Last Sunday a local church in town held a “blessing of the animals” service, and I was thinking of all the ways that animals bless us. They really touch every aspect of our existence, and my favorite example is the many ways that pets enrich our lives.
Here in Ellensburg several local businesses have resident pets-parrots and parakeets, cats, a guinea pig, and of course DOGS! I enjoy visiting a store where a friendly canine greets me and then rolls over for a belly rub. One of my favorite antique stores has Gabe-a giant yellow lab. Gabe is in charge of welcoming customers when they come in, and he even dresses for his job by wearing a necktie to work. His owner told me that before Christmas one year she put a different Christmas tie on Gabe every day. The day after Christmas, she didn’t put a tie on him--so he got one on his own and brought it to her—he liked his professional look, and has worn a tie every day since!
The local barber shop also has a dog-a very cute and very tiny Yorkshire Terrier named Bandit-who likes to sit on customers' laps. On one occasion, when my friend Paula took her son in for a haircut, Bandit showed why he is so aptly named. Paula put her purse on a chair while she got her son settled, and she happened to see Bandit nosing around in it-- and then streak across the floor with her hairbrush in his mouth! I’m not sure if she got it back-or if she even wanted it back after that!
Our own household is home to a parakeet, a guinea pig, and as of last Sunday-the day of the blessing of the animals-two dogs now instead of one. In addition to Willow- our beloved dog of 13 years-we now have Kona. She is a sweet little 8 week old Border Collie and Australian Sheppard mix who is sure to liven things up. It is fun to rediscover the joys of being around a puppy-housebreaking, sharp puppy teeth and all!
As a final thought, I pray for many blessings on the men and women who are helping with animal rescue efforts in the wake of the BP oil spill disaster. I know these precious creatures would surely say “Thank You!” if they could.