April 16, 2006


Sunrise Service

The first thing that strikes me is how quietly they congregate in the semi-darkness. They arrive singley or in small groups like tall, elegant shorebirds silhouetted against the lighter color of the sand. Some unfold beach chairs and speak with one another in soft voices; others just stand silently, their hands folded in front of them or behind. I can hear the small waves lapping on the beach.

At first, I can't understand why I'm on the leash. In this park, I'm usually free to roam and swim. But this morning is different. I pant and look at the humans, puzzled and put out. But I also sense the difference of the occasion.

As it grows a bit lighter, a man steps in front of the loose congregation and welcomes us. There's a soft hymn, which stops me panting and sets me listening. Then the man tells the story of another morning long ago, of some people entering a tomb empty of a friend's body and yet inhabited by angels.

And as the story continues, the shoreline grows brighter and the sun begins rising over the water. It's a fine morning, and the people begin to sing again, this time more loudly. At the same time, we hear other distant voices rising up as well, voices coming from other congregations of people along other parts of the shoreline. I hear even better than they, of course. I hear not only their hymns but the songs of the birds in the palms and oaks behind us, of the quickening breeze, of a seagull calling out somewhere on the shoreline. Even the smells change. There's a quickening now, an indefinable sense of excitement. They stand and hold hands, and I stand as well, in anticipation. There are hugs and people stroke my back, and my tail wags.

In the end, I get to swim after all. It's not a baptism, exactly, but at least a kind of celebration. Most of the people have gone but I remain, swimming in waters now dazzling in the morning light, watching as a single bright sail moves across the newly blue horizon.

Happy Easter Hank!
Hi Hank,

Wow a sunrise Easter service! How cool! Were you the only dog? My mom said she went to a sunrise easter service several years ago and it was really neat. I'm sure you were very quiet and respectful. My mom said that she thinks I would start to sing along with the hymns. Well, God gave me the gift of speech!
Enjoy the day, Hank! -- endo
What a cool service! I hope you had a nice Easter Hank!
Sometimes you read something and it just hits home - this is one of those cases. Happy Easter
How AWESOME is that footprints in the sand!!God Bless,
There's a lot to humans after all, I guess they're about more than just ordering dogs around and stuff.

The dude being honored last Sunday; it seems he knew something the others didn't, by the sounds of it anyway. Kinda makes a dog wonder if there's hope for humans after all . . .

/bark bark bark

of course, hank, you need no baptism as you are a representative of the most God-like creatures on earth.your footprint improves the world. glad you swam, buddy. i was running the pavement all day -s'okay though, i got steak leftovers too so the day was a draw. happy spring hank!

Great post, Hank. I usually go to the beach sunrise service here on Easter -- though the sun rises behind us. But the risen Son is the same for everyone; I hope you and your people had a joyous, blessed Easter filled with hope and peace.

jenny (& Lomax)
hey hey hank! i am so jealous you got to go with your peepol to the beach! i love the beach! wen my peepol go to easter services they say "dogs cant go". how sad! it sounds like dogs can have a good time there.

very nice post! my peepol liked it, too.
It always good to have a nice swim. Nice paw prints you have there, Hank.
Hi Kimananda,

Hope you had a great one as well.

Hi Indy,

There is a lot of singing, if you're prone to it. I'd sure like to your baratone.

Hi Endo,

You too.

Hi Etchen,

And I hope you had one, as well. And nice flowers!

Hi Jason,


Hi Sam,

Yes, Molly's a fan of pawprints in the sand, be they from humans or hounds or whatever else traverse the flats.

Hi Cal,

Yes, I agree. Humanity does tend to look a little better on Easter mornings.

Hi K9,

Um, steak!

Hi Bird,


Hi J&L,

I hope your Easter was grand as well.

Hi Ivy,

Glad you liked it. Say hi to your peepol. I've heard there are some churches that let dogs come in to workship sometime but I've never been.

Hi Gary,

Thanks. A swim usually cause for celebration all in itself.
i have to tell u this .. but did u know that a horse is more faithful and loyal than a dog?

In islam .. when it comes to Animals.. horses would be the first one to enter heaven .. WHY? because they faught wars and carried prophets.
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