“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.”
― John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog
SAM, 14 YEARS, ORANGEVILLE, ON
“If you make a fool of yourself in front of a cat, he will sneer at you, if you are sober; he will leave the room if you are drunk. If you make a fool of yourself in front a dog, he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Chuck Jones
ROXIE - 7 YEARS - CAMBRIDGE, ONT
“People leave imprints on our lives, shaping who we become in much the same way that a symbol is pressed into the page of a book to tell you who it comes from. Dogs, however, leave paw prints on our lives and our souls, which are as unique as fingerprints in every way.”
― Ashly Lorenzana
RILEY, AT 5 MONTHS, ORANGEVILLE, ON
This beautiful creature is named Cooper. His owner helps to collect for St. Vincent de Paul and she graciously allowed me to photograph Cooper Friday morning at St. Timothy's Roman Catholic Church, Orangeville. This "puppy" is so well trained. Cooper did not take his eyes off his owner and this photograph was taken with his owner standing behind me.
Usually the Blessing of Pets is held outdoors. But I remember it rained one year, and all were invited inside St. Stephen’s Church in Manhattan. It was quite a sight to see pairs of creatures—one human, one animal—sitting in the pews. The pastor joined right in with his beagle. Noah’s Ark was never like this!
Some people criticize the amount and cost of care given to pets. People are more important, they say. Care for poor people instead of poodles. And certainly our needy fellow humans should not be neglected.
However, I believe every creature is important. The love we give to a pet, and receive from a pet, can draw us more deeply into the larger circle of life, into the wonder of our common relationship to our Creator.
Kevin E. Mackin, O.F.M., is a Franciscan of the Holy Name Province.
“I like dogs
I like dogs
A dog that is barking over the hill
A dog that is dreaming very still
A dog that is running wherever he will
I like dogs.”
― Margaret Wise Brown, The Friendly Book