Retired English professor Miller converses with God while walking her pet in this prayer journal.
After the author adopted a beagle from an animal shelter, she started taking progressively longer walks with him. The four walks per day with Sam-Elliot (as she called him) provided her with opportunities for meditation that she’d never experienced before; she appreciated the beauty of nature, thought about her day, and asked God for guidance. In this work, she shares her insights with readers: “As all of us, you included, walk together, I invite you to join me and others to read sriptures, meditate, pray, reflect, and act on your faith.” This book is not a daily or weekly prayer journal, but rather a free-wheeling collection of short essays about various pets, Bible passages, and poems, with occasional spaces for readers to complete prompts or exercises related to prayer: “Think of activities or occasions that bring you special joy…..What about them brings you joy? Is God present at these events? Do you thank God for these blessings in your life?” In chapters organized around various stages of a dog walk (“Out the Door,” “Down the Alley,” and “Heading Home,” among others), Miller’s prose is soothing and encouraging. Her poetry, however, assumes a more formal rhythm and diction: “In God’s lush garden we are plants, / Free to grow and bloom. / We savor love that our Lord grants, / Spread blossom’s sweet perfume.” The hodgepodge approach means that not every item will appeal to everyone, although Christian readers who particularly enjoy dogs and poetry, of course, will most appreciate the whole package. Miller’s warm personality effectively knits the various pieces together, and it makes for a reading experience that’s both cheerful and seriously religious.
A warm blend of memoir, poetry, and Christian spirituality for dog owners.