• 52°

All creatures great and small

Big Lou, the iguana, stood perched on Lea Clark’s shoulders Saturday.

Monday, October 11, 1999

Big Lou, the iguana, stood perched on Lea Clark’s shoulders Saturday. His little, claw-like hands grasped at her hair as he peeked over the top of Mrs. Clark’s head at the other animals gathered at the Christ Episcopal Church for the "Blessing of the Animals."

About 15 dogs, cats, birds, fish and even a frog stood quietly by their owners as the Rev. Robert Thomas began the blessing ceremony.

"We did this because we feel we should bless the animals the same as humans," said Mrs. Clark, who also teaches Sunday School at the church. "God created all of us."

Big Lou especially needed to be blessed. The iguana had had a tough life, Mrs. Clark said.

"He wasn’t a choice pet, but my husband was driving through the county and saw some guys shooting at him," she said. "He took him and brought him home, and he’s been on my curtain rod ever since."

Others gathered in the church didn’t have quite as sad of a story to tell about their favorite animals.

However, some did bring more than one animal to be blessed.

George Wise, 8, brought his cat, Tiger, to the blessing ceremony. But he was more concerned about the pet he carried around with him in a butter tub.

"I’m going to get Buford blessed because I like him," George said.

Buford is a frog that George found in his basement two years ago.

"I found it in my basement on a step," George said. "I let it run loose in the basement, and I find it when I want it."

Once Buford’s been found, he’s in for a rough day, George said.

"It likes to ride on toy motorcycles and trains," George said.

Aaron Murphy, 8, had trouble keeping his dog Duran out of trouble Saturday. Duran wanted to say hello to every animal in the church and dragged her owner along with her wherever she went.

"I’m going to get her blessed because I wanted to," Aaron said. "She’s a little ornery, but she obeys a lot, and doesn’t bug anyone while they are sitting down."

For the first animal blessing in a number of years, Thomas said he was pleased with the turnout and hopes to make the event semiannual.

"We had fun for a first try in a number of years," he said. "I think it went well. We bless graves, inanimate objects, water, so why don’t we bless other living things."