Blessings, Adoptions and More Make Claws and Paws Event Fantastic

Renaissance_Unity_Brown_TopBlessings, Adoptions and More Make Claws and Paws Event steele lindbloom adFantastic

(Crystal A. Proxmire, March 16, 2015)

In Medieval times, pastors would travel the countryside, stopping at farms and offering to bless the animals in hopes of abundant food production. The tradition of the blessing of pets grew out of this practice, leading to the afternoon of Saturday March 16 in Clawson City Park where Pastor Ben Walker of the Clawson United Methodist Church took the stage to perform the centuries old rite for guests of the Claws and Paws event. His prayer was one of many unique moments at the event, designed to celebrate four-legged friends and encourage pet adoption.

Pastor Walker spoke of the significance of animals in his religious tradition, stating “God has often used the gifts of animals as reminders of salvation. He noted that animals were spared in the great flood, that Jonah has been kept inside a whale, and that ravens brought bread to Elijah. In modern time pets can be a reminder of caring and love. He ended the sermon with a poem called “The Creation”:

The Creation

When God had made the earth and sky

the flowers and the trees,Red Door Realty Ad _own_your_dream

He then made all the animals

the fish, the birds and bees.

And when at last He’d finished

not one was quite the same.

He said, “I’ll walk this world of mine

and give each one a name.”

And so He traveled far and wide

and everywhere He went,

a little creature followed Him

until it’s strength was spent.

When all were named upon the earthnew way 03 honky tonk

and in the sky and sea,

the little creature said, “Dear Lord,

there’s not one left for me.”

Kindly the Father said to him,

“I’ve left you to the end.

I’ve turned my own name back to front

and called you dog, My friend.”

The stage for Claws and Paws held other special moments. Youngsters from Awesome Clawson and Acting Out Kids Theatre did improv comedy as well as skits about dogs. Magicians made the families giggle and gasp with their tricks and balloon-animal-making. A dog with a big flower on it’s headband won the best-dressed contest. And Tyler Stuglin of Royal Oak took the stage to serenade some special ladies.

The event’s main goal is to raise money for animal adoption agencies and to help displaced dogs and cats find homes.dickeys_graduation_ad_ferndale

Ten year old Leah Szynkowski has been helping out at the Madison Heights Animal Shelter since she was three or four years old. “My mom volunteers and I help,” she said. “I’m more of a dog person because my mom is allergic to cats.” Szynkowski helped let people know about the Shelter, which is having an open house on Saturday, June 13 to celebrate its expansion and renovation. As she gets older Szynkowski hopes to work with animals, “But not as a vet because I don’t like blood,” she said.

Those with a slightly more solid stomach were on hand to help animals get microchipped. Kelley Buckley of Ferndale was there volunteering with Guardians for Animals to help encourage microchipping. “It helps find dogs when they’re lost. We hear stories of dogs that have gotten out or wandered off and they’re not found until years later. With microchipping there is a nationwide database. Shelters can scan the chip and know who the owner is,” Buckley said.

“It’s not like GPS or Lo-Jack,” she said. “We can’t track where your dog goes. But if it gets found and someone takes it to get scanned they can get it back to you.”

She explained that the chip is the size of a grain of rice. It gets injected below the skin between the shoulder blades and it doesn’t move.

“If there’s any possibility of them getting outside then this is something people should do,” she said. At Claws and nicholas-schrock-allstatePaws animals could get chipped and registered for only $13.

The variety of dogs that came to enjoy the day was as diverse as dogs can come. From the tiny Chihuahuas and purse-sized pooches to a giant St. Bernard, the slender sleek greyhounds and the most giant rescue dog, Benjamin. Benjamin’s trainer Todd Werner came from Harrison Township for the event. “I came one of the first years they had it, and I wanted to come see how it’s grown. I take Benjamin with me everywhere and people like seeing him.”

For ongoing information on Claws and Paws, go to

Check our coverage of last year’s Claws and Paws event at

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