Gearing up for the Blessing of the Pets is Reverend Alan Shaw (looking suspiciously like a chicken) with (l-r) Jenny, Kate and Warwick Robson and some of their many pets.
Gearing up for the Blessing of the Pets is Reverend Alan Shaw (looking suspiciously like a chicken) with (l-r) Jenny, Kate and Warwick Robson and some of their many pets.

All creatures great and small

If the Robson family from Boorie Creek took all their animals to the annual Blessing of the Pets service this Sunday, November 1, there would be little room for anyone else.

The family owns hundreds of animals - alpacas, pygmy goannas, 12 different species of birds including a red-tailed cockatoo, snakes, salt and freshwater fish, a horse, cat and a dog called Molly.

Unable to take the whole menagerie, Jenny Robson said only a special few would get to attend the blessing.

“I think I'll take the cat and the snake,” she mused.

The annual Blessing of the Pets is a short, informal service in Lismore honouring the special relationship that often develops between animals and humans, one that was exemplified in the life of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals.

Reverend Alan Shaw said the day was also a reminder to people that we all have a responsibility to care for the world around us, including its wild and domestic inhabitants.

He said despite the casual nature of the event, there are some house rules.

“Dogs and their handlers will be in one part of the church, cats and their owners will be located well away from them!” he said. “Birds, rats, mice and crawling things should be caged, boxed, or hand held. Large animals must be tethered outside and cane toads must be frozen!”

The Blessing of the Pets is being held at 9.30am this Sunday at St Andrew's Anglican Church. All people and their pets are very welcome.


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