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St. John’s Episcopal Church honors furry friends with ‘Blessing of the Animals’

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Posted: Monday, October 3, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 8:45 am, Mon Oct 3, 2011.

Father Harold Clinehens said during a special service Sunday that he learns life lessons every day from his dog.

"As long as we take care of our animals, they take care of us," Clinehens said at the annual Blessing of the Animals at St. John's Episcopal Church.

Some 66 humans brought their four-footed friends to an outdoor service on Sunday to have Clinehens and the Rev. Anne Smith sprinkle holy water on each creature.

Although most of the animals were dogs, organist Robin Knutson had her bunny rabbit blessed, Anne Reeve brought her cockateel, and a family brought their frogs.

One attendee brought a stuffed cat because it would have been a bit unwieldy to bring all 11 of her felines.

Clinehens discussed the need for everyone to be good stewards of God's creations, whether they be animals, land, water or air.

"We (humans) spend too much on our own interests," Clinehens said.

Blessing of the Animals is traditionally held on the Sunday closest to Oct. 4, the day honoring St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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