A Party for Jack’s Book!

My friends at The Upper Room are throwing a party to celebrate Jack’s new book of Blessings.

It’s Wednesday, May 22, 2-3 (CDT) at The Upper Room, 1908 Grand Avenue, Nashville, TN. There will be refreshments for two and four-legged critters.

Come and join the party!!!

P.S. Come in the morning for the Taizé service (10:45 a.m. in the Chapel). We can all get lunch and then go to the party.

Jack’s New Book of Celtic Blessings

Get a copy from Amazon: Jack’s Book of Blessings: Celtic Poems by a Scottie Dog

When I was preparing for the release of Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings, I started writing a companion book with my Scottie dog, Jack, in which he would offer his own blessings. Now, three years later, Jack’s Book of Blessings is available! It was released on March 16th and, starting on the 17th, has been running #1 in Amazon New Releases in the category of Irish and British poetry. At least for now it is ranked above works by Seamus Heaney, Mary Robinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, William Blake, and Alfred Lord Tennyson. (I can see Jack’s smile from beyond the rainbow bridge and his questioning gaze, asking, “Can I have a Special Treat?”)

More about Jack’s Book:

Jack the Scottie tells you about his day with poems for every activity from breakfast to going to sleep. Jack’s Celtic-style blessings lead us through each moment of the day: the walk, the leash, the treats, the lap, the dog park (and even the not-so-enjoyable bath). The book features original drawings of Jack, drawn by his companion and co-author of the book, Beth A. Richardson.

Introduction by Roberta Bondi

The introduction of this special book is written Roberta Bondi and Curly, her white-haired Bichon Frisée. Dr. Roberta C. Bondi is professor emerita of church history and spirituality, Candler School of Theology. Roberta writes, “These are such great prayers, which the world always needs, especially in these hard times, but they were also written by a dog. Everybody knows that dogs are especially good at blessing others as well as asking others to bless them. Jack, of course, was always particularly articulate in his own canine way, and as a true lover of God, others, and the everyday world he lived in, he was perfectly suited to write this book.”

Praise from Cats and Dogs:

At last! A book that goes beyond affirming we non-humans bless God, to one that translates those blessings! Jack’s Scottish Celtic heritage proves ideal for framing this universal expression of praise. As a Norwegian Forest cat, my prayers are more reserved than Jack’s, and I certainly do not have his sort of co-dependent relationship with my humans (“Mom,” p. 3, really?!). But the nap, the bed, the treats, the lap, these are universal in relationships with domesticated humans, every one of whom should read this book to strengthen their often inconstant faith.
– Pepper Allen, Norwegian Forest cat

Jack has penned such lovely blessings for the life of us dogs. We treasure all the things that matter–our families, our food, the smells, the walks. Jack rocks!
– Graford and Fiona Earle, border collies

About the Authors

Beth A. Richardson, is a writer, photographer, editor, cartoonist, and lover of dogs. She is the author of a companion book to Jack’s Book of Blessings called Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings published by The Upper Room, Nashville, TN.

Jack, a Scottish Terrier, was born in Indiana and lived with Beth and her family in Nashville, Tennessee. Jack the Scottie was a “real dog.” (Cartoon Jack, however, was much more cooperative than “real Jack.”) Jack passed away suddenly in October of 2018. He lives on in the hearts of many.

Get a copy from Amazon: Jack’s Book of Blessings: Celtic Poems by a Scottie Dog

Last Night I Dreamed of Jack

trees

Last night I dreamed of Jack.
He was lost, but I knew he had
Crossed the road
And gone into the woods.

I walked into the forest
And climbed to the top of a pine tree.
There was a nest there,
Rocking like a cradle
In the gentle breeze.

The trees showed me the nest
And told me he was safe,
Gently rocked,
Held close.

When I got back to the ground
I could see, far off,
a circle of dancing women.
White flowing dresses,
Radiant warm light bathing them from above,
Their arms swayed in the air
Like a nest rocking
On a gentle breeze
In the top of a pine tree.

I woke up
And felt
At peace.

Broken Wide Open

As soon as we laid eyes on you

Our hearts rushed in, unprotected,

Held captive by you

With your bright, smiling eyes.


Even with your hair grown long

Like a Highland cow

Those brown, trusting eyes,

“They’re under there somewhere,”

Reflected love.
 Unconditional love.


We fed you, watched you grow,

Cheered your every milestone,

Forgave your every transgression,

(Even that time you unraveled

the berber carpet in the bedroom.)

We loved you with wild abandon,

Ignoring the certainty

that some day we’d lose you.


And now you have gone.

And our unprotected hearts

have shattered, quite completely.

Broken wide open with the sudden loss of you.

“Thank you” is all we can say.

Thank you for being our very sweet pup.

Stealer of hearts.
 Such a good dog.

Hearts will heal, eventually.

But they will be forever reconfigured

By loving you.


Old-Fashioned Calendars

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Maybe it’s because I love beautiful photographs, but I’ve always had one of those calendars that hangs on my wall. When the new month arrives, I turn the page to see what picture will accompany my journey for the next thirty days.

When Jack came to live with us, I started making calendars of Jack photos and/or cartoons. I made one for myself and gave them as gifts and such. (I now have six-year’s-worth of old Jack calendars that I can’t seem to throw away.)

This year, I pulled together some of my favorite pictures from my Scotland trip and made a calendar featuring Scotland. I think I’ll have a Jack calendar here at home and a Scotland calendar at the office.

Anyway, I realized that others might have the same old-fashioned craving — for a calendar that travels with you through the year. If you do, I have a few you might like to consider. Just take a look at them at Redbubble. (If you are a photographer or an artist, you might want to check out Redbubble. You can upload your works and have them printed on everything from cards to calendars, to phone cases, clocks, and mugs.)

And if anyone wants an old Jack calendar, just let me know. 🙂

Jack’s Bless to Me Prayer

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Bless to me this chair
This strong and safe chair
Under which I hide
At the doctor’s office.

Bless to me this chair
And its durable seat
That hides me from the
Giant vet tech who threatens
To pick me up
And put me on the table.

Bless to me this chair
In its little corner
And bless to me the treats
I know are in the cabinet
Come quickly, treats,
Come quickly, come now.

More Jack is at jackthescottie.com.

The Tale of the Neglected Blog

Those who are following me and Jack may have noticed that the blog took a long vacation this summer. There were three family weddings and one Upper Room SOULfeast retreat. Jack had a great time at Camp Tracy. And I had a great time seeing loved ones get married and meeting new extended family.

I’m back and you’ll notice that the blog has a new name and new look. Formerly, “Life with Jack,” the blog is now called “All the Wonders.” Jack decided to start his own blog. He will still post here from time to time, but his photos, wisdom, and cartoons can now be found at jackthescottie.com.

Blessings to you, my friends. I hope you are well. Let me know how you are doing when you have the time.

BethBeth with Ukulele