A Dalmatian and pit bull mix named Ghost quenched his curiosity, while two bichons frises seemed to enjoy visiting together.
The canine encounters kept several residents at a local retirement community entertained Thursday during a short but reverent Blessing of the Animals service.
About a dozen animals were blessed at the event on the chapel lawn at Epworth Villa, 14901 N Pennsylvania.
The Rev. Lisa Crone, senior chaplain at Epworth, led the group through the brief service that included prayers, responsive readings and songs.
Such services are held across the state by churches and faith-based organizations on or near Oct. 4, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals.
“From the Creation story all the way to the great Revelation, animals are mentioned in very special ways,” Crone said.
She went from person to person to bless each pet, which sat in its owner's lap or at his or her feet.
Sara “Sally” Harper's shih tzu Clara Belle was frisky as she received her blessing. Similarly, Ghost, the Rev. Jessica Tanner's Dalmatian and pit bull mix, thought Crone needed his special attention, licking her face as she crouched next to him.
Tanner, Epworth's assistant chaplain, smiled as she tried to corral her pet.
“I need to clean my glasses,” she said, laughing.
Other four-legged attendees included Buddy (who wore a colorful bandanna around his neck); Jim and Kay Shock's yellow Labrador; Elaine Johnson's bichon frise called Putter Putter; and Connie English's bichon frise named BG.
Johnson said several years ago, she had her pet Putter, also a bichon frise, blessed at a Blessing of the Animals service, but the dog passed away. She said her current pet is named after her former one in a special way.
Ann Taylor's cat, Soccer, was docile as Crone laid a hand on his furry head.
Taylor had an interesting story to tell about her pet. She said he was found on a soccer field by children who lived in a neighborhood near downtown Oklahoma City. She said he was known for a while as the “Symphony Showhouse Cat” because he hung around the homes featured in the historic neighborhood, and that's where she found him one year when she volunteered for the Symphony Showhouse, an annual Oklahoma City Orchestra League fundraiser benefiting the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.
Meanwhile, Crone said she was pleased with the turnout.
Many people, she said, view their pets as members of the family, and the residents at Epworth are no exception.