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Creatures great and small invited for pet blessing in Aspinwall

Tawnya Panizzi
| Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 12:00 p.m.
Rev. Scott Hill of Aspinwall Presbyterian Church blessed pets during the kick-off event for the borough's new pet directory program on May 19, 2018. With Hill is Meredith Troyan and nine-month-old Zeus.
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune Review
Rev. Scott Hill of Aspinwall Presbyterian Church blessed pets during the kick-off event for the borough's new pet directory program on May 19, 2018. With Hill is Meredith Troyan and nine-month-old Zeus.

Things are bound to get a little hairy outside Aspinwall Presbyterian Church on June 2.

Residents are invited to bring four-legged friends for a special blessing at 10:30 a.m. by the Rev. Scott Hill, the church's pastor.

“Pets are an important part of people's lives and this is a celebration of their creation,” said Hill, who has been head of the Center Avenue church for about a year.

Having served in Indiana and Illinois, and overseas in Egypt and Morocco, Hill has coordinated pet blessings several times in the past and believes people find it meaningful.

“The animals in our lives don't always get recognized,” he said.

Sometimes, people seek prayers for faithful companionship and other times they have special requests, “like, please stop chewing the furniture,” Hill said, laughing.

Because Aspinwall is a dog-loving town, he expects many pooches in tow. His own 11-year-old Lab-mix, Django, will be there.

“Someone is bringing a newt, so that will be different,” Hill said.

The most unusual pet he's ever blessed has been a ferret but Hill said he expects people to bring pictures of animals that can't be contained by leash or carrier.

Though pet blessings traditionally occur in October, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, Hill said the recent summer-like days are a great time to invite folks to the event.

The church's corner stairway and open sidewalk will create the perfect stage and allow enough room for many guests, Hill said.

“Everyone is welcome,” Hill said. “If you don't bring your pet, just come enjoy everyone else's.”

The church is at 299 Center Ave.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, tpanizzi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.

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