare situation; the rest of the litter & their mother did not.

Becca (horse) & Amy-dog (dog) both came as a result of divorces, Anton & Cleo (emus) because their owners were too old to care even for themselves. The Henriettas (the first batch of Rhode Island Red chickens) were found at a gas station in Georgia; they had fallen out of over-packed crates headed for a factory henhouse.

Golda & Black&tan (goats) were de-facto ours for years before they became ours. They belonged to our neighbor & came through our common fence to join our goats. Once together, they did not want to seperate. G*** had Parkinsons & was less&less able to live the way he wanted. One awful day he shot himself.

Coco (horse) was born at a pregnant mare urine (used to manufacture Premarin) collection facility. She was one of many foals sold for meat & shipped around the world.

Back to Saint Roch: there is some question apparently as to whether or not he is even one person. That is, more than one story seems to have morphed into his. Generally agreed upon is that he was released from prison, contracted the plague, gave away his substantial inheritance, was set-upon by his own relations & went to live in the woods in a hut he made himself, not necessarily in that order. A local nobleman's dog brought him food. The nobleman followed the dog, discovered Saint Roch & the rest is history. Or not, as the case may be.

The last thing you should know about Saint Roch is that he is not a saint. While there are churches in his name from Lebanon to Staten Island & Manila to Minsk, in the late 15oos someone dropped the ball & his official saint-hood was never confirmed.

& so he is, a not-quite saint, for anyone whose first chance does not have to be their last.

No comments:

Post a Comment