Weekends rarely go as planned and last Sunday was no exception.
It began routinely enough, waking up around 9:30 a.m., eating breakfast and searching the newspaper for the Best Buy ad, while waiting patiently for the Colts/Texans game to begin at noon.
That's when a female's voice provided a gentle reminder that instead of watching football, a chili feed and pet blessing would be attended at a local church. Chili was being served around noon with the blessing following at 2 p.m.
My first thought was: Colts/Texans dead.
The second thought: Mmm, chili.
And the third: Pet blessing?
Interesting idea, the blessing of a pet. But is it really necessary? How much trouble can a dog or cat or rabbit really get into with the Lord?
A quick, mental rehash of the seven deadly sins showed that the family dog (or in our case three dogs) could use a good blessing, or two.
Lust. A leg or two has been targeted at this household and we've all seen what goes on at the dog park. Check.
Gluttony. Give a dog enough food and it will eat until it bursts. Double check.
Greed. Dogs aren't the best at sharing. You know who you are Chewy. Check.
Sloth. If they're not eating or playing, they're sleeping. Check.
Wrath. Don't nudge a sleeping dog at our house, accidentally or otherwise. Unless you want to hear the most frightening growl in the universe.
Envy. Animals aren't dumb enough to be envious, that's reserved for humans.
Pride. Also a dumb trait reserved for humans.
Fast forward to the chili feed, in the basement of the church. There were no TVs, but a quick text message to dad for score updates did the job. Now that's a true blessing.
After the chili feed, humans and pets alike walked two-by-two upstairs to the sanctuary to begin animal mass. By that time the Colts were down 27-10, making me glad not to be at home directing wrath towards the TV.
The animal mass itself was extremely entertaining. Just imagine a normal Sunday mass, but with a couple dozen dogs or cats sitting in pews with their owners soaking in The Good Word. Sprinkle in an occasional bark or meow and you've painted an accurate picture of the scene.
At the conclusion of mass, the priest dabbed holy water on each animal and read a prayer.
On the way out of the church a new text message said that the Colts had won, scoring 21 points in the final five minutes of the game.
I smiled and gave my fiancee a hug. This was a good afternoon.
The town's animals had been saved and I had been saved the stress of watching the final five minutes of the Colts/Texans game.
(Craig Haupert is a sports writer for The Minot Daily News. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)