Shalom Camera-Critters friends.
Have you ever seen a Rhodesian Ridgeback?
Strangely enough, the dog is characterized by a ridge of hair along its back running in the opposite direction to the rest of its coat.
I had never even heard of a Rhodesian Ridgeback until these three lively puppies were piled on my lap by the neighbors.
"The breed's history dates back to early in the 18th century, when the first European settlers found dogs domesticated by Khoi-khoi tribes with the hair on the spine turned forward. In the late 19th century, big game hunters needed a hunting dog that was tough, resistant to disease, and intelligent enough to avoid crocodiles and snakes, but brave and fast enough to face a lion. Also important was a tick-repellent smooth coat and tight paw pads to protect against thorns and rough terrain."
Fortunately Israel no longer has lions roaming wild.
But we used to!
You will enjoy looking at the BibleWalks.com page about the Dir Hijla/Gerassimos monastery near the Dead Sea.
There is a statue of a lion there and many icons and paintings of a lion and St. Gerassimos with the Mountains of Judea behind them.
The legend says that the Abbot encountered a lion roaring with pain near the Jordan River. He removed a thorn from the lion's paw.
The lion was so thankful that he became tame and joined the community.
In the Greek Orthodox art he is often depicted with a donkey and a camel, his friends from the monastery.