Via a reader comes this story:
WEST FARGO, N.D. –The newest greeter at the Holy Cross Catholic Church has a wagging tail, cuddly fur and beseeching brown eyes. Lucky, a golden retriever puppy, belongs to the Rev. Dave Syverson. But he’s also the parish dog.
Besides his Sunday morning duty, Lucky visits religious education classes, Syverson said, to make the experience more fun for the students. A pet carrier, where Lucky stays during Mass, sits in the priest’s office.
"When you have a dog, it’s a license for people to come right up. Then they open up and talk about their own pets or this and that," Syverson said.
Like any 9-week-old puppy, Lucky is a bundle of energy. His long tail wags excitedly as children approach, and jumps up on adults bending down to greet him.
One woman, after greeting the pup, walked into the sanctuary and then came back after she realized she forgot to say good morning to the priest.
Syverson is getting used to it. Although Lucky doesn’t know the command for "shake" yet, all hands go to his paws after church services.
"I used to get 300, 400 handshakes. Now that number is less than 10," Syverson said.
Lucky knows the command "sit" and listens when his owner tells him not to jump or bite. He’s learning how to relate with Syverson’s other pet, a 14-pound cat named Buddha.
Holy Cross member Cindy Horner told Syverson he should train Lucky to be an usher. Syverson joked that the puppy could carry gifts to the altar in a saddlebag — wine in one side, the Eucharist in the other. [Source]
Well I guess since Lucky gets along with Buddha he is rather ecumenical minded though I do wonder if the dog gets upset when the cat tells him his bone is only an illusion. Though I would have named a golden retriever Chrysostom instead and yes I am avoiding the old joke about naming the dog Anathema so you can say Anathema Sit or referencing dogma. Though if you really think about it "dogma is a bitch."