Twice in the last two days I have employed a very useful pastoral assistant. My dog Crispin in the past has been a welcome visitor in the local old people's homes. He would come in with me, nuzzle the hands of those sitting around and often get a response where some of us failed.
On Monday a couple came to see me to sort out their wedding. He had been divorced and I had some personal questions for him but he had brought his son with him.
"Take him out to play Crispin" I said and off they went.
Today a young lady who I had married about five years ago arrived to talk about baptising her two boys.
They were lively and again Crispin came to my aid. He kept them quietly amused whilst I sorted out details with the mother. I had to make sure she understood the nature of the commitment and that I also had to talk to the Godparents. The boys were wonderful and so was my dog. At one stage Crispin lay down....he was having a very tiring couple of days. The youngest boy lay down with him. So was he.
Crispin is now 12 years old. He has always had a gentle disposition and is wonderful with those suffering bereavement or hurt. My problem now is, who is going to look after me when he dies.