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Gratitude for creatures great and small

Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

(Genesis 9:16)

Gail and I were very happy when Pastor Tim brought the Blessing of the Animals to Temple. We enjoyed bringing our sighthounds and mingling with the Congregation’s animal family members at the service in Fellowship Hall and having them blessed. It seemed a fair trade for all the blessings they have given us. 2021 was different, and not because the blessing was held at Grace.

Ten days before the service, Claudia, our smallest pack member, an eight-pound, nearly blind, Italian Greyhound, and our most vulnerable, fell out of our bed. We rescued Claudia 14 years ago. She was born crippled and had eight leg operations the first seven months of her life. The fall injured her crippled leg and we thought it might be broken. The emergency vet found the leg was dislocated and reset it, with a fifty-fifty chance of it healing without surgery.

She seemed to rebound quickly, walking with her injured leg hobbled. We were happy and grateful. Then, a few days later, she had a major setback. Possibly from a stroke, she no longer walked and would not eat or perform bodily functions. A trip to our vet yielded no treatment. After several days of this we came to the sad conclusion that it might be time to put her to rest. We have done this three times previously. It is not easy but is important that the pup not suffer, and a decision must be made with the information you have. After much deliberation, the day after the Blessing was set for her departure.

Then things changed. She began eating a little and seemed more alert. Although not yet walking, she was showing sparks of life. We debated whether to bring her to the Blessing and at the last minute decided not to chance it. I took our Greyhound, Beatrice, who had never been blessed. The Blessing happened outside after the Service which was led by Pastor Tim. He inquired about the rest of the pack and I gave him the story. Later, he stopped by and blessed the remaining six hounds, including Claudia, and she improved dramatically and in about a week was back to her crazy self.

We are incredibly thankful and grateful for the Blessing of the Animals.

-written by Dave Nichols

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