Thursday, October 9, 2014

Blessing of the Animals

With our beloved bearded dragon, Sandy Claws, getting more frail by the day, it was very important for us to have him blessed one more time. Or what turned out to be two more times.

Sandy came into our lives 28 months ago. He was already 8 years old at the time. Bearded dragons have an average life span of 8-10 years. Anyway you do the math, he is old.

In 2012 and 2013, has was blessed by Father Vince during Ashley's school's Blessing of the Animals.

This year it was canceled. Students could bring in a photo or stuffed animal for a mass blessing -- but NO live animals. 

Ashley was near tears when she found out. Her awesome teacher found two local places holding blessings that weekend (it ties into the liturgical calendar to fall around St. Francis of Assissi day). We also knew about one happening at Sandy's vet's office (NorthStar Vets in Robbinsville). 

We took Sandy to NorthStar. He was the only reptile was saw being blessed. There were tons of dogs, no cats in sight, two bunnies, and him. The blessing was done by the pastor and elders at Allentown Presbyterian Church (my parents' church). After asking us a few question (what is name, how old is he, what is he, does he have any special prayer needs, that type of thing) Elder Kathy gently laid hands on him and prayed for his health and his strength.

The next day he walked to his food dish on his own and ate. Quite a feat considering for the past couple of months we have been placing him in front of the food dish and/or hand feeding him. He also ate crickets on his own.

Buoyed by that success, when I found another blessing of the animals, this time by Abiding Presence Lutheran Church of Ewing at Community Day in Village Park, I hustled home to grab Ashley, Don, and Sandy for another blessing. 

The blessing went well, but there was no sudden improvement in his health. We've come to accept there will be good days and bad ones, and that injecting him under the skin with saline solution and putting kidney meds in his mouth are just daily occurrences. Chalk it up to "things we do because we love our daughter." 

On the way home, Sandy "blessed" Don and Ashley. That, too, has become a more regular and messier part of life. Ah, the aging process is not for the feint of heart.

Funny the dragon is a Presbyterian at heart, just like us.

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