Thursday, October 04, 2007


by Luna Brooks Russell

So here's St. Francis ... if you want to learn more about him, click here ... but all I really need to know about him is that he was an animal lover and that's good enough for me. October 4th is his Feast Day but we celebrated early at All Saints Church ... last Sunday. And I got to go to church on a SUNDAY!

Not like when my mom takes me to church during the week because she has to and I have to lie still and be quiet and not bug anybody. Nope. THIS Sunday they have a special service outside just for US ... with a special outdoor altar and everything!

My mom Susan had to work in the big church like usual but she came over to pet me when we got there ... I'm a little embarrassed here because I guess I got my muddy paws on the white thing she wears to work in. Oh well ... I was sorry ... really. But I was just glad to see her!

I was glad to see the other dogs, too ... it was great not being the only dog on campus.

And there were cute kids, too ... this one wasn't even as big as some of the dogs that came! (Mom said he was a cutie patootie!)

Oh ... and there were some cats. Gotta give equal time, I know, but frankly I get enough of "leave the kitty ALONE!" at home to want to mess with them when I'm in the outside world. It's a pick your ditch kind of thing for me!
And THEN here came one of my best friends from the dog park ... Honey ... with her boy, Seth.
Even better, Seth's mom held Honey's leash and I got ...

... UNDIVIDED ATTENTION! (I don't know what St. Francis thought of Nirvana but this is my idea of it!)

But pretty soon it was time for the service to start so I settled down with my mom ...

And everybody stood up ...

... and SANG!!! (I liked that part ... especially "the birds and beasts", though I'd have added "dogs and cats" just make sure.. although that would have left out the hampsters and the hermit crabs..... so I guess they knew what they were doing !)
But I have to be honest, my attention kind of wandered ...
... and my attention was drawn to the fact that I wasn't the ONLY one not paying attention.

MOST of the people were paying attention, however, and Wilma did a great job ... look at 'em all ... kids, dogs, cats and grownups all doing church outside. Cool, huh? (I bet we're having more fun than all those dressed up people inside the big church!)

THEN we got to the part when they "sprinkled" us ... here's Wilma hurling around the holy water ... (the dogs liked this part better than the cats, I can tell you that!)

... and speaking of cats, here's Christina trying to bless a cat who was making hissing noises I've never even HEARD before (and I've been hissed by a cat or two in my time!) I hope she got hazardous duty pay for this one!

And then it was bread and wine part ... that's like the blessing for the people. "The holy food of new and unending life" they call it. "Strength for the journey."
Unfortunately for Honey, she didn't quite "get" the difference between holy bread and regular bread ... so she got tied up in the back for awhile. She was a good sport about it though ... and next year she'll know better!

Before long it was time to say goodbye to everybody and head home. (My mom was too busy GETTING me blessed to get a PICTURE of me getting blessed in case you're wondering. But I was and I'm sure I'm a better dog for it!) Here I am, saying "See ya at the dog park!" to Seth and Honey.

And then it was home-again, home-again, jiggity jig ... here I am passing the peace with Harve who decided to sit this year out ...

And then I hit the fountain for a nice drink of cool water before heading back to my usual napping spot for my Sunday afternoon nap.
So here's my favorite part of the whole day. My mom ... who was so worried that I sit still and behave and be a good dog and make a good impression ... she was so distracted getting leashes and cameras and pictures and stuff that she managed to wear two different shoes to church ...

DUH! But she was a good sport about. And next year she'll know better.

So Happy St. Francis Day, everybody! Hope if you're an animal you get a blessing and if you're a people you ARE a blessing and that everybody keeps in mind the great prayer attributed to St. Francis ... who didn't just hang out with animals ... he worked for peace.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


Merrilee said...

Dear Luna,
My brother and I don't get to go to church for St. Francis' day! But we're ok with that since we're cats. Besides, my brother poops in his carrier every time he goes anywhere and he isn't even the nervous type, I am! I just yowl. Our church, St Andrew's in Irvine has the service IN the church. Mom told us about it last year. There was even 2 dogs that had to be blessed separately because they were trying to attack all the other dogs. Glad I wasn't there! Mom took our pictures so we still got blessed. Granny's picture went too and then she died in February. We miss her but not too much. She just stayed under the covers all day- she really was a "nervous Nellie". Our mom is new to the Episcopal church but she sure does like it because they like everybody- even cats! Maybe everybody doesn't like everybody but all the people in our church like everybody.
I'm really rattling on- I'm the one who always does, all day every day (that's the tiny bit of Siamese in me). My brother is very quiet- I hardly let him make a peep.
Well we enjoyed having mom read your blog to us and we'll come back and read again.
Sigmund and Smudges.

Rowan The Dog said...

Well, that is quite a day you had. I got blessed by my guardian but she didn't dress up like Jesus or anything like the humans that blessed you. I didn't care though because I got a treat after and I got to go to the lake and, later, I got to wear my new shirt which I look very sporty in. I am glad you had fun on St. Francis day.