Paws for thought as animals are blessed in rectory gardens at North Thoresby
FROM a cute King Charles Spaniel to a funky ferret, all creatures great and small were blessed at a special church service.
Pet lovers and their animals were treated to the blessing in the rectory gardens, at North Thoresby, by the Reverend Bob Emm in recognition of the "unconditional love" given to humans by animals.
Each pet present was on its best behaviour as Mr Emm led the service with hymns All Things Bright and Beautiful and Think Of A World Without Any Flowers.
The vicar – whose flat-haired retriever Sophie also attended while their two cats, Archie and Daisy, stayed safely indoors – said: "We do love our animals.
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"This is something to do, something a bit different. We so often see people walking their dogs up and down, pets are such a big part of their lives and we wanted to respond to what is important to people.
"Today people can verbalise and express what their pets mean to them. I have a feeling there isn't that much difference between us humans and the animals than we would like to imagine."
The blessing, organised by Mr Emm's wife Susan, has taken place a couple of times in the village and invites animals of all varieties.
The most unusual to arrive was Poppy Green's ferret cross polecat, Buddy.
The five-year-old said: "I like him because he likes to sniff people's feet! I am thankful for Buddy."
Mum Alison said: "He is a lovely pet. He can be really affectionate and once he settles down he will sit on your lap quite happily. It is lovely the church is doing this."
Sophie Cladingbowl, 26, brought along her three labradors, Gracie, Millie and Archie, who have been a great source of comfort to her.
Sophie suffered heartache last year when her beloved Jack Russell terrier was stolen outside her home in Yarburgh, near Louth. Daisy had helped her get through horrendous injuries following a car accident and the death of her father Chris, 66.
She said: "I always said I would never get another dog again after Daisy was stolen but these three bring me unconditional love. I class them as my children, I love them so much and it is a lovely idea for the church to do this.
"My dogs are always happy to see me. They are always wagging their tails. They are God's creatures, just like us."