Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blessing of the Pets

Saturday, May 21st
Our SEGD monthly outing was attending the Blessing of the Pets in Houston, Tx.
 Bethany United Methodist Church hosts this wonderful event every year.
 Church members bring their pets for an individual blessing each year.  The church and it's ministry team open their hearts to warmly welcome ALL pet owners and organizations to bring their pets for a blessing as well.   
We had never been to a blessing of the pets before. It was very special time for us,  and we thank the church and it's leadership team for the opportunity to participate in this blessed event! This is not just an event for dogs - it is for pets of all kinds. There were dogs, cats, birds, and even a bunny rabbit presented for a blessing this year.
Several groups attended this event. Here is a picture of our team assembling before the event starts
Wendy and Parkie..signing in. Puppy raisers are required to attend one monthly evaulation meeting every month, and also a public outing/event each month. Attendance records are kept for each.
It's easy to recognize the puppy raiser team - we all wear lime green monogramed T-shirts..and are accompanying a beautiful puppy wearing a blue service jacket! 
In addition to our group, SouthEastern Guide Dogs, there were dog rescue groups, a doggie day care, a veterniary clinic, and a few other groups present or in attendance.
 Here we are, getting comfortable and waiting for the event to start.
We got a chuckle out of this. There was some confusion about our group's name, and somehow it had been incorrectly written as SouthWestern Guide after a quick edit to correct it - give or take a missing letter - all was good to go. LOL
This is a closeup of the harness that each puppy raiser will introduce their guide dog puppies to in our final months with them. The pups will be professionally trained to wear these harnesses when they receive  final training classes at Southeastern guide dog school in Florida.
The pastor gives everyone a warm welcome, and makes a few announcements...
 ...and begins the ceremony...
...with an opening prayer.
They have various speakers at this event each year. Shown here is Dr. Alice Frei from Southside Place Animal Hospital. She gave us great tips for protecting our pets in the upcoming hot summer weather.  She handed out a few freebies at her booth - flea removing combs and tick grabbers - among other items...  
Carol Rone, our area coordinator, and her pup, Hannah, take the microphone to speak a few words on behalf of SEGDI and our puppy raiser group.
Then Carol introduces our puppy raiser team and our individual guide dog pups.
Watching the other speakers..with our well behaved pups.
Pictured here are Cynthia with pup Star, and Carol with pup Hannah
And here is Cindy with pup Houston, and Michael with pup Sunshine.
After a few more presentations, the parade of pets begin - each getting an individual blessing.
Blessing Sunshine.
Blessing Houston.
Blessing Addy.
 Blessing Parkie.
 Blessing Star.
 Blessing Smokey.
Blessing Hannah.
After being blessed, each pet was presented with a card and a St.Francis of Assisi pet medallion.
Saint Francis of Assisi had endearing devotion and tenderness toward all animals. Throughout his life and travels, St. Francis spoke of his great love and care for his companions.
Our prayer is for Smokey to learn and grow, and become a faithful guide dog servant for his future visibly impaired partner.
 After the event, we got to hang out and visit for a while.
Here is Parkie (left) and Smokey (right) - happy to see each other again.
These two were litter mates....
...and they look so much alike!

Here are a few more snapshots from the day:
Carol and Hannah

Cindy, Houston, and Carol

Cindy and Houston

Cynthia and Star

Greg and Smokey

Greg and Smokey

Greg and Smokey


Michael and Sunshine
Michael, Meredith and Sunshine

Parkie, Houston, and Smokey



Cindy & Houston, Greg & Smokey, Wendy & Parkie

Cindy & Houston, Greg & Smokey, Wendy & Parkie, Carol

Wendy and Parkie

 Finally, Smokey got to trade in his baby boy jacket for his big boy jacket.
As you can see, he's going to have to grow into it!
Hey guys, let's call it a wrap--it's HOT out here!

Check back soon for more reports!
Later, Smokey

1 comment:

sallyt said...

Found your puppy site. How fun is this? We have a blessing of the pets at our church, too. It's cool - we get horses and all kinds of animals here in Huntsville. BTW, Bethany Methodist Church is right down the street from my Mom. she lives on Linkwood - right across Buffalo Speedway! Small world. Nice to catch up with ya.


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