Pet blessing of many dogs and one cat

Photo courtesy of Linda Aaron. These area pet owners had their  pets blessed recently in East New Market.

Photo courtesy of Linda Aaron.
These area pet owners had their pets blessed recently in East New Market.

EAST NEW MARKET — Where would you find Vizlas, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, a Pomeranian, a little Boston Terrier, a sassy toy Poodle, a mini Schnauzer, and a Dachshund/Terrier mix, plus one 11 year old cat all in one place? Nope. Not a dog show, not a shelter, not a circus. It was the annual Blessing of the Pets at Friendship Park in East New Market on Oct. 13.

The Rev. David Rice, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church, loves animals. He sees people, as he quoted from the Bible, “Stewards of all living things.” As such, Rev. Rice says, “The animals are God’s creations and they all need blessings as well as we do. I think it’s important that we bless them and we let them know because they understand as well.”

This is always a fun event coupled with a touch of anxiety that our pet might not receive the “best behaved” label. Will my dog snap at my friend’s dog? Will that yippy gal snap at my ‘fraidy cat? But that really never happens. Many of the dogs at this event belong to Pets on Wheels, and, as the group’s Dorchester branch director, Linda Aaron says, “Getting along with other animals is a test for the dogs before they are accepted.” Sam the poodle, sporting a stylish vest, is the social butterfly in Rev. Rice’s church and often graces his church for services.

This year only dogs attended except for one cat. Actually there was a second cat that came on its own to observe from a distance. He/she sat in the playground through the whole ceremony and seemed almost ready to visit and find a dog to play with. But Max and Sable, both German Shepherds, were eager for a chase so the cat wisely declined – teasing a move towards them but well within its safe space.

Susan Bautz is a freelance writer for the Dorchester Banner.

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