HMAS Moreton’s ship’s company and their four-legged friends joined together alongside the Brisbane River as Chaplain Stephen Briggs blessed the members’ beloved pets.
The Royal Australian Navy Band - Queensland led everyone in the hymn ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ as dachshunds, labradors, Aussie shepherds and border collies listened, some even barking along.
Chaplain Briggs explained the traditions around the Blessing of the Animals in the Christian Faith and the celebration of Saint Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Animals.
“Saint Francis’ work is recognised at this time of year, coinciding with the anniversary of his death we celebrate the influence he had.
“He was a person of simplicity and joy and all of creation including animals were a part of his life.
“This time offers us as pet owners the opportunity to thank our pets for the many rewards and benefits they offer.
“Our pets are our friends for life, close companions who love us, share our ups and downs and can often put a smile on our faces.
“They offer us so much more though, they reduce loneliness enhance our health and improve our social skills,” Chaplain Briggs said.
Chaplain Briggs wearing a special stole imprinted with animals invited each dog forward to be blessed.
The four-legged friends waited eagerly as they received their blessing and treat from the Chaplain.
For keen groodle Jet, who is a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle, this wasn’t his first time being blessed at Moreton.
Owners Wendy and Peter Clough attend the blessing every year with their assistance dog Jet.
“We go to every Navy Band function as our daughter Bonnie plays the saxophone in the band. This event is a highlight for us, we love it,” Wendy Clough said.