Owners have pets blessed at Blessing of the Animals downtown Saturday

Published 4:40 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2018

On Saturday morning the lawn of St. John’s Episcopal Church was alive with the barking and tail wagging of the several dogs brought by their owners to the annual Blessing of the Animals.

The Rev. Leslie Dellenbarger administered the blessings after leading the assemblage in a service inspired by the example of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all animals. The occasion is usually observed on a Saturday closest to the date of the death of St.Francis, October 4, 1226.

The service includes scripture readings and prayers appropriate for the event, including a special prayer for animal friends who have died, and opportunity is given for those to be named aloud individually.

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As Rev. Dellenbarger placed her hands on each of the animal friends, she recited the words, “Bless O God, this Your creature (name of animal) and all who are involved in its care and protection. May you and the owner enjoy life together and find joy with the God that created you.”

Readers of the scripture were Alta Holton and Sally Miller. After every blessing, the pet was offered a treat.

In addition to individuals with their pets, Dennie Nichols was present representing the Decatur County Humane Society. She brought with her a box of adorable young puppies that received a great deal of attention from others in attendance. Just a note: They are not quite ready for adoption, but soon will be.