In celebration of the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi tomorrow, our church had a Blessing of the Pets today, complete with low-cost vaccinations provided by Southern Hills Animal Hospital. While we have never been to a Blessing of the Pets, due to our certain embarrassment by our furry children, we have always wanted to go. Now that Mabel was due her Parvo booster, and this was a perk of participating, we were sure to attend. We debated on bringing the bunnies, then what about Mason, and Dom finally put his foot down and declared, “If you want to take all the animals, take them, but I’m only taking Mabel.”

Oh. Ok.

We did fear that the bunnies would somehow escape, and not knowing what to expect from the ceremony, and sure that Mabel would cause us some embarrassment anyway, we all agreed to only take Mabel to be blessed. I joked that a blessing might not be enough…for her, we should request a full-blown exorcism.

We put on her training collar and headed to the church. Now, are you ready for this? Are you sitting down?

Mabel was an absolute ANGEL. Halo and all.

I know, I know…we were amazed too. In fact, while Mabel sat her “pretty sit” right at Dom’s feet and gingerly observed all the other animals, Dom and I repeatedly picked our jaws up off of the ground. Our sweet Franciscan priests read passages from the Bible that related to animals, and then offered a general blessing to all pets in attendance. They further offered that anyone wanting a special personal blessing for their pet was welcome to come forward.

Hey, let’s get everything we can while we’re here, right? Dom and I walked up with Mabel where Father Francis gave her a special blessing and sprinkled her with the holy water.

As my mom said, “And it didn’t sizzle?” No, it really didn’t, much to my surprise.

And Mabel didn’t freak, either. She took everything in stride – from the plethora of tiny dogs yipping and running around to the shot in her hip, she was so sweet and gentle and GOOD. Really, really GOOD. We were even asked if she hunts… THAT’S how well behaved she was being!

So, for all the times I wrote about the wrongs of Mabel’s youth – for all the food she has stolen, clothes she has eaten, and yes, even for the call to Animal Poison Control – today she shined like the stars.

Way to go, Mabelline! Kisses to you!! (and an extra Milk-Bone!)