Barbara Ann Wanderlingh of Brookfield, CT

Picture of winner's bracelet.

The Blessing of the Animals is an annual tradition celebrated by many churches in remembrance of Saint Francis of Assisi (#2249), one of the world’s greatest lovers of animals. I’ve always compared myself to St. Francis because of the same affection I share with the dogs I care for at my friend’s doggie day care center, and all animals (wild or domesticated) in general. On October 4th 2010, I accompanied my friend and her pet rabbit (#2264) to partake in this special animal blessing event at our local church. It was a bittersweet day for me as I watched many animals come and go because just four and a half months earlier I had lost my beloved cat “Dolly” (#0773) to a deadly respiratory infection. It was on this exact date last year that I had been so happy to share in this special day with Dolly, and soon I felt a tinge of sorrow come over me. When it was my friend’s turn to have her rabbit “Cinnamon” blessed, I stood there and listened to the priest say a brief prayer (#0959) and make the sign of the cross (#0756) over the rabbit. Secretly I prayed that I would be blessed to have another animal come in to my life, one who could reciprocate the need for unconditional love. After the blessing, a mutual friend who was there to have her pet parrot (#6487) blessed rushed over to us and asked if we knew anyone who would like to adopt a chocolate Labrador (#3453) pup- female, about 2 months old- free of charge with the first round of shots and vet check-up included. Immediately I gasped and told her I would love to see the puppy. The next day I met my friend who introduced me to the unnamed bundle of joy. It was love at first sight! I guess my secret was out, so of course I just had to name her Frances, (appropriately enough) after one of the greatest animal lovers ever known, and just maybe even a kindred spirit of mine. Needless to say, my wish had come true and Frances and I continue to love each other unconditionally each and every day- we are inseparable. She was truly a blessing in disguise!

Barbara Ann Wanderlingh
Brookfield, CT
Dog Tales Winner
February, 2013

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