Animal Magic & Bless You

Taken from Lynne’s weekly column ‘Green Scene’ for the Western Mail. 6th October 2018
Animal Magic

Thursday was World Animal Day. Celebrated annually for the past 87 years, the 4th October was chosen as it is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment.

In 2003 the Naturewatch Foundation added its support to unite the animal welfare movement, promote the prevention of cruelty to animals and raise animal issues around the globe. It has developed into a day for remembering and paying tribute to all animals and the people who love and respect them, and is celebrated in different ways in every country, with no regard to nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.

There are now 85 Ambassadors working in 71 countries around the world and I am very proud to be an Ambassador for the UK.  www.worldanimalday.org.uk/ambassadors

Their mission statement reads: ‘To raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. Building the celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilising it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals. It’s celebrated in different ways in every country, irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology. Through increased awareness and education we can create a world where animals are always recognised as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare.’

The reason for sharing an event after the date is that of course it is obviously so much more than just a day – we need to remember how precious our animals are every day. I’m not sure who said ‘diamonds are a girls best friend’, but surely they didn’t have a dog!

There are several ways you can help this great charity, by donating, getting involved or maybe even becoming an Ambassador yourself. Find out more at www.worldanimalday.org.uk/get_involved


Bless You

Also, as part of the celebrations of St Francis of Assisi, all creatures great and small are being invited to churches all over the world to be blessed tomorrow, 7th October.

For the last couple of years Yogi, (my Terrierist), has had an annual letter addressed to ‘Yogi Allbutt’, from her vet, telling her that her annual booster and check up is due. It has always tickled me to see the envelope addressed to her. Of course people are always asking after her and she has quite a following on Facebook, but at this time of year she also has an annual email inviting her to the Annual Blessing of Pets at St. Michael’s, Llanvihangel Crucorney, NP7 8DH (near Abergavenny).

Thankfully, she was told that she can bring me along too and last year was our first attendance. It was lovely.

It was well attended by a variety of pets who also kindly took their owner’s along, including Sebastian the little Shetland Ambassador from The Society for theWelfare of Horses and Ponies. Pets travelled from miles around to bring their owners to the blessing and despite me worrying a little about Yogi’s social skills (or lack of them), it all went very smoothly.

The service was absolutely delightful and all the pets were individually blessed afterwards. Although a little indifferent to the blessing itself, Yogi was thrilled with the dog treat that accompanied it! (see pic)

Sadly we won’t be able to make it this year, but I do hope you can go along – I highly recommend it. And of course the oldest pub in Wales, The Skirrid Inn, is just a few yards up the road, for a lovely lunch.

The service starts at 11.00 a.m. and there is an easy, accessible path to the Church.

The infamous Sebastian will be there again this year – apparently in need of blessing after all of his escapades this year. Bless him, indeed.

The Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies, (SWHP), is a Horse Hospital based near Monmouth. It takes in abused and neglected horses and ponies from all over Wales and the Borders and nurses them back to health; Sebastian himself was rescued. Although now semi-retired, he is still used as a companion to sick ponies and orphan foals and has also become a regular visitor to schools, theatres, old folks homes and of course churches, as well as making numerous personal appearances at agricultural shows and greeting guests at the Horse Hospital.

If you need any more information about the Pet Blessing, or SWHP, do give Sian Lloyd a call on 01873 890532 or visit www.swhp.co.uk.

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