Pet blessings. Hearing those two words together may cause some to tilt their head as they ask themselves what exactly that means.
It turns out it’s exactly as it sounds and this past Saturday dozens were blessed at Wilbur Square Park.
For the third year, Pastor Kimber Govett, of Boulder City United Methodist Church, was the one giving the free blessings to pets of all kinds but the majority being dogs in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.
“I’ve always felt pets are part of the family and they give us unconditional love,” Govett said. “So, the least we can do is bless them to live long and healthy lives with their owners. What I’ve found, for some folks, their pets are all they have left. It makes you realize that for many people, pets are like family. I had one woman who rescued a little dog, which changed her life.”
Govett said she also enjoys hearing the stories from the owners of the importance of their pets as well as seeing the same faces of both the owners, and their four-legged friends, returning each year.
“I have done this before in other churches, typically at the church, but Boulder City is such a wonderful community that we’re able to do so this in a park,” she said. “That way more people can see it and take part and it really becomes a true community event, which is what I love to do.”
Since bringing the blessings to Boulder City, Govett said between 100 and 200 pets have been blessed each year. While she blessed pets in the park Saturday morning, she later went down and blessed several horses at the corrals.
“Last year I had a horse lay its head on my shoulder, blowing in my ear,” she said, smiling. “It was the cutest thing. It was like he was praying with me. It was very sweet.”
Govett said the reasons why people bring their pets can vary, including some who have just had surgery or are getting older. Or, just the knowledge their beloved pet is being blessed for another year is enough to bring them to the event.
“I have always loved animals,” she said. “That unconditional love they give is something I try and teach my congregation. In a way, I feel our pets set that example for us. They love us for who we are. And love is all they ask in return.”
Later in the morning, Karen Turner stopped by to get her dog, Sparky, blessed after hearing about it from a friend.
“I think it’s great and very special,” Turner said. “Our pets are a huge part of our lives, so they might as well be blessed just like their owners.”
Ron Eland is editor of the Boulder City Review. He can be reached at email@example.com or at 702-586-9523.