Stadalsky: Service goes to the dogs

By KRIS STADALSKY Published: Sunday, July 16, 2017 10:50 p.m. CDT

You could say a recent service by Minooka United Methodist Church went to the dogs. But that would be a good thing when its purpose was a special blessing of pets.

The pet blessing was held at the Ridge Road property of Minooka United Methodist Church last Saturday. Although it was open to any kind of pet, people brought mostly dogs of all sizes. One bunny joined the group.

It was the second annual pet blessing for MUMC. During that first one a family brought a duck to be blessed, Pastor Sarah Hong said.

“We will see next year what we will have,” she said.

Although it may seem odd to some to have our pets blessed, it’s important to those who are truly animal lovers.

“We are all created in the image of God,” Hong said.”We love our pets and companions.”

Kris Koppers and his son, Jakob, brought their dog, Molly, to be blessed. Molly is 17 and she is blind from glaucoma.

But her veterinarian said she is doing fine. Jakob, 7 years old, held Molly in his arms during the entire service. Molly seemed to be content just hanging out with her buddy. Jakob has only known his life with Molly.

“We thought it would be special to do this,” Kris said.

Mikayla Rathburn brought the only bunny, whose name is Bunners, to the service. Bunners is an 8-month-old Rex rabbit.

“I thought it would be interesting,” Rathburn said. “I feel [Bunners] liked it. She’s getting along with all of [the dogs].”

Our pets, our companions, are special in the eyes of God, Hong told the pet families.

“It’s a great reminder of God’s goodness. It is in everything, not just in fortunes but in little things like having pets,” she said.

There was singing led by the Spirit Committee and bags of treats for everyone, including the animals, put together by the Worship Committee. The Evangelist committee was responsible for setting up the  service.

Hong reminded everyone not to mix up the bag of dog goodies with the people goodies.

The morning was perfect for a pet blessing, with blue skies and warm but comfortable temperatures – a day any pet would love to be outside. It was as if the weather was special ordered just for the animals.

In all, about 14 dogs and Bunners came out with their human companions and received the special blessing of health for the year. Hong brought along her 11-year-old King Spaniel, Tang.

As their owners, we are given a great opportunity, Hong said.

“Remember ourselves that this is an opportunity God gave us, an opportunity to watch over our companions as stewards,” she said.

• Kris Stadalsky writes about people and topics in areas southwest of Joliet. Reach her at writestuff56@comcast.net.