Yesterday, on a beautiful fall afternoon perfect for the Feast Day of St. Francis, our Sussex Spaniel Lilly took a trip down to the Washington National Cathedral for the blessing of the animals. Dean Sam Lloyd gave Lilly her annual blessing in front of the beautiful Gothic cathedral. Since I was traveling, Claire reports that Lilly took it all in stride. Of course, as an older dog Lilly sleeps a lot these days and takes just about everything in stride.
The custom of blessing pets is conducted in remembrance of St. Francis’ love of animals. It is great fun to join together with other owners of all manner of pets. (I’ve even seen goldfish blessed in past years…not sure they felt the drops of holy water.)
Shortly after posting this picture, Andrew told me there was a great Gene Weingarten article in today’s Washington Post Magazine called Something About Harry: Old dogs…are the best dogs. I read it and knew immediately I had to update this post to link to the article. Because Weingarten (a writer Andrew enjoys) gets it right.
“But it is not until a dog gets old that his most important virtues ripen and coalesce. Old dogs can be cloudy-eyed and grouchy, gray of muzzle, graceless of gait, odd of habit, hard of hearing, pimply, wheezy, lazy and lumpy. But to anyone who has ever known an old dog, these flaws are of little consequence. Old dogs are vulnerable. They show exorbitant gratitude and limitless trust. They are without artifice. They are funny in new and unexpected ways. But, above all, they seem at peace.”
If you love dogs, do yourself a favor and read the article.
More to come…
Tell Andrew I totally agree with the article. Our Cocker Spaniel, Dixie, was always so loyal, loving and trusting even in her old age. We miss her now that she’s no longer with us. The picture of Lilly is priceless. What a great memory for you and your family.
I knew Debbie would like that quote! Lucky has yet to arrive at any ripe old age, but if you remember my Sabrina and Tinker…they were both loyal and loving older dogs. Sabrina mourned my departure to Cote d’Ivoire to the point of death. Loyalty is hardly the word. I don’t know what Lucky will do while I’m in the States for two whole weeks!!
Carol: I had left home by the time Sabrina came along, but I remember Tinker fondly. One of the few poodles where you could say, “Now that was a dog!.”
Thanks for sharing Lilly’s blessing and the wonderful article. Maggie the Corgi is the 3rd dog I have had in my lifetime. I have been blessed by Frisky the Mutt, who lived to age 16, and Missy the Scottie, who lived to be 15. Maggie is now 7 1/2. Where would be be without our pups–they love you so much and give so much love.
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