Nearly sixty people, and many more dogs and other animals, recently attended the ‘Blessing of Pets’ in St. Peter’s, Bandon. While dogs were in the majority, a lizard called ‘Puff’ and three tiny kittens were also in attendance. The kittens were a great favourite of ‘Holly’ the Curate’s Jack Russell terrier. (Although some doubted her motivations.)
Volunteers (Noreen, Linda and our parishioner Liz Atkins) from ‘Irish Dogs for the Disabled’ came to speak about their work. Noreen in her address explained that they are a unique charity founded in 2007 to improve the lives of children and adults living with physical disabilities in Ireland. The assistance dogs are specially trained to assist physically disabled children and adults to carry out a range of practical tasks in order to achieve greater independence. Every dog is trained to help with simple everyday tasks such as opening/closing doors, picking up dropped items, emptying the washing machine, sending for help or even helping a child with severe walking difficulties to walk with greater ease and balance plus much more.
Our parishioner Claire McCutcheon also spoke. She is a volunteer with ‘Irish Therapy Dogs’, a charity which bring dogs into hospitals, nursing homes, day care centres, schools and other places where people may be restricted from having pets and where the presence of dogs and their owners, will add comfort and support. Here are the photos: