In Praise of the Dog Days

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Pets are so much easier to get along with than people. They’re not as complicated and unpredictable, not as demanding and challenging, not as mysterious and messy.

People are very messy. And that messiness makes relationships a portal to the divine.

As much as we like to be with our pets, we have to keep going out the door and dealing with people. Amazing people. Frustrating people. Inspiring people. Loving people. Broken people. Confused people. Self-doubting people. Challenging people. Lost people. People who have all the same anxieties and fears that we do. Relationships make us grow into who we are meant to be. And the process is always, always, always messy. If there’s no messiness, there’s not much relationship.

Relationships tap into our insecurities and make them bubble up and out despite our best efforts to ignore them or keep them hidden. They highlight our fears and insecurities in bright, bold colors. They grow and develop in their own time and have their own confusing and confounding rhythms. They challenge us and fulfill us and yes, they make us want to beat our heads against the wall, depending upon the time of the day.

Man Behind ‘Rapture Pets’ Rescue Admits it’s a Hoax

Girl with Golden Retriever photo, Martin Valigursky,

Girl with Golden Retriever photo, Martin Valigursky,

The owner of a business who claimed he would provide atheist rescuers for Christians' pets left behind in the Rapture now says his service was an elaborate hoax and never had any clients.

Bart Centre, who lives in New Hampshire, came clean after the state Insurance Department delivered a subpoena because he appeared to be engaged in "unauthorized business of insurance" through his Eternal Earth-Bound Pets business.

"Eternal Earth-Bound Pets employs no paid rescuers," Bart Centre wrote in a blog post on March 16. "It has no clients. It has never issued a service certificate. It has accepted no service contract applications nor received any payments -- not a single dollar -- in the almost three years of its existence."

Rapture Pet Rescue Business Wishes Harold Camping Would Keep Predicting

Owners with their dogs attend a blessing of pets and animals.(Photo by Marco Sec

Owners with their dogs attend a blessing of pets and animals.(Photo by Marco Secchi/Getty Images)

When doomsday prophet Harold Camping conceded last week that his failed May 21 end-of-the-world prediction was "incorrect and sinful," the average American probably shrugged, perhaps even snickered.

But for Bart Centre, Camping's mea culpa could have real impact on his bottom line.

The co-owner of a business that promises to care for the pets of Christians who are swept up in the Rapture saw a jump in business last year ahead of Camping's prediction.

Now he's sorry to see Camping get out of the predictions business.



"It was obviously a mistake," said Centre, who runs Eternal Earth-Bound Pets from New Hampshire. "I'm just sorry that he's not going to be doing any more predictions because it's good for business."