Honoring furry companions– living and beyond

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Honoring furry companions– living and beyond

Diana Lejins | Signal Tribune

Diana Lejins | Signal Tribune

Diana Lejins | Signal Tribune

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Event organizers hosted the Interfaith Blessing of the Animals on Saturday, May 11, at Grace First Presbyterian Church, 3955 N. Studebaker Rd. Community members, with their beloved pets, attended the ceremony to receive a prayer for their furry companions, both living and passed on.

Presbyterian minister Rev. Jonas Hayes is pictured blessing two Great Pyrenees dogs at the first annual iteration of the event. Both canines are 8 years old and cousins. The gray-and-white dog is Eva and the brown-and-white dog is Honey. They are both therapy animals, regularly visiting hospitals, nursing homes and invalids.

Music Director Stan DeWitt provided an array of music honoring the approximately 50 animals who brought their human companions to the event. His melodic guitar fingered tunes, such as “How Much is that Doggie in the Window” and “Old McDonald Had a Farm.”

Rabbi Catherine Mummert, P’nai Or Long Beach, was on hand to bless those of Jewish distinction. The celebration was co-sponsored by the South Coast Interfaith Council and the Long Beach Animal Care Services.