Heavenly creatures: Dogs anointed by Bklyn Heights minister at garden ceremony

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Pals: Rev. Brett Younger holds 9-year-old Shih Tzu, Harry, after blessing the pup in the name of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
Precious: Brooklyn Heights resident Rosie Cooper hugs her god-fearing furball.
Preaching to pups: Rev. Brett Younger speaks to the crowd during the annual Blessing of the Animals at Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights on Oct. 4.
Wiry worshipper: Lucky, a 7-year-old Yorkie-Chihuahua mix, waited patiently for his turn at the outdoor altar.

It was a canine communion!

Pups and their owners gathered before a reverend in a garden at Brooklyn Heights’ Plymouth Church on Wednesday to partake in the house of worship’s annual Blessing of the Animals, and the owner of a wounded pooch in attendance hoped the clergyman’s prayer would heal her tail-wagger’s body in addition to his spirit.

“Bubble was injured recently, so I thought it was a good reason to take him to the blessing,” said Brooklyn Heights resident Juanita Dharmazi, who came with her 7-year-old dachshund.

Bubble, whose breed is known for having notoriously fragile backs, is not supposed to jump, but has taken to leaping anyway and hurt himself after a recent hop, his mom said. He’s done okay following his injury, but Dharmazi is counting on the man upstairs to keep him safe in the years to come.

“I’m hoping the blessing will bring some sort of miracle, and he’ll recover and will not need surgery in the future,” she said.

Clergy perform the ritual each year at churches across the country to commemorate the Oct. 4 feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Plymouth Church’s senior minister Rev. Brett Younger blessed each of the attending canines after delivering a brief sermon, and then participants of all species celebrated the occasion by sharing a spread of human and dog treats.

And Bubble’s mom may be hoping the invocation yields a miracle, but the great-grandmother of another mutt said she is just praying it will help her kin’s pooch keep his good looks.

“Lucky has been blessed, everyone loves him because he’s cute,” said Gloria Rosado, who attended with her grandson and his Yorkie-Chihuahua mix.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 5:54 pm, July 9, 2018
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