The Union Recorder

September 18, 2012

Pet Blessing, Open House were great

Bobbie Thompson
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — OK, so we had two events in the past two weeks. On Sunday, Sept. 8, ARF’s Peaceful Pet Crematory held a Blessing of the Animals for National Pet Memorial Day. Then on Thursday, Sept. 13, we held the Fur Ball Open House.

The Blessing was wonderful. I’m sure many of you know Dr. Jay Hodges. He is one tall man! (His wife is tall, too.) But, if you know me, I’m only 5 feet tall, and being vertically challenged, most everyone is tall to me!  So, I try not to stand next to anyone who is as tall has Dr. Hodges. ARF Board Member Kathy Groseclose introduced Dr. Hodges, and so she had to stand next to him! Kathy is the board member who asked Dr. Hodges to do the Blessing.

The Blessing was done next to the Scattering Garden. The Garden was beautiful with the roses all in bloom.

Dr. Hodges said a general Blessing of the Animals and then he said that he also likes to do individual blessings. So we each went up to him and he asked our dog’s name. He petted each dog and blessed them and then Dr. Hodges talked to each of the humans. It was a very special event. There weren’t many people there, but I think it made it more personal. While any kind of animal was welcome, we only had dogs there. I did hear that Dr. Hodges has even blessed a possum!

We invited everyone to share some food with us. We had soft drinks, cookies and the most delicious covered strawberries that our Crematory’s office manager, Dianne Johnson, prepared. Some were chocolate covered; some were covered with coconut and/or nuts.

Thank you to Dr. Jay Hodges for a beautiful and meaningful Blessing of the Animals. Thank you to everyone who attended with his or her companion animals. And thank you, Dianne, for the strawberries.

The Fur Ball Open House was successful on the following Thursday. Many tours of ARF were given; we had two dog adoptions and several donations. Julie introduced Meet Your Match with posters and the surveys.

Jackson’s Restaurant (Lake Sinclair) did a great job with the food. We had chicken tenders, spring rolls, pork roast, dips and veggies, soft drinks and water. Thank you, Will Jarriel and Red (who also makes some awesome peel-and-eat shrimp at Jackson’s)!

Bobby Carr played guitar on the lawn in front near our Memorial Bricks.

Thanks also go to Piggly Wiggly for allowing us to use its parking lot for the evening.

Our caregivers and volunteers worked very hard cleaning and organizing the shelter. It looked wonderful! And, our caregivers did a lot of this work on their own time! That’s dedication. Julie worked on Meet Your Match, and Nikki handled the press release and took many pictures of our event. Two board members paid for the catered food.

I did have one tour of the Peaceful Pet Crematory. This couple thought the crematory was a wonderful and needed addition to our community. We think so, too.

The evening for the Open House was almost perfect. It wasn’t hot, it was a little cloudy, but that made the evening just right.

It would have been absolutely perfect if we could have someone come in and spray for mosquitoes. Our caregivers and volunteers just about get carried way by mosquitoes. And mosquitoes are not good bugs. They carry diseases such as West Nile Virus.

So, here’s our request. Is there anyone out there who is willing to donate their time and insecticide to spray our large area for mosquitoes and ticks, too?  Before you say no, take a walk in our caregiver’s shoes and see how many bites you get. I stood in the backyard for 10 minutes and had about a half a dozen bites.

As of Sept. 20, ARF will be going into its 30th year. We will have something going on in as many months as we can, culminating with our 30th anniversary.

We hope you will attend many of these events. And, please, don’t forget to give a little. We are still in a financial crunch and need all the help you are willing to give.