Clergy urge Saanich Peninsula parishioners to be careful stewards

The annual Blessing of the Animals religious service at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in Central Saanich has gone to the dogs.

Father Rolf Hasenack

The annual Blessing of the Animals religious service at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in Central Saanich has gone to the dogs.

At one time, said parishioner Al Gerenser, there were llamas, pigs, sheep, goats and even rats. Most of the pets at the Sunday, August 9 service were dogs.

There were a few cats, a rabbit and some Guinea pigs, as well as Nichole Wade and her 16-hands-high Olderburg/Arabian horse. Still, dogs ruled the roost. Which was just fine, according to the clergy from three different churches presiding over the service.

Rev. Rob Szo of St. Stephen’s led the Service, calling on the people gathered to act as responsible stewards with those animals that share their lives.

“May you be blessed with them … and in your role as a careful steward,” he said.

Gerenser, who also volunteers with the Pacific Animal Therapy  Society, said the event honours people’s animal friends and allows people to share their spiritual lives with the furrier members of their extended family.