Pet-lover or not: Celebrating the Feast of St. Francis


I’m not a dog person.

I should elaborate – I’m not a cat person, a bird person, a hamster person or a guinea pig person. I don’t do slobber, vet visits or animal waste clean-up. While many dream of a future with a white picket fence, two kids and a dog, I have that same dream…minus the dog.

So when my CatholicMatch boyfriend adopted a scraggly, wiry-haired terrier chihuahua mix last February, I was less than thrilled. Even though George was overjoyed with his new friend who came with the name Smallzy, I worried about future Friday date nights being cut short to let the dog out or weekend camping trips with friends becoming a hassle when someone has to watch the dog.

My fears turned into reality when Smallzy ran out the front door within his first 24 hours of being home, transforming my Saturday afternoon winter ice skating date into a chilly search mission through the neighborhood. It was clearly a great start to our relationship.

But over the past eight months, I’ve begun to discover why these pets that so many people spoil and undeniably love become a part of our families. Smallzy, nicknamed “hound” by George,” is loving, attentive and funny, just when he needs to be.

Dogs can truly be a man’s best friend, and for singles (and married couples!), the unfailing love and admiration from any pet can set even the most dismal day back on course.

Today, we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis Assisi, a saint known for his overflowing love for our four-legged friends. For the first time on this feast day, I’ll be spending it at Mass with my boyfriend and his dog, as Smallzy is blessed by George’s parish priest.

Last year before this feast day, “Faith, Hope and Love” spotlighted many members who have also been blessed by their pets. In fact, a CatholicMatch poll showed that the majority of single Catholics own a pet! These CatholicMatch members have also found joy from their pets, just like I unexpectedly have from an adopted dog named Smallzy.

So now it’s your turn to tell us about your pet or pets – how have they enriched your life?



  1. Neal-334529 October 7, 2012 Reply

    I had a corgi for 18 years & a Black Lab, sure I love dogs & animals.
    They are the true definition of unconditional love!

  2. JoAnn-677059 October 6, 2012 Reply

    My dog is a yorkiepoo(or so I’ve been told.She runs like the wind after her toys& squirrels. The guy next door talks grumpy to her,but I try to over look that. She is my protector at all times& Iam grateful for that as I am a widow& my 5 kids wont call me or visit with me so she is also my companion. She will squeeze in the recliner with me at night(I think also to keep warm) She isnt suppose to eat avacodos,but will sit up fairly well to get her fair share. Some times both the cat& dog are with me in the chair. I’ve had Schnauzers in the past& love them.

  3. Marie-731748 October 5, 2012 Reply

    I have two dogs, Nero and Dolce -for Black and Dessert in italian. Together with two canaries, Pancho and Bianco. All I can say is that my life would be empty without their joy, love, companionship and song.

  4. Arun-904808 October 5, 2012 Reply

    Pets love affection,care and attention on them , I like having pets,They show the real affection on us ,The love shown by them are real ,No fake love from them.Your article is really so nice to read ,Its very interesting to hear your love on your pet.

  5. Dave-146273 October 5, 2012 Reply

    Good article Jessica, and it’s true.. pets do curb your social life to some degree but having friends that will help and a good Vet that boards helps a great deal. I adopted my dog “pope” about 6 yrs ago from a friend of mine who traveled too much to take care of her, and i have to say she truly is my best friend! She is incredibly animated and playful, and her tail almost never stops wagging. I saw this footnote about dogs and I’m not sure where i read it so i’ll have to paraphrase, it goes something like this .. ” they only ask for a few minutes of our time, but give us hours of theirs”

  6. Brenda-74660 October 5, 2012 Reply

    My son had adopted Zoe about a year before he passed away. When I went on a trip in June 2011 about a month after Andrew had passed away I left her with my folks. When I got back Zoe ran around to the passenger side of the car instead of greeting me. I could tell by the way she wagged her tail & kept waiting that she was looking for Andrew. Having Zoe did give me great comfort in the months that followed. I had promised her to my brother because his dog was getting older & I knew Tigger would not be around much longer. So about two months ago my little Zoe went to live with my brother. It is funny in some ways because you can tell she prefers her master to be a man because she bonded with Tim instantly & when I see her she will only allow me to pet/hold her briefly. So I know I made the right decision to allow Zoe to find her new home…. :)))

    BTW my son Andrew’s confirmation name was St Francis of Assisi :))

  7. Bertha-811213 October 5, 2012 Reply

    Tucker , I miss you more every day. Almost 2 yrs ago you had to leave us at the age of 7. Love you forever.

  8. Monica-170264 October 4, 2012 Reply

    I just lost my lil Doxie girl a few months back, I was blessed to have her 15 years and 1 mo. She will always hold a special place in my heart and I miss her sitting next to me while I write my responsorial music or practice. She loved music!!!

    • Mary-720746 October 4, 2012 Reply

      lOur pets leave pawprints on our hearts. Read the anonymous affirmation of their love below:

      Rainbow Bridge
      Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
      There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water, and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor.Those who are hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
      The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing: they miss someone very special, someone who was left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when suddenly one stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; his eager body begins to quiver. Suddenly he breaks from the group, flying over the green grass, faster and faster.
      You have been spotted and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into those trusting eyes, so long gone from your life, but never absent from your heart. Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together.

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