Monday, April 9, 2007

Dog Day Afternoon

Every year, usually the Saturday before Easter, Olvera St. hosts the glorious Blessing of the Animals.
My friend Brian and I had the good sense to drop everything and head down there. What a treat!

Let me begin by giving a brief history lesson. Back in the day, the Catholic Church would set aside a day when they would allow people to take their animals inside the church for a fertility blessing. This was in response to folks recognizing "the tremendous services given to the human race by animals." Cut to 16 centuries later and the tradition is still going strong!

Okay. History lesson over.

We decided to pick up my favorite dog, Paco. His owners are the coolest, and it transcends into Paco's temperament. He's just chill, and cute as hell. I still love him despite the fact that his breath smells and he was passing gas the entire drive up. How can you not love a face like this?

Here's Brian and Paco on the way to Olvera St.
The best part of the day was checking out all the animals in attendance. We saw barn yard animals:

Birds, reptiles, bunnies...

I think this bunny rabbit gave me the finger, although I can't be sure.

I loved looking at all the dogs. Especially the ones who dressed up for the occasion. I like La Droopy Eyes in the upper right hand corner.

I think this one had one too many tequila shots...

One thing I noticed was all the wiener dogs... They could have started their own wiener dog army. Most owners were male and a lot of them loved wearing t-shirts expressing their love for...well, wieners:

What happens is a platform is set up at the Olvera St. Plaza with Cardinal Roger Mahony at the foot of it. In his hands he holds a wand type thingy filled with holy water. People wait in a huge line until it's their turn to walk with their animal, where the Cardinal blesses each one as it goes by. Here's a shot of me and Paco walking through the receiving line. I love the reaction of the lady in the foreground.
All in all, it was a great day. Even if you're not into the whole blessing part of it, it's a fun, quirky way to spend an afternoon. Especially if you're an animal lover.Or a margarita lover. Which was our blessing to ourselves after it was over.
Thanks, Brian for being the official photographer while I wrangled Paco!

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