The Anglican Dean of Dunedin, the Rev Dr Trevor James, and
his 8-year-old English setter, Mac, lead the Blessing of
the Animals at St Paul's Cathedral yesterday. Photo by
There were paws in the pews at St Paul's Cathedral,
Dunedin, yesterday. God's little creatures, including dogs,
chickens, guinea pigs and rabbits, congregated for the annual
Otago SPCA Blessing of the Animals.
The service was attended by about 50 people and 20
Susan Baird, of Dunedin, brought one of her 19 rabbits, Roxy,
to the service. ''I bring a different one along every year,''
Kaikorai Primary School pupil Sammy Johnson (10) arrived with
his guinea pigs, Cocoa and Silky.
''I like guinea pigs, because they're cute and fluffy and
they like being cuddled,'' he said.
The blessing was a celebration of the life of St Francis of
Assisi, the Anglican Dean of Dunedin, the Rev Dr Trevor
James, said, assisted by his English setter, Mac.
''St Francis showed us that in animals we realise something
holy and precious. We celebrate the interconnectedness of all
creation and how animals remind us of that.''
The service featured hymns, animal blessings by Br
Christopher of the Order of St Francis and a reflection by
Otago SPCA inspector Steph Saunders.
''Man's best friend is god spelled backwards,'' she said.
''Your dog will be faithful and true to you until the last
beat of his heart.''
However, it is disappointing to report that there was some
bad behaviour. Jenny Salmon's poodle Salome took an
irreverent nature call against the side of the cathedral and
an anonymous black poodle had to be removed for constantly
interrupting the service.