Right around New Year’s, I found out there’s something called a Smudge Prayer. Theses prayers are intended to clear out negative energy and refresh your environment.
I, of course, was expecting something different because of this guy:
I thought the prayer should be along the lines of, Dear God, please help Smudge be a good dog so he doesn’t keep stealing my ginger snap cookies off the counter.
If you think the answer to my Smudge Prayer is to move the cookies, you’d be right. Except the first time Smudge ate my cookies, he somehow managed to get them out of a bowl I had them in for safe keeping. The second time, he stole the Tupperware container off the counter and then chewed off the lid.
I am dealing with no ordinary dog.
My mom once came to Norfolk to watch the pups when Heath’s brother died. She loves to tell the story how Smudge worked for what seemed like an hour, twisting and contorting his body to get a single piece of dog food that had fallen behind their plastic food bin.
If you want a role model for perseverance, look no further than Smudge.
The idea of a Smudge prayer got me thinking — I probably should be praying to be more like Smudge in my daily life.
Smudge knows what he wants and always goes for it, whether it’s a container of cookies on the counter, the spot where you’re sitting on the couch, or deciding when it’s time for bed, in which case he will immediately leave you and go jump on your bed to settle down for his nighttime snoozle.
He also sees possibility wherever he goes, which includes stealing our socks and winter gear, such as hats and gloves, understanding the value of a stick as the best toy ever, or hearing the toaster pop and thinking maybe it’s for him.
One of my favorite Smudge stories takes place on the first day it actually felt like spring in March or April of 2017. The sun was shining, the pond had thawed, and a warm breeze finally graced us with its presence.
That day, Smudge headed out to the pond after breakfast to splash around and chase fish. In the three years we’ve been taking care of the pups, I’ve been there when he’s caught two. They’re little tiny creatures and he drops them at my feet as a gift. Each time, I toss them back, hoping they’re still alive.
Smudge, however, thinks we’re playing fetch and dives back into the pond.
It’s adorable because he can never quite find that fish again.
On that beautiful spring day in 2017, Smudge spent ALL DAY in the pond. Seriously. He didn’t even want to come in for dinner.
When I finally did coax him in, he wolfed down his food even faster than usual, and then busted out the front door on his own to get back into the pond. Heath and I laughed ourselves silly as the door banged shut.
He didn’t come in until after dark.
Smudge also loves his humans. When Heath and I came back to Norfolk the first week of January to resume our house-sitting job, we overlapped for a morning with Smudge’s human mom and dad. As we sat at the table chatting, Smudge went from person to person, getting all the love, head rubs, and ear scratches he could before moving on to the next person. Again, he did this for hours.
So, yes, I do want to be more like Smudge. To help me on my way, I’ve written my own Smudge prayer.
It begins, Dear God, please help me be more like Smudge.
In a previous version of this blog post, I included the entire prayer. I have since I had to take it down from my blog because I’ve gotten such wonderful feedback on the prayer that I’m now attempting to revise it to submit for publication. I apologize for now having a blog post that builds up to something that doesn’t happen. I hope you understand.