Blessing the animals, big and small |

Blessing the animals, big and small

Colleen O’Neil

On Saturday morning, Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE) held its fourth annual Blessing of the Animals.

The Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist church puts on the event as a benefit for CARE. Animal lovers were invited to take part in the festivities in appreciation of their furry friends. Along with the blessing, the church also provided music and food.

The parking lot in front of the animal shelter was crowded with dogs, cats, a goat, a miniature horse and even a hedgehog that enjoyed the warm, sunny morning. Jimmy Bryne, the musical director for the church, provided musical accompaniment for the ceremony’s many speakers.

“At the Unitarian church, one of the things we believe in is the interdependent web of all living things,” said Sue Coyle, the president of the board of trustees for the church. “We honor all life, not just people.”

Specifically honored at the ceremony were service dogs like Frasier, a dog that works at the River Bridge Regional Center to help children who have suffered from abuse. Also in attendance were dogs from Heeling Partners, a therapy dog service in Glenwood Springs.

People spoke about pets they’d adopted from CARE, and co-founder Jim Calaway said a few words about the new facilities available at the shelter.

After a moment of silence to remember pets that had passed away, a blessing was extended to all the animals in the crowd. Some were blessed individually with a smudge of bright red on their foreheads.

“The service was super,” said Parker Maddux, who brought his goldendoodle Oscar Wilde to be blessed.

Following the ceremony, CARE provided tours of the facility and introduced people to adoptable pets.

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