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April 26, 2013
Blessing of the pets: annual event at Our Lady of the Isle
Thirty-seven dogs and their owners came together on Saturday morning, July 7, for Our Lady of the Isle’s annual Blessing of the Pets, including a “Sugar dog,” diabetic alert service poodle; a cancer survivor; and a yellow Lab puppy.
The heat didn’t seem to bother the dogs of all sizes and ages, as they played, barked and sniffed each other. There were no cats or other critters in attendance to distract them. Father Peter DeSanctis spoke of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, and the understanding that care for animals includes care for human beings. He mentioned that the shady field in front of Our Lady of the Isle where the Blessing took place shows that “the church is more than a building.” The dogs seemed to agree as they were sprinkled with Holy Water.
The judging concluded with a “biggest lap dog” contest, won by a 65-pound English bull dog named Rupert.
The dogs paraded around the block and then came back to accept their special prizes. Every dog also won a certificate and a toy. Their partners were eligible for prizes, too. Ryan Dailey won the Swedish fish candy when he guessed there were 302; there were 325. Bob Wolpert came the closest with his guess of 200 to win the 203 dog bones in another jar.
Betsy Auricchio and her husband Bill Seeberg coordinated the event with the help of 13 volunteers. Both pets and people enjoyed the Blessing and a sunny summer morning.