The Blessing of Animals

The Blessing of Animals

Written at 9 a.m. this morning:

Every year, St. Andrews Church does a blessing of the animals on a day near his saint’s day of October 4.  It so happened this year that the night before the date of the blessing, Frida suffered a seizure.  We arrived home from our emergency trip into town to see the vet at some time around midnight, at which time Frida seemed to be doing fine, if not exactly chipper.  The vet had examined her and gave her some medicine, instructing me to bring her back the next day, and since the church was just around the corner, I decided perhaps Frida needed whatever help she could get and took her for a blessing.

As you can see from the photos, hundreds of animals were brought by their humans.  Dogs, cats and (as you will see from the photo) the longest white burro in the world all existed peacefully.  Not one tussle or bark or fight during the entire 1/2 hour I was there.  When I commented on this as we left, one of the congregation members standing at the door said, “Perhaps St. Francis had a hand in that.”

I thought you might like to see some of the photos. Frida, by the way, seems back to normal. I’m about to take her back into the vet and will perhaps take my computer and post the photos in the vet’s office while we wait to see him.

Addendum:
Written at 7:45 tonight:

The only dog there I didn’t get a photo of at the blessing was Frida.  Unbelievable.  Here is one of my favorite shots of her:

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R.I.P Frida, 2004-2016

I was too busy all day taking Frida to the vet, waiting in the waiting room, then waiting for tests, then returning home only to have to make a return rush trip back to the vet. Frida went for her final walk an hour ago at 6:45 p.m.  My last words to her were never truer spoken to any other dog.  “You were a good, good girl.”  She never did one naughty thing (short of eating the cat’s food) that she could help. Good-bye good, good friend.

Her favorite activity was sitting on the dome of my house to survey the neighborhood and bark at intruders. Unfortunately, she was unable to do so for the past year because it was unsafe for Morrie to be up there so the gate remained closed.

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This is a photo of Frida the day I found her trotting down the bike lane of the carretera.  She was about a block away, coming toward us, when Joe and I first spotted her and I thought she was a big rat at first.  Surreal that it was trotting straight toward us without veering off.  She trotted right up to me, I picked her up, and she was mine ever after.  R.I.P. dear friend.  We shared a lot of adventures over the past twelve years and even if you let Diego and Morrie think otherwise, you were always leader of our pack.

 

24 thoughts on “The Blessing of Animals

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Thanks, Linda. I had resolved to bring her to La Manz. this year. Wish she could have held on a bit longer. I can imagine her running on the beach and begging attention at Daniel’s tequila sunsets. Just today I went shopping for a cage large enough to put on the palapa porch in case I needed to leave her outside. Wish I’d thought to do this last year. xo

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Thanks, Jamie. Five hours ago I didn’t know how I was going to bear this. Now I’m beginning to see that I’ll bear it in two ways. One is through spending more time with Morrie and Diego. The other is through the reassuring and loving words shared by friends. That gets more important every year as old friends thin out and new ones pop up. Blogging has proved a fertile field for friends.. yourself included.

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  1. okcforgottenman

    I just realized that I knew Frida for half her life! I loved climbing up on the dome beside her. (First time, she looked at me like, “Humans can do this too?”) We would commiserate up there about all those interlopers walking on OUR streets. (Well, I muttered my indignation. We know that Frida BARK, BARK, BARKed hers!) I’ll see if I can rustle up a photo of her & me up there.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      You were the only one who ever did that. Even Diego couldn’t get up to the top…although our neighbors swear they saw him up there once or twice. You were so sweet to my dogs. Makes me sad that I’ll never see you playing your weird little games with them again. There is some special place in our hearts for people who love our dogs and are good to them. You fill that place as well as many other spaces…

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  2. Laureen MacDonald

    Judy, I am so sorry for the loss of your dear Frida. She was a lucky pup so many years ago to have picked you in the bike lane on the carretara. My heart is with you.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      I thought when I faced losing her earlier that I had inured myself to the idea a bit, but I was wrong. Hurts like hot cinders, but also teaches lessons. I will not take things for granted. I will not put off time with friends furry or unfurred.

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  3. Allenda

    Oh, I am so sorry! Brought tears to my eyes for you and your sweet girl. We used to love go see her sitting on the dome, waiting for unsuspecting dogs, cows, horses, or people to pass by on William Tilden. She could be relied on to sound the alarm and then Ta-Shi, and later Pabu, would race to our patio gate door and sticking nose to the crack under the door set up a furious barking as the invaders passed on Ilie Nastase. Both of our dogs knew that they had to move back far enough on the terrazzo to see over the wall and up to the dome where they were usually rewarded with a view of Frida. Other memories of your girl include her penchant for running out of your garage and in through ours when our garage doors were open. Frida would race down to our back yard and glue her nose to those holes the squirrels would dig by our wall. You eventually foiled her when you had the gate built to the garage. I hope your girl knew she was still always welcome at her Auntie’s.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      If I ever knew these things, I had forgotten them. Thanks for the fresh old memories. Animals and people alike in our house loved our neighbors. Tonight when I got home I went out and played with Morrie in the pool for an hour or more. He is so adorable.. has all sorts of fetch games for me. He is really such a clever little dog. Diego got a fresh pigs hoof.. or cow’s hoof to chew on and the promise of a walk tomorrow. Morrie gets his exercise, and how, fetching for an hour at a time with no break. He doesn’t allow lulls in the action. I was trying to think how I could stand to pass this evening without our girl and then it occurred to me.. the only way to stand it was to spend it immersed in the boys. I’m starting a new tradition. Instead of watching movies while I exercise, I’m going to add pitching practice to my routine and spend the hour with Morrie. And, try to work in a walk a day with Diego. Frida, your memorial is that you have made me a better master.

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      1. Allenda

        That is so sweet, Judy. Your boys will delight in the attention. Pabu is bringing me her little cloth Frizbee to throw for the one hundredth time tonight. She is tireless.The next time you come, bring Morrie. Pabu will love her. Glad you are finding comfort in the company of your boys.

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  4. judyreeveswriter

    Oh dear Judy, I’m so sorry to hear about Frieda. Such a lovely, sweet girl with that curl of a tail and those soft eyes. I know you’ll miss her and so with her critter-partners.
    Thanks for all the photos of the animal blessings, and final blessings for dear Frieda.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Thanks, Judy. As I sat out in front of the vet’s office, I didn’t know how I was going to get through this night. Now I know how..You have no idea how much the good wishes of friends helps–plus the little memories. That and the other two denizens of my doggie domain are what is getting me through this. Yourself included. (On Frida’s and my last outing, this afternoon in the Ajiic plaza, I got a wasp sting. Remember my last one, while you were here?) xo

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      1. judyreeveswriter

        A physical pain as a prelude of other pain to come, which I’m certain is so much more difficult to bear.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      When I read your comment, I thought you were reading my mind, as I didn’t really know what exactly it was in regards to until I clicked on it and it was put in context.. i.e. in place after my comment. So now I know you were referring to the bee sting, whereas just before I read it, I was thinking that part of my severe reaction to Frida’s death is that I am noting the comparisons between her last hour and the last hours of my husband and Dad. That labored breath–so similar to what I was suffering with my small asthma attack the last night Frida was here–reminds me that we are all going to die and that is so hard for me to face. I fear my own death and dread the deaths of all those I hold dear. In the past few years this has become a more frequent thought and although I realize fear of death is just a wasting of life, I don’t seem to be able to pull myself out of these thoughts. Breath is such a magical thing. Breath is what joins the parts of our being and what connects us to the world. I don’t want to give it up and when Frida’s faded away, part of mine did too. I know this is so maudlin. Just now both of the dogs started howling Hound of the Baskervilles type laments––a lonely, frightening melodic chorus accompanying some far off sirens. But part of me believes they are feeling my thoughts and comforting, as I tried to comfort Frida. What am I doing sending these personal thoughts out into the world? My own howl, perhaps. Theirs
      have just stopped. As will mine. Maybe that is why we write. To rid ourselves of the deepest pain and scatter it out for our friends to help us bear.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      I know, Marilyn. As I am always saying, sometimes we just have to be grateful for the way in which some terrible thing happens. Given the two choices of Frida dying without me and her dying after a wonderful last week together with me there to look into her eyes until the very last, I should be grateful for the gift I was given by Pen and Ian and my vets, who kept her alive until I got home and with a last surge of life that lasted until almost the end. I feel so self-indulgent in making so much of this, but I guess the heart will feel what the heart will feel. One of my favorite lines of poetry is, ” . . . . so nature deals with us, and takes away our playthings one by one until we go, half knowing whether we wish to go or stay.” That is so true, so true. For Frida, those playthings were her dome, her mobility, and her easy breath. For me, one of those playthings was Frida. I think the quote is from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Need to look it up.

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