Oct. 4 marks the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, an Italian saint who had a special place in his heart for animals.
The 12th century holy man wrote of his love for the birds and even tells a story of giving up his hovel so that a donkey could escape the cold.
In honor of the saint, the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe is hosting the area’s first pet blessing.
Pets of all shapes and sizes are invited to congregate in the Corpus Christi Catholic Church parking lot at 905 W. Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, Calif. 96145. The event will start at 4 p.m.
For the blessing, a prayer will be offered, after which the pet is gently sprinkled with holy water. According to Dale Lawrence, membership coordinator for the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe, most pets receive this sacramental spritz with dignity.
There is no need to make a reservation. However, the society asks that dogs be on a leash, cats be in a crate and birds be in a cage.
Treats for dogs and cats will be provided by Scraps Bakery of Tahoe City and Tails by the Lake.
The Blessing of Pets:
“Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.”