By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
DEARBORN – The annual Blessing of the Pets at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Church provides pet owners with a tangible way to share the blessings of their faith with their four-legged family members.
The gathering of dog owners, and two brave cat people, took place Oct. 8 outside the south entrance of the church, 16101 Rotunda Drive, where the Rev. Terry Kerner provided a prayer and a sprinkling of holy water for the furry faithful.
Therese Terns of Dearborn, who brought her three dogs, Stella, Rosie and Springer, said the blessing gives a special grace to each pet to be healthy and happy.
“All my dogs have been blessed,” she said. “And they are all healthy and happy, so it works. And we get blessed, too.”
Kerner said he enjoys animals, and has had dogs for many years. He said the blessing lets pet owners express their feelings for their pets.
“It’s appropriate, because people love their animals and it reminds them to take care of them,” he said. “It’s a responsibility, especially for children, who need to learn that lesson of stewardship.”
Anna Brown brings Norman, a brown standard poodle, who she says is like a son, to the blessing almost every year.
“I feel very strongly about animals and the afterlife, and I just want to make sure he’s blessed,” she said.
Beverly Hanson, who brings her dog, Katie, to be blessed each year, said the blessing puts her pet “in good care with God. He is taking care of her. He’s helping her,” she said.
Chris Ugorowski, who held Stella, a Yorkshire terrier, said it is a special day for the dogs.
His wife, Trish Ugorowski, said the two Yorkshire pups she had tucked under arms, Charlie and Sam, were just taking in the sights.
She said their three dogs were rescues from the Dearborn Animals Shelter, now known as Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit.
“It’s a special day, and they’re our family,” she said.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)