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The Good Pet Parent (Psalm 23)

I don’t have experience with sheep – I think the only time I saw one was at a petting zoo or fall fair. I don’t have first-hand knowledge of what the life of a shepherd is like or what a shepherd is to his sheep or what it means to be a good shepherd.

But I know what it’s like to have a dog. I recently became a pet parent to a lap dog named Chip – pet parent is another name for a pet owner, companion, or caregiver. I love the little fellow, look after him, train him and lead him where he needs to go.

The Bible often puts concepts in language that is easy for the reader to relate to, and I believe it is meaningful to put biblical ideas in today’s language and context. I am offering Psalm 23, changing shepherd to dog caregiver. I hope it allows you to realize how the Lord loves us, looks after us, and leads us, in the same way, we love and care for our pets.

I am my dog’s caregiver

I give him all that he needs

I let him rest on sunny carpets and on my warm lap

And I lead him to fresh drinking water

I give him food for strength, a coat for warmth, and toys for happiness

When I move from the kitchen to the office or the office to the living room, he follows me.

I train him for good behaviour

I lead him in the right path on walks and rescue his paw when it gets caught

When we go beside new people or big dogs, he quivers and I scoop him up

When he is riding in my front pack, he is not afraid

Because I am with him.

My arms protect him.

I prepare a banquet of healthy food

I groom him with oil and brushes

Sometimes I use the hands and feet of others to aid in his care

His heart overflows with happiness

He cannot contain his joy when he jumps to see me!

He trusts me.

Goodness and love I have promised him

And my house will be his home as long as he lives.

Elaine Kelly

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