Corky, Lily and Karly had no idea what was in store for them when they arrived at Trinity United Methodist Church on Sunday.
They stood in the parking lot, as this one dog would not stop barking at them. As they approached the church, the trio couldn’t help but bark back with excitement.
Marie and Jim Stiles, of Leesville, brought the brother-sister-mom dachshund trio to participate in the second annual Blessing of the Animals event. Rev. Donna Eidson blessed about a dozen dogs.
The event was originally scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 8, a few days after the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Unsure of what type of troubles Hurricane Matthew could bring to the Midlands, Eidson rescheduled the blessing event for Sunday.
During her time conducting blessings of animals, Eidson said she’s mainly dealt with dogs and cats. But the most unique animals she’s seen blessed by another pastor was a goldfish.
“People seem to generally like it,” Eidson said. “I’ve always thought it’s a unique event.”
Eidson brought her own pets, too: Cece, a 10-year-old dachshund; Curlie, a 14-year-old miniature poodle; and Patch, a 1-year-old dachshund. All three vigilantly looked on from a pen, as Eidson blessed the dogs owners brought by.
Maggie, an 11-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, went first. John Zeigler, Maggie’s owner, said she likes the event because she gets to go out for a walk.
Gale Frady, of Columbia, said she brought her grand-dog, Frizz, an Australian Shepherd-Border Colie mix with soft eyes.
The Stiles’ dogs missed last year’s inaugural event at the church, because Corky and Lily were still puppies then. They’re about about 18 months old now.
Corky got his name because his tail never really grew long. And though the Stiles intended on keeping one dog after 8-year-old Karly had four puppies, they could not make up their minds. So they kept both.
The Stiles have been members of the church for 17 years.
“We got married here,” Jim Stiles said. “We come back every Sunday.”