Blessing 1

Good doggos, smol puppers and even a benevolent feline overlord or two received blessings Oct. 27 at Beesley Animal Foundation’s second annual Blessing of the Pets.

“I pray that we could be the people our dogs think we are,” offered Rev. Dr. John Hinkle of First Presbyterian Church of Murfreesboro.

Despite drizzling rain the event went off without a hitch, drawing a larger pack than the previous year’s sweltering summer ceremony.

Tom and Meredith Metier brought their puppies from Bell Buckle after seeing the event on Facebook. Both were already familiar with Beesley Animal Foundation and Hinkle.

“This is is Gnash, G-N-A-S-H, for the Preds mascot, and that’s Bell, for Bell Buckle,” said Tom Metier, holding a fluffy pup on one shoulder. “She is 10 weeks and he is seven weeks … they’re Anatolian shepherds.”

In addition to blessings, pets and their humans enjoyed fellowship, refreshments and pet care literature handed out by Girl Scout Troop 1518.

“They’ve done a lot for us,” Beesley Animal Foundation Executive Director Amanda Oliver said.

She said this annual blessing is one of many services the foundation offers. The foundation hopes to expand what’s available soon.

“We have financial aid programs for those who might need some assistance with spaying or neutering their cat or dog, and we have education out into the community,” Oliver said. “We go out and give vaccinations to the cats and dogs of the homeless, seniors and underserved. We do that about 10 times a year.”

Low cost vaccines are available at the clinic.

Beesley also partners with organizations like Greenhouse Ministries, Meals on Wheels and local churches to provide cat and dog food.

“Anyone who wants to donate cat and dog food to us, it has to be unopened bags and in date.”

For Hinkle, performing this blessing is one way to support a cause near and dear to his family.

“My wife and I, we rescue English springers,” he said. “The Beesley Foundation and my family were a natural fit.”

The couple attends Paws and Pearls, the organization’s annual fundraiser, every year. When the opportunity to hold a Blessing of the Pets presented itself, it made perfect sense.

“I like to say this service really is the manifestation of what Beesley does for our community … What we’re really doing is blessing that relationship that owners have with their pets,” Hinkle said. “For a lot of people in our community, that relationship may be the closest relationship they have.”

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