Monday, October 06, 2008

Pet blessing service

At the Church on the Hill, pet owners got together this past Saturday afternoon to remember St. Francis, and to receive the annual blessing on our pets.

The weather was splendid, cool and crisp, as we gathered in the lower parking lot. At my former church, we did this service inside, but the Church on the Hill is barely big enough to accommodate people, much less furry creatures!

I took my three standard poodles: my geriatric Shadow, who's 12, and Max and Amber, who are 2 years old. Shadow is a little blind and a little deaf, and approached the whole thing with a zen-like resignation. Not so the youngsters! They had never before been on the split lead, so they spent a lot of time figuring out that they had to walk nicely right next to each other. It was very funny to watch!

We had about 15 dogs in attendance, and one bird. One of the dogs was a chihuahua, and totally adorable; unfortunately, Max suspected she was a rodent, and made every attempt to eat her! Her owners were very understanding, and there was no harm done; after all, her owner pointed out, poodles are hunters, and she does resemble prey!

We stood in a big circle, and after the brief service, the Rector asked us to introduce our pets as she blessed them. Each pet was blessed individually; some appreciated it, but some were wary! As the service finished and the crowd about to leave, someone recalled that we have a horse living behind the church. We looked over the fence and down the slope, and there she was, in the gully. Her owner was also there, and led her up to the fence for her blessing. He told us her name was "Georgia Peach," because that's where he bought her. Georgia Peach got a little skittish when she saw the dogs, and ran back down the slope. So she had her blessing from afar!

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