Point of View: Teaching an old dog a new trick: Christ called us to love all

By Nick Dean
Editor in chief

A dog came bouncing across the road on Friday afternoon. He leaped into my lap and turned to my friend as we had lunch outside thanks to the great weather we have been having.

His paws were light, his ingrained grin natural and his tail unstoppable. Nothing about this dog made me think his owner was far off. As we crossed the road and returned to where we thought Watson — as I and many of my close friends have come to call him — had come from.

No one was in sight and no open gate or door existed. We asked neighbors if Watson looked familiar and none of them had seen him before. It’s a beautiful Friday afternoon; a happy dog leaped into my lap and made my day. How could it get any better?

My friend and I thought Watson was too great to be a stray and his collar, without tags, led us to believe some frantic owner was out there looking for him. We snapped some pictures of the dog, whose breed still remains a mystery.

We took Watson for a walk and hung fliers with his picture on them and my phone number.

It was bittersweet nailing in those fliers, but my friends and I know losing a dog is not a fun ordeal and Watson’s owner would hopefully call soon. Friday lingered on; walks around campus, a visit to the new campus fountain and a couple squirrel chases went by and still no call.

At this point, it was time to figure out what to do with Watson. He had no place to go and no food. I picked up a collar and food and he is staying at my house now. Tuesday, I took him to the Waco Humane Society to scan him for a microchip loaded with contact information.

Watson did have a microchip and I have been in contact with his owners — he will be reunited with them soon. (Oh, and his real name is Titan. I guess we shouldn’t have gotten attached and named him. Lesson learned.)

The lesson I am taking from this has been thread through many recent events in my life. My encounter with Watson taught me much about the importance of community. I have in no way taken care of this dog for the past couple days by myself.

One of my roommates bathed him, another walks him in the morning and another has walked him in the evenings. Other close friends have taken Watson in while I was busy and have fed and played with him throughout the days.

I find it startling and intriguing that I was so willing and able to take in a lost puppy, but I get antsy and sometimes unnerved when a homeless woman or man asks for help in the Fast Food Frenzy or in downtown Waco.

This comparison is not meant to compare the homeless to dogs. That is not my intention.

In fact, I intend to pose the exact opposite. Watson, regardless of the exterior qualities that bring humans joy, is just a dog. He does not have a soul and would have probably fared just fine on the streets of Waco.

Waco homeless, however, are people we are called to care for. They are the ones that need our help, the ones that need our love and compassion, the ones of great potential and huge hearts.

Why has our society embraced the care for neglected animals yet only few care for, feed, talk to and pray for the impoverished people in our world?

I often imagine a world where Mother Theresa and Jimmy Dorrell wouldn’t stand out.

By that, I mean a world that was so helpful and loving to the less fortunate that it wasn’t out of the ordinary to devote your life to helping them.

If I had the zeal to help the needy as I did to help Watson I think my life would look more like Christ and I would be able to understand the grace and mercy of God from a different perspective.

Nick Dean is a junior journalism and political science double major from Austin. He is the editor in chief of the Lariat.