A friend whom I met, and only see, at the gym, a sister breast cancer survivor, told me about Blessing of the Animals at a nearby church.
Roar loves any chance to meet other dogs. I suspect this is one reason he demands so many walks. He sniffs every dog he meets. I had no idea how many dogs get their owners out walking before 6 AM until we got Roar, or probably more accurately phrase, Roar got us. Roar is training us – not the other way around.
My gym friend said the blessing would be at 7. I asked AM or PM? We often meet at the gym before 6:30 AM, so it could have been either. She laughed – only us crazies are up at that hour. The blessing would be at 7 PM.
I don’t know of any exclusivity in the invitations – but the only participants were dogs. No cats, no birds, no fish, no hamsters, no ferrets, no skunks. Roar was thrilled to meet about 30 other dogs, one of whom looked much like himself. He and his reflection spent a long time sniffing each other.
Finally the priest came out. Many of the humans must have been there before. They knew all the prayers and songs. The priest passed out a pamphlet with most of the prayers on it and we tried to follow along. The prayers had parts for the audience and parts for the priest. These were Catholic prayers, but none of the audience parts were sectarian.
After the last song, the priest came down the stairs and blessed the animals that couldn’t climb up to him. He called some of these infirm animals by name as he petted them. Then he climbed back up the steps and motioned the rest of us to climb up.
Roar, who refuses to climb the stairs in our house, rushed up the steps. Then the priest tossed water onto the gathered animals. Roar was confused. He tried to get away from the rain. Finally it stopped and he pranced off. None of the other dogs was in a mood to sniff any more.
My gym friend and her three dogs weren’t there. The next morning she explained that she’d been waylaid. Her dogs missed a good time.