Michael Dirda reviews Mr. and Mrs. Dog by Donald McCaig, hailed as “the Mark Twain of dog writers.” It’s about two dogs that the author took to the World Sheepdog Trials. The event was opened with this prayer from a man named John Seraphine:
“Lord, we thank you for our dogs — your simple gift to us. Open us to what they teach. We thank you for the grateful exuberance of our dogs.
“We thank you for the way they bound across the hills, splash in the waters, chew on sticks, and roll in the dewy grass. Teach us, every day, to say our own ‘thank you’ with every fiber of our being, for the wondrous works of your creation.
“We thank you, Lord, for the honest, direct loyalty of our dogs. We thank you for the wag of their tails and the offer of a cuddle for friend and stranger alike, the way they make people . . . into our neighbors, the way they regard not body type, color of hair, or color of skin. We thank you for the easy way they forgive faults — the way they love us, not because we can love back, but because of our need for love. . . .
“We thank you Lord for our shepherding dogs who can’t stand to lose track of the wayward lamb. We are your lambs, O Lord, and oh so often lost.”