I have always wanted to attend a blessing of the animals or pet blessing as they are often called, so when a village local to the yard announced one, I was keen to take Diva and Flora. One problem was that it would involve a 40-minute walk along lanes and I would not be able to lead both the Shetland pony and the dog.
Luckily Charlotte planned to lead her mini Shetland, Tilly, down and her children volunteered to lead Flora for me. So our little posse set out for the service: a standard Shetland, a miniature Shetland and Flora the dog.
Luckily the weather wasn’t too hot and the threatened rain did not materialise. The ponies were delighted to find the service was being held on the field near the village hall and set to having a good munch on the grass.
The organisers were thrilled to see the ponies, as otherwise the pets present were all dogs of various shapes and sizes. A couple were as tall as Tilly!
Bishop Jonathan Meyrick led the service, which included hymns and some readings. I am not a religious person, but I liked the thought of blessing the animals whom we love so much and who are such a part of our lives.
Through most of the ceremony, Flora was playing with the children in the park behind us, and at one stage Tilly got down and had a roll! But we beckoned for Flora’s return when the individual blessings were starting.
Flora is the friendliest little dog and enjoyed the fuss the bishop made of her when he approached. He also asked if being splashed with water would upset her, which was a nice thing to check. She wasn’t worried by it and soon the bishop turned his attention to Diva. Thankfully, Diva stood like a rock and didn’t try to eat the sprigs of rosemary that were used to flick the water on her. I have to confess to welling up a little as he recited the blessings for my animals.
Afterwards the humans enjoyed tea and cakes, the ponies more grass and Flora convinced the children to share some cheesy Wotsits!
We walked back to the yard together and I think ponies, people and pooch were a little tired by the time we got home.
If you get the chance to attend a pet blessing, I would recommend it as the sentiment for thanking our pets is a lovely one.