The grassy hollow in front of Our Lady of the Isle looked like a cross between the Westminster Kennel Club and Noah’s Ark, on Saturday morning, July 5, as the annual Blessing of the Pets got under way.
Father Peter DeSanctis blessed 26 dogs, 2 cats and a lop-eared rabbit. He spoke of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment, and the man whose name Pope Francis chose for his papal name. Father Peter also noted that a wagging tail says something good about a household—if the pet is happy the human beings must be getting along nicely.
Seventeen volunteers, along with Town Supervisor Jim Dougherty and Town Board member, Chris Lewis joined Father Peter and the rest of the human participants in a celebration of the love and devotion between Islanders and their animal companions. In addition to the parade of participants through the Heights, “Guess the Goldfish” (there were 1033) and “Guess the Dog Bones,” (there were 296) added to the animal-themed fun.
Every creature was a winner, with prizes and certificates for all, including the “Prettiest Eyes” to Daisy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, “Most Colorful” to Lola, a 3 yr old miniature Australian Shepherd with a brown and white coat and blue and grey eyes, and “Grande Dame” to Zorra, a 13 yr old Lab mix. Even Nelson, the rabbit went home with the title, “Harelegger.”
Shelter Island Reporter, July 17, 2014