Keeping dry for the blessing
A rainy afternoon proved to be no obstacle for our church’s renewal of its annual Dog Blessing, honoring the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
On Sunday, Oct. 2, the blessing was moved inside from its usual setting in the wooded outdoor chapel, but the dogs didn’t seem to mind and their owners were obviously grateful. The weather perhaps kept some usual participants from attending, but a dozen dogs still took part in Rev. Ruth Morrison’s blessing and handing out of dog treats and certificates. Ruth was assisted by Jasper Fontana, who handed out the treats and was quick to offer a tennis ball to any dog who was in need of a little activity.
The blessing on the first weekend in October honors St. Francis, who is the patron saint of animals and the environment.
This year’s blessing included the theme of dogs as healers and stories were shared about individual dogs who have made significant contributions in the lives of members of our congregation and their friends.
One such story was that of Piper, who accompanies Mark and Margaret Braun to Mark’s medical practice each day and proves to be a blessing and comfort to Mark’s patients.
Another story was told by Shirley Maxwell about her dog Henry, who never left the side of her step-father when he was sick and even was on his bed when Shirley’s step-father passed away.
The stories were a reminder and affirmation of the quote from 19th century humorist Henry Wheeler Shaw: “A dog is the only thing on this earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Click here for more images of the 2011 Dog Blessing at the Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church: