When Noah constructed his ark, he was instructed to fill with it with two of every kind of animal, and humans were designated the stewards of them, All God’s Creatures: Great and Small. Throughout the Bible, animals are described as God’s creation meant to serve us. After all, a giant whale saved Jonah.
On Sunday, Oct. 7, after the Nederland Community Presbyterian Church service, Reverend Joanne Dobie led an animal blessing, held in the church garden. The blessing is an annual tradition among churches all over the world. About a dozen dogs and one black cat showed up, with their owners, to receive that blessing. A few children brought their favorite stuffed animals. All the dogs, ranging in age, in breeds and in temperament were at the best behavior.
Nederland resident and former Mayor Silvia Lorio brought in her eight- year-old Golden Retriever Jenny Bean, who has been a faithful companion since she was eight weeks old. Ellen Godoy was accompanied by her good old Gracie, 13 years old and suffering from kidney failure. Reverend Dobie prayed for peace and comfort for Gracie.
A number of participants said they had come to receive blessing for health reasons, to ease suffering in aging pets and continued health in younger pets. Animal owners are always faced with the fact that their beloved pets will probably die before their owners will, and all we can hope for is that they end their wonderful lives without pain.
Amy Elliot brought her Chihuahua Buttercup, 8, also for health reasons. One church member said she was pleased to see many people who weren’t church members bring their pets to the blessing.
Eleven-year-old Mary Melander is the proud guardian of her enormous black cat with piercing green eyes. She was happy Curious was being blessed the week before she, Mary, was being baptized.
Church member Ruth said she was looking forward to having her dogs, Grace and Will, being part of the ceremony. She has only owned the dogs for a week after adopting them at the Humane Society. The dogs had been given up because their owner was dying of cancer.
The service offered comfort to the pet owners whose animals were in need and to the pet owners who needed a little comfort themselves. It is a heart-warming tradition that was conducted with the utmost respect and caring for our best friends, our partners on this earth.