Lake Area dogs honored with a pet blessing to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis

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Published: Oct. 2, 2022 at 6:41 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - In celebration of the Feast of St. Frances, CHRISTUS Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital welcomed pet owners for a blessing of the pets in Grace Gardens.

Dogs are more than just pets in Southwest Louisiana, for many they are safety, love and family.

Some of the owners that brought their dog to the garden said that their dogs are already a blessing themselves, so they were eager to get them blessed at today’s event.

“Whenever you’re really feeling down, it’s scientifically proven that when you pet a dog it lowers your blood pressure,” Susan Stanford said.

Stanford along with Julia Davidson are part of a pet therapy volunteer team. Their dogs Pipa and Harley bring comfort and happiness to people who need it most.

“We visit hospitals, nursing homes, schools, libraries, the college and our pets just let everybody find joy when they pet them,” Stanford said.

As they said, the joy that you give to other is the joy that comes back to you.

Pipa and Harley joined other adorable dogs to be blessed for the good they’ve shared in the community.

“Everybody can use a blessing especially from what we have been through and Father Brian King has always done the blessings and it’s just a little something extra to help us and the dogs,” Stanford said.

Stanford and Davidson are continuing to build their volunteer team and hope others help spread their mission of positivity through puppy love.

“Always looking for extra love,” Davidson said.

Though the blessing was celebrated Sunday, the Feast of St. Francis falls on Tuesday, Oct. 4 this year. St. Francis is the patron saint of animals.