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Blessing of the animals

Blessing of the animals

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What a difference a year makes. This time last October we were enjoying the fall weather, talking about the annual harvest, and hoping the Huskers would be competitive during the football and volleyball seasons. And now this.

But through it all, and through all of our worldly trials and tribulations, pet owners know there is nothing quite like the unconditional love of a companion animal to help make the challenges of life a little better. Whether it’s coming home from a bad day at work or a frustrating disagreement with a friend or family member, a loving animal is better than therapy.

Tomorrow, Oct. 4, you will have an opportunity to honor your beloved pets by participating in a Blessing of the Animals at the north parking lot of St. John Lutheran Church at 701 No. 6th St. The community-wide event that is free and open to the public will begin at 2 p.m. All faiths are welcome, and the blessing is non-denominational.

Administering the blessings will be St. John Pastor Ernesto Medina and Pastor Kathi Forrest of Holy Cross Lutheran Church. The animals in attendance must be well-behaved (humans too) and on leashes or in crates. Horses, goats, pigs, fowl, and other farm animals are also invited.

Individuals who cannot bring an animal are encouraged to bring a photo of their pet, and children can bring a favorite stuffed animal to be blessed.

Worldwide observance

Beatrice is not the only community holding a Blessing of the Animals event this week. Annually now, on or around October 4th, Christians worldwide celebrate a special day to bless God’s creatures with whom we co-habit this planet. It is one more way to honor the special bond humans and their companion animals share.

According to Kevin E. Macklin, a Franciscan friar, “The bond between person and pet is like no other relationship because the communication between fellow creatures is at its most basic. The love we give to a pet and receive from a pet can draw us more deeply into the larger circle of life.”

The October blessing date is significant as the feast day of Frances of Assisi, a Christian patron saint of animals who expressed a love for all creatures. Popular garden sculptures of St. Frances usually portray him with a bird perched in his hand and woodland creatures gathered at his feet.

If you want to participate in a meaningful moment with your faithful friend, plan to attend tomorrow’s Blessing of the Animals. It will be a “feel-good” moment for all involved.

Meet “Cisco”

One of God’s creatures that has been surely blessed is a little guy named “Cisco”. According to Carlee Fiddes, manager of the Beatrice Animal Shelter, Cisco was a transfer from a kill-shelter in Texas. “He was pulled from the facility with less than two hours on his clock.”

The two-year-old Terrier/Pitbull mix needed special surgery for a dislocated femur. The medical bills were going to be more than the Beatrice Humane Society could manage, but an animal agency in Kansas wanted to help.

Heartstrings Animal Advocates did not want Cisco to be euthanized either and agreed to cover the cost of his surgery if our local shelter was willing to provide recuperative care. It was the perfect plan.

Senor Cisco had his surgery and is now finishing up his recuperation here and is doing amazingly well. According to Carlee, he is dog-friendly, human friendly, and kennel-trained. “This sweet boy didn’t deserve to die and by working together, he will get his second lease on life.”

It is the hope that Cisco will find a wonderful foster-to-adopt home where he will get the love and special attention that he so richly deserves. It’s another happy tale for a happy tail.

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