Genesis 1:26

Against my better judgment, I clicked on this picture yesterday and read yet another story about animal abuse. This near-starved dog had been chained to a tree for four years before being rescued.

The comments under the story were predictable: (a) that the owner of the dog should be chained to a tree for four years and (b) people should be more concerned about abused children and not get so wrought up about a dog.

There's one of these stories every now and then; the follow-up articles announce that a record number of people have offered to adopt the abused animal. These stories stick with me for a long time, and always involve my wondering why the abuse was permitted to go on for so long a time.

My belief is that when God gave mankind dominion over the animals, that wasn't just power over them, but also a responsibility to care for them, to be kind to them, and not to abuse them.

Today is a day set aside to honor St. Francis. The church where I work and the church where I worship are each holding a "blessing of the animals" service. Joe and I were speculating about what it might mean to "bless" animals. "Bless" means to ask God to look favorably upon.

I'd rather see the emphasis be on our looking favorably upon animals, our having the courage to intervene when we become aware of an abusive situation.


Barbara Anne said…

Just yesterday DH and I were talking about a dog we rescued from the woods around us and who rescued us right back. Toby arrived just 3 days after our beloved elderly Basset had died and we were in sore need of comfort. Toby was in sore need of food. We took him to the vet and loved him until he died from kidney failure 10 months later. Toby was a joy. He'd apparently never had a name and when called, he would throw his head back, dance with happiness, and then come running. He was wanted! We miss him still.

Wishing all would cherish the world we live in and all of the inhabitants there on.

Pat said…
I like the blessing of the animals. It's a reminder that animals are God's creatures too. If they are worthy of a blessing, they should be worthy of our care as well.
Janet O. said…
Nice thoughts, Nancy. All of God's creatures deserve our care, don't they.
LizA. said…
You nailed it, too many people look at animals as disposable property. I've supported a lot of rescue efforts, especially when 101 Dalmatians was takes a special kind of person to do rescue.
LizA. said…
Interesting article in NY Times I just read along these lines.