Edisto is Going to the Dogs

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Edisto is going to the dogs.

On Oct. 4 the Episcopal Church of Edisto will host the annual Blessing of the Animals at 10 a.m. on Saturday. People of all faiths are welcome to come out with their dogs (or other pets) to receive a blessing. Dog treats will be provided and a collection jar will be on hand for Animal Lovers of Edisto K-9 Rescue, Edisto’s only animal rescue organization.

The blessing will take place at 10 a.m. at the Edisto Island Museum located at 8123 Chisolm Plantation Road.

The reason churches throughout the world bless pets on or around October 4 is in honor of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. While this has its roots in Catholicism, many Protestant Christian churches also participate in the feast day.

If you’ve never been to a pet blessing before, they generally take place outdoors and a priest, pastor, or other congregational leader offers a blessing to all pets in attendance. A prayer is generally offered and those in attendance are welcome to make a donation to an animal rescue (when applicable).

What’s interesting about the blessing of the pets is that many times all of the animals in attendance act completely calm and serene.

As the human of a rambunctious American Bulldog who is normally incredibly hyper and bark-y, any time she has gone to a blessing she acts nothing short of saintly. Granted this calm demeanor ends as soon as she gets back in the car to go home, but it’s interesting to see.

Remember that the blessing of the pets is available to people of all faiths and many of the churches on Edisto and all throughout the world take part in the feast day of St. Francis Assisi.

If you would like to attend a blessing at one of the churches on Edisto Island, call the parish office of the church of your choosing to see if and when they are having a blessing.

A good rule of thumb when attending a blessing is to bring your dog (or other pet) on a leash or in some kind of carrier. Bring along some doggy bags in case the excitement causes your beloved pooch to make a deposit on the church grounds.

Visitors in town are welcome to attend blessings at any church, so if you’re on the island with your pets, don’t hesitate to head out for a blessing.

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