And take in your hand the gall of the fish. So they went their way, and the dog went after them.
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One must not dismiss with scorn the figure of this dog, which is a traveler and the companion of an angel. So, as we have also pointed out above, he represents the church’s teachers who by combating heretics often drive off troublesome wolves from the supreme pastor’s fold. To them fittingly applies the fact that it is natural to dogs to repay a favor to those who are kind to them and patrol in restless vigil for their masters’ safety. The reason why the dog ran ahead is that the teacher first preaches salvation; then the Lord, the enlightener, cleanses hearts. And the writer made the charming observation, “arriving as if bringing the news,” because, of course, every sincerely believing teacher is a messenger of truth; charmingly “did he show his joy by wagging his tail,” for the tail, which is the end of the body, suggests the end of a good work, that is, its perfection, or at any rate the reward that is granted without end. The dog then showed his joy by wagging his tail when he saw once more his master’s homestead from which he was absent for a long time; teachers rejoice at the results of their work when they realize that by means of their ministry Judea is to be brought together again by the Lord; they rejoice at receiving an eternal award, and with this same reward common to all the elect they cheer the hearts of those they preach to when they promise them that Christ’s grace will come without delay. - "On Tobit 11.9"