Artemus, my dog, is no longer. How is he germane to the clergy sexual abuse scandal? When I first started to go to therapy I cried a lot while talking about all of the abuse I experienced at the hands of priests. (Only one was sexual abuse.) About three years into therapy a priest friend of mine was on an extended “educational” stay in Portugal. When people came to visit him in Lisbon he would take then to Fatima. I never visited. When a mutual friend and her sister went a stray dog attached himself to them in Fatima. Since all the vets in Portugal said he would be destroyed Regina paid to have him brought back to the USA. Many hysterical e-mails catalogued the dog’s trip. I responded to them by saying that I would take the dog just for the stories. I was not really serious. Bing. bang, boom I now had a dog.
My therapist enthusiastically endorsed what seemed like folly to everyone else. He said taking care of a pet would force me to go outside of myself. So my murderous feelings towards a number of priests were now transferred to the dog. (Not really.) The first year was a power struggle between us. I won some, he won some. But I loved him and taking care of him. I even called him my baby. I was defiantly outside of myself. I had him for nine years, eight months and 11 days. It was estimated by the veterinarian that he was about five when I got him so he was about 14.
I loved him, I’ll miss him and my heart hurts. (I hope it is not a pending heart attack.) He most definitely took me outside myself. In reality Artemus helped save me.
No more dogs. My three cats must suffice.