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By Loretta Fulton

Remy, a precocious shih tzu, playfully walked toward a smiling Father Adam Droll and promptly relieved himself on the priest’s black cassock.

“Are you telling me I need to do the dry cleaning?” Droll, parochial vicar at Holy Family Catholic Church gently asked, still smiling.

Remy quickly got a blessing from Droll, who repeated the blessing to all the dogs gathered in front of Suite Life Pet Resort and Spa Saturday morning. Once Droll had bless about a dozen dogs that owners brought for the special occasion, Droll blessed another 30-plus dogs who were being boarded.

The Blessing of the Animals is a rite in the Catholic Church, and many others, that is held each year in observance of the Oct. 4 Feast Day of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals.

Prior to the blessings, Droll read the rite, which began with the words, “Wonderful are all God’s works. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

And all responded, “Now and forever.”

Droll gave a short homily and concluded with a prayer for all creation.

“All of God’s creation is good,” Droll said, “and we’re all on the same path toward eternity.”

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