ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI – BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS

October 4th was the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. I’ve heard a great deal about this over the years but more often than not, it was “after the fact” preventing me from taking the Boys. The feast day of St. Francis of Assisi is a day where people participate in the blessing of the animals…

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI - BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS

Many churches in the United States celebrate the Feast of St Francis of Assisi on October 4 each year. The feast commemorates the life of St Francis, who was born in the 12th century and is the Catholic Church’s patron saint of animals and the environment. It is a popular day for pets to be “blessed.” Source:Timeanddate.com

MUSC decided to have their own “Blessing of the Therapy Dogs” and of course Harley and I went with Jaxson and Doodle Dad in tow…

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI - BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS

There were dozen’s of dogs as well as handlers and plenty of spectators to fill the area…

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI - BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS

The volunteer directors thought it would be a wonderful experience to have the hospital Chaplains bless these loving, patient and gentle hairy heroes who prance through the halls of the Medical University of South Carolina regularly…

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI - BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS

It was nice to hear testimonies from the hospital staff, the volunteer coordinators, and directors. They shared wonderful memories of how they witnessed pet therapy change a patients outlook while recovering.

It was especially moving to hear from a young woman who, during her adolescent years, had dozens of visits at MUSC. She was a patient when the pet therapy program originally started, and remembers vividly the first time a dog entered her room and jumped on her bed! She said it was the first time she’d smiled in what seemed like “forever!

Pet Therapy Director Al Hoffman (along with his dog Lucky) does a pawsome job recruiting and growing the program…

SONY DSC

Now we are 46 strong. #simplyamazing

It was well attended, not too long, and there were lot’s of mingling afterwards…

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI - BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS

Jaxson was there to support his brother Harley…

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI - BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS

Besides trying to eat the reception treats and disturb the newspaper photographer, Jaxson would bark that he behaved beautifully #byhisstandards…

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI - BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS

Jaxson’s training will begin in the Spring of 2017, and something tells me he will be a hit on all the floors and in all the wards.

It was a pawsome day for everyone…

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI - BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS

Tell me, have you ever heard of the blessings of the animals?

Signature

This is our “wordy” contribution in the BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

40 Comments
  • Sand Spring Chesapeakes
    October 5, 2016

    What a great day. I’ve never had my gang blessed like that.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      It was really a nice ceremony JoAnn – if you can find one locally next year, try and take your crew.

  • Monika & Sam
    October 5, 2016

    What a terrific idea for the whole pet therapy group plus it affords a get together for all of the pups! I’m gonna suggest this for our therapy group.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      You should Monika – it was well received by the handlers and very well supported by the staff. It was a great time for everyone to meet and talk a bit vs just passing by each other in the hospital halls.

  • Emma
    October 5, 2016

    We have that at a big church in downtown Minneapolis. Every year all kinds of pets show up. We have never gone but see it on TV.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      WOW! That sounds similar to the one they have in DC. Ask your mom to take you next year Emma.

  • M. K. Clinton
    October 5, 2016

    I am like you and hear about it after the fact! We did take our Golden Retriever to be blessed once and it was a lovely ceremony. Harley and Jax look so cute. ♥

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      Thank MK – I think for their first attempt with something like this, they did an A-mazing job.

  • Rachele Baker, DVM
    October 5, 2016

    What a great event! It looks like everyone had a good time.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      It was really nice Rachele – and you’re right, everyone had a blast. The weather was perfect and the dogs were all on their best behavior. It was nice to see so much support from hospital staff too My camera didn’t do the crowd justice – they came out in large numbers.

  • Two French Bulldogs
    October 5, 2016

    Mom wants to get us blessed and misses it every year
    Lily & Edward

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      Tell her to put it on her Google calendar for next year. She’ll get a reminder 🙂

  • Robin
    October 5, 2016

    I have heard of the blessing of the animals, but I haven’t been to one. There is a local church that takes part in this. The church I go to isn’t Catholic, so this isn’t really something that they do. I think it is a great idea, though! Animals are a part of my family and I believe that God regards the animals very highly. It looks like Harley and Jaxson had a great time! 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      In Washington DC – they had a Catholic Priest conduct the blessing but they were adamant through media coverage that all dogs of all family denominations were welcome. I did speak to my Baptist minister about doing it, and he was in agreement, but we never got around to planning anything. It’s really a nice affair.

  • Jean Dion
    October 5, 2016

    What a smart idea! I have heard of this blessing thing before, but I’ve never seen it combined with a hospital therapy pet program. Seems like an excellent blending of concepts, to me.

    Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      This was the first year for the hospital. It was their way of showing us they care. It worked #bigtime. A great thing to do.

  • Golden Daily Scoop
    October 5, 2016

    We have several churches and schools that do this in our area, so nice! Great pics!!

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      I remember wanting to go when we lived in DC – but I nevermore it. Have you ever been?

  • Taryn
    October 5, 2016

    Absolutely! My in-laws go to the blessing at their church every year. Their relatives visited the Vatican and brought us back St. Francis medals for our dogs’ collars.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      Wow! Medals from the Vatican! that’s impressive.

  • Jackie Bouchard
    October 5, 2016

    I have heard of that! In fact, I heard a local church advertising their event on the radio a few days before, but Rita can be sketchy with certain other dogs, so I ws afraid she’d bark and make a scene!

    Looks like a really great event! So awesome that you volunteer. That will be great when Jax can do it too.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      There were a few barkers but no one really paid too much attention. Therapy dogs aren’t supposed to interact when they are working – so everyone keeps their dogs away from other dogs. You should at least give it a shot – at least once.

  • Christine Caplan
    October 5, 2016

    Oh what a wonderful event! Yes, we also have a blessing of the animals ceremony – we didn’t attend but have lots of friends that attended this past Sunday as a few churches participated – your event and ceremony look wonderful!

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      Next year you’ve got to go Christine, you would love it!

  • Elaine
    October 5, 2016

    No, I haven’t heard about this before. What a wonderful event for everyone involved. Thanks for teaching me something new today, Cathy!

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      You’re welcome Elaine, look for it in your community for next year. You’d enjoy it. It’s really a very nice thing to see.

  • The Daily Pip
    October 5, 2016

    We have participated in a couple of blessing of the animals over the years. I think it is such a lovely idea. We took our cat Tommy to one many years ago and let’s just say he didn’t behave so well (hissed at the priest – oops). From then on, we decided it was best to just bring dogs to future blessings.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      OMDoodle – what did the priest do?

  • Tenacious Little Terrier
    October 6, 2016

    I was just thinking about taking Mr. N to one later this month!

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      Oh you should, it’s really a wonderful experience.

  • Cathy Armato
    October 6, 2016

    What a wonderful opportunity & a beautiful event. I’ve never had the pleasure of attending a Blessing of the Animals but I’d love to. It’s so nice that they acknowledged their Therapy Dogs. These dogs do so much for people who are in hospitals!
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      Cathy, I thought it was a very nice idea too! And I loved how the staff was so supportive. Doctors, nurses, and administrators came out to be there for the event. Really very nice.

  • Kimberly Gauthier
    October 6, 2016

    I love that you live in such a dogcentric town. I can’t wait to visit.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      It is wonderful, can’t wait to show you how super pet friendly it really is…

  • Lindsay
    October 6, 2016

    The picture of the little girl and the tiny bit of tongue sticking out trying to kiss her is adorable.

    We’ve had an event here called Blessfest but I don’t think it happened this year or I’d have heard about it. The timing has never worked out but I’ve always wanted to get the boys blessed.

    So with you working now, do you have to take the boys for his visits in the evening or weekend?

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      I loved taking photos of Harley and little kids, I have almost a dozen of these two that I promised to send the parents. One of my stipulations when I took the job was that Harley continues to do his job. My boss understood and supports that. I am trying to get my time slot moved up to earlier in the morning. Trying to do it in the middle of the day is a bit challenging.

  • Dz Dogs
    October 6, 2016

    Thats really cool!! We’ve never been to a blessing. 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      It was my first and I really thought it was super sweet. The Chaplains actually came around and blessed each dog one at a time.

  • Jan K
    October 7, 2016

    What a wonderful event and a great way to bring deserved attention to the therapy dogs and all the good they and their families do. I have a feeling Jaxson will be just as good at that job as Harley is (especially since he has the same handler). 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      You have more confidence than the handler JanK LOL If I can get him to understand he’s not there to wrestle with the patients in the bed – he may be able to get his certification LOL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *