From my article in Chapel Hill News about the passing of our Lil (the yellow Labrador retriever in the pic):
Like a first kiss, one’s first dog is something you never forget.
was my first dog, and I will never forget her. Fourteen years ago I
adopted her through Orange County Animal Services. Lil was a beautiful
yellow American Labrador Retriever, with the breed’s distinct markings,
bone structure, and huge paws, which told us we should not be surprised
when she hit 80 pounds when fully grown.
When we first visited
her at the shelter, she jumped all over us, licking us everywhere on our
bodies, from head to toe and back again.
“Lil” was short for
“Little Doc,” as I promised myself I would adopt a dog upon my
completion of my Ph.D. But sometimes she resembled Lilith, the notorious
demon in Jewish tradition. For example, when throwing her a branch to
retrieve, she wasn’t as much “retriever” as she was a keep-away artist,
inviting us to run after her while almost kneeing us as she ran by us.
She loved chewing anything that looked like a stick, including red or
black pens, grinning with either a red or back smudge across her muzzle.
was like other dogs in many ways. She was my running bud, running
slightly ahead of me along country roads. She loved nothing more than to
go for a ride in a car, putting her snout out the open back window,
ears flapping backwards, while taking advantage of all the smells that
came along the currents of air. One friend taught Lil the art of eating
pretzel sticks from her mouth as Lil gently nibbled the other end.
However, unlike some Labs, she was not wild about water. She was
intimidated by ocean waves, and Lil seemed too prim and proper to be
washed, looking put out when we hosed off the soap.
Lil was a
steady presence amid all the radical changes in my family’s life. She
would let me pet her thick yellow fur as I transitioned out of one
academic position, to a pastorate, and back to the academy again. When
in high school, my daughter told her deepest secrets to Lil late at
night. My partner and son swear there was nothing like coming home after
a hard day and being welcomed by Lil’s “welcome home” bark as she soon
brushed hard against a leg, waiting for someone to rub the sweet spots
behind her ears, eliciting an ongoing low, satisfying moan from her,
telling us to rub harder.
Awesome article on/about Adrianne and her family (proud dad) here on Rainbow Rumpus:
The beginning of the article:
Adrianne loves to play games with her preschool class. A favorite
game of hers is a silent version of “Simon Says”: Adrianne starts by
tapping her nose, waiting until the entire class is tapping their noses
before moving on to another motion (patting her head, for example). The
movements become quicker—patting the floor, knees, shoulders, and so on.
The game gives the kids—or “tiny munchkins,” as Adrianne affectionately
terms her class—an opportunity to move and refocus. Adrianne comes from
a family of educators. Her mom, Pam, was a public school teacher for
twenty years, her dad, Brett, teaches ethics and English composition at
North Carolina Central University, and her dad’s partner, Dean, is
associate dean of students at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Adrianne
and her family share passions beyond teaching, however. She and her dad
practice yoga, hike, and visit museums together whenever they can. And
preparing family meals has always brought the clan—which includes
Adrianne’s younger brother, Parker—together for good conversation. “What
we were eating was less important than the quality time we spent
together,” Adrianne says.
Chapel Hill and Carrboro, North Carolina, United States
I am a dad, who happens to be gay, with two amazing young adult children who have taught me, my partner, and their mom what grace, faith, hope, and love are all about. I am also an ordained clergyperson in the Presbyterian Church (USA), involved in congregational life, sometimes preaching here and there, and an oblate of St. Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph, MN. I taught at Duke Divinity School at Duke University for over a decade, and I currently teach at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC. I teach Ethics, World Religions, and English. And I am the Director of a religious non-profit, "School of the Pilgrim" (www.schoolofthepilgrim.com), in which I take people on actual pilgrimages to break out of the religion of rush hour in order to find their inner spiritual path. I am also glad to work with and be an advocate with people living with disabilities in faith communities, who teach me more about life in all its wonders and quirks. Enjoy the blog! And for more information about the book ON BEING A GAY PARENT, go to www.onbeingagayparent.com. Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, and phone is 919-444-9111