Poignant touch to pets' day at cathedral
A precious bond between 'people and their pets'LEIGHTON KEITH
The St Francis annual blessing of the animals at the Taranaki Cathedral yesterday held special significance for Dean Jamie Allen.
Dean Allen said the service was particularly poignant for him as he remembered his 12-year-old daughter Carrie, who died last month.
"It was always her favourite service of the year - she loved it," he said.
"Now, her best friend Miti - her dog - who attended her funeral, was present for her, bearing her memory in the bandanna he wore. This certainly spoke to me of the precious bond there can be between people and their pets - which continues beyond loss, into hope."
Dean Allen said he knew others brought with them the memory, of a pet that had passed away.
He said there was an exceptional turnout for the service.
"It was virtually standing room only - and many people mentioned how they would like to have loved to have brought their pet too, but were unable to for one reason or another," he said.
"It is such a joy to see so many people and animals gathered together in the cathedral - the pets ranging from llamas to cats, dogs to birds and rabbits, even a turtle, a goat and some beautiful doves."
He said the dogs, in particular, thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to socialise and especially to sing along.
"The first hymn was extended by nearly a full verse, as the canines of all sizes found their voices and were simply loving the pleasure of joining in."
Dean Allen said he paid tribute to the work of the SPCA in Taranaki.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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