Belfast Telegraph

Dogs pack Christ Church Cathedral for annual dog carol service

Dogs from all over the country packed out the cathedral.

Caroline Price with her dog Penny during the annual Peata therapy dog carol service at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)
Caroline Price with her dog Penny during the annual Peata therapy dog carol service at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

By Aine McMahon, PA

A crowd of canine carollers gathered at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin on Tuesday for the annual Peata Therapy Dog Carol Service.

From St Bernards to tiny terriers – dogs of all breeds and sizes, their owners and people who benefit from Peata’s dog service were on their best behaviour for the service.

Peata is a voluntary organisation which provides a pet therapy service to caring institutions. Its visiting scheme involves approved volunteers and their dogs who generally pay weekly visits.

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Jenny Duff from Stillorgan village with Billy the Labrador (Niall Carson/PA)

Peata, which introduced a medically supported service to Ireland in 1996, says pets have been shown to benefit people’s health and well-being – particularly for people staying in nursing homes, hospitals and hospices.

The Dean of Christ Church, the Very Reverend Dermot Dunne, invited the dogs and their owners up to the altar where he asked God to watch over them all and gave them a special blessing.

Orla Kerbie from Bettystown in Co Meath came along with her two rescue dogs who serve as therapy dogs in hospitals and hospices.

“Lyla is a Lurcher and the loud one is a terrier cross called Dave. We’re firm believers in rescue dogs. Particularly at this time of year; adopt don’t shop,” she said.

“It is always such a nice festive event and the dogs have loved coming here to make new friends,” she said.

The funds raised from the event benefit Peata and homeless charity the Peter McVerry Trust.

Tea and mince pies were also provided by the Friends of the Cathedral after the service.

PA

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