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Thread: Well . . . doggies !!

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    Forum Regular menschenstimme's Avatar
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    Well . . . doggies !!

    I never thought I would see the day. Please tell me if I have been living in a cocoon all my life or what. Besides being assistant organist, I also do considerable volunteer maintenance work at our church and have been doing so in varying degrees for about 30 years. We are in an upper-middle-class very ethnically mixed neighborhood. Fortnunately, there are enough RCs in the vicinity to keep our parish viable.

    I was touching up some paint in the choir loft this afternoon and looked down to see a casually-dressed, well-groomed middle-aged white man walk into the church with his small dog (terrier?) on a leash. He knelt down to pray with his dog next to him. I was stunned and not sure what to do. Then I decided to address the issue, partly out of courtesy to our custodian, because I did not want him to have to deal with it.

    I quietly approached the gentleman and asked his pardon for interrupting his prayers and advised him that we do not allow dogs in the church (except for official assistance dogs). He and I must be from different planets, because I was obviously amazed and appalled that this was even happening, and he was incredulous as well - albeit from a different perspective. I told him that he was welcome to stay all afternoon, but that he must please tie his little dog up outside. Just for the record, it was a beautiful afternoon - about 76 and clear - and he did go ahead and tie up the dog just outside the door where he was praying in a shady spot.

    So, is there something wrong with me or was this man out of bounds?

    I happen to encounter one of our priests a few minutes later and told him what had happened and that it really freaked me out because it all seemed so strange - almost surreal. The priest seemed to take my side - as long as I was objecting only to the dog and not the gentleman himself. The priest also said that he found this rather exceptional.

    Angels and ministers of grace defend us! --Hamlet

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    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by menschenstimme View Post
    I never thought I would see the day. Please tell me if I have been living in a cocoon all my life or what. Besides being assistant organist, I also do considerable volunteer maintenance work at our church and have been doing so in varying degrees for about 30 years. We are in an upper-middle-class very ethnically mixed neighborhood. Fortnunately, there are enough RCs in the vicinity to keep our parish viable.

    I was touching up some paint in the choir loft this afternoon and looked down to see a casually-dressed, well-groomed middle-aged white man walk into the church with his small dog (terrier?) on a leash. He knelt down to pray with his dog next to him. I was stunned and not sure what to do. Then I decided to address the issue, partly out of courtesy to our custodian, because I did not want him to have to deal with it.

    I quietly approached the gentleman and asked his pardon for interrupting his prayers and advised him that we do not allow dogs in the church (except for official assistance dogs). He and I must be from different planets, because I was obviously amazed and appalled that this was even happening, and he was incredulous as well - albeit from a different perspective. I told him that he was welcome to stay all afternoon, but that he must please tie his little dog up outside. Just for the record, it was a beautiful afternoon - about 76 and clear - and he did go ahead and tie up the dog just outside the door where he was praying in a shady spot.

    So, is there something wrong with me or was this man out of bounds?

    I happen to encounter one of our priests a few minutes later and told him what had happened and that it really freaked me out because it all seemed so strange - almost surreal. The priest seemed to take my side - as long as I was objecting only to the dog and not the gentleman himself. The priest also said that he found this rather exceptional.

    Angels and ministers of grace defend us! --Hamlet


    In my humble opinion you were so incredibly wrong. If you believe in God you should believe in all his creations. That man may have lost his wife and his dog is his only companion. I think you deprived him of the peace one can find in church. My dog is my peace and company. Wow sorry but I am unable to wrap my mind around it mattering if the dog was in church.
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    Charm Thai™
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    menschenstimme I agree with you and JM I respectfully disagree with you. There are countless places where only guide dogs are allowed and frankly a church should be high on the list. Dogs are animals and if some people chose to domesticate them well then that's their business but don't force them on anyone else. If a human can bring an animal into a church then where do you cross the line? How about a ferret, a deer, a bobcat...after all they are "god's creations" too. Animals belong in the wild with as little human intervention as possible. Some may say their animal is part of their family and that may be so to them but that will never make them a human being so rules and regulations cannot be the same.

    This does not mean i dislike animals at all i just think they have places where they belong and places they do not.

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    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHills44060 View Post
    menschenstimme I agree with you and JM I respectfully disagree with you. There are countless places where only guide dogs are allowed and frankly a church should be high on the list. Dogs are animals and if some people chose to domesticate them well then that's their business but don't force them on anyone else. If a human can bring an animal into a church then where do you cross the line? How about a ferret, a deer, a bobcat...after all they are "god's creations" too. Animals belong in the wild with as little human intervention as possible. Some may say their animal is part of their family and that may be so to them but that will never make them a human being so rules and regulations cannot be the same.

    This does not mean i dislike animals at all i just think they have places where they belong and places they do not.


    Maintenance was being performed. He did not bring the dog in during a service. Sounds like the church was fairly empty. What if the gentleman was out walking his dog and wanted to stop in and pray. Why do people have to go to extremes in an argument. A bobcat my effing ass.
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    Charm Thai™
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    Not trying to go to extremes. Where would you draw the line? Is there a line? You don't think that as soon as someone sees that a dog can have his run of the place someone is going to try and bring their rabbit, chinchilla, iguana, hamster, etc... into the church too? It will happen and then what you have is a zoo on sunday mornings with the smell to go with it.

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    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHills44060 View Post
    Not trying to go to extremes. Where would you draw the line? Is there a line? You don't think that as soon as someone sees that a dog can have his run of the place someone is going to try and bring their rabbit, chinchilla, iguana, hamster, etc... into the church too? It will happen and then what you have is a zoo on sunday mornings with the smell to go with it.
    Are you paying any attention? They were in the church doing maintenance which is normally not done on a Sunday. The man was walking his dog which usually indicates a leash. The dog would not have had the run of the place. An iguana I think you are just wanting to argue.
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    Charm Thai™
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    It's only an argument if you do not consider the others point of view JM. You have to look at the big picture. It doesn't matter what day it was, what kind of animal it was or how long it was inside the church. If by rule a dog isn't allowed in that parish then the gentleman is more than free to go find a church that does. Now would you say that menschenstimme was wrong for doing his job and enforcing that rule because you "cannot wrap your mind around it" ?

    Just things to think about. No reason for two opposing opinions to start an argument. I value your point of view otherwise I would bother posting. It's no different that having different feelings about an amp or speakers.

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    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHills44060 View Post
    It's only an argument if you do not consider the others point of view JM. You have to look at the big picture. It doesn't matter what day it was, what kind of animal it was or how long it was inside the church. If by rule a dog isn't allowed in that parish then the gentleman is more than free to go find a church that does. Now would you say that menschenstimme was wrong for doing his job and enforcing that rule because you "cannot wrap your mind around it" ?

    Just things to think about. No reason for two opposing opinions to start an argument. I value your point of view otherwise I would bother posting. It's no different that having different feelings about an amp or speakers.


    I guess I see people in jobs who react to things for no reason other than they perceive themselves as having a little power. I guess I have worked too long with the elderly and understand their loneliness. I immediately saw one of my former clients who after the death of a wife, children moved away and feeling all alone stopped in a church as a quiet place to remember loved ones and friends that have gone on before him. To suggest the dog be tied up outside when the dog could have easily been stolen would have been crueler than the dog having an accident on the church. To be so lonely and have your faithful dog turn up missing, wow what unimaginable pain and loss. I am considering the man's point of view since in this instance it is all that matters. In my religious youth I was taught to do for the least of my brethren and I would have given the man peace and humbly cleaned up after the dog if need be.
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    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by menschenstimme View Post
    ...

    I quietly approached the gentleman and asked his pardon for interrupting his prayers and advised him that we do not allow dogs in the church (except for official assistance dogs). He and I must be from different planets, because I was obviously amazed and appalled that this was even happening, and he was incredulous as well - albeit from a different perspective. I told him that he was welcome to stay all afternoon, but that he must please tie his little dog up outside. Just for the record, it was a beautiful afternoon - about 76 and clear - and he did go ahead and tie up the dog just outside the door where he was praying in a shady spot.

    So, is there something wrong with me or was this man out of bounds?

    I happen to encounter one of our priests a few minutes later and told him what had happened and that it really freaked me out because it all seemed so strange - almost surreal. The priest seemed to take my side - as long as I was objecting only to the dog and not the gentleman himself. The priest also said that he found this rather exceptional.

    Angels and ministers of grace defend us! --Hamlet
    Granted, I would think it's common that churches -- along with many other buildings -- forbid dogs and other pet for hygienic reasons. But on the other hand people have great friendship and love with their pets. So I'm really not quite sure why you were "appalled" or why it seems "surreal" to you.

    I once tried to bring our dog into the airport in the city where I live now to greet my son visiting from a distant city where he was studying and where we had once lived. I knew he would like to see the dog. And I had taken the dog into the airport in that distant city any objections.

    However here the security guard reacted without your grace. He was very indignant that anyone would dare presume to bring a dog into an airport building. Rules are rules but I couldn't his amazement and near belligerence that anyone would even hope to bring a family pet to meet someone at an airport.

    I remember a painting, probably early 17th century of a Calvinist church service, possibly in Switzerland or Holland; (I wish I could find link). Being Presbyterian and being a bit interested in early Protestant practice, I wasn't surprised to see a few oddities of the time, e.g. the gentlemen were wearing their hats in the church during the service -- this was the Reformed Church practice at the time. But what surprised and delighted me was a dog pictured lying in an open area near the front of the church, (the chancel), clearly to no one's dismay.

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    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    One of the early teachings I remember was if someone came to you in need and you had excess you should help. The idea was that Jesus might come to earth and present as someone in need. When I was hungry did you feed me? When I was naked did you clothe me? What ever you do for the least of me you do unto me.
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    JohnMichael, I have to agree with you here. Just another reason The Church is losing people in droves. I can understand if this was during regular mass, but still don't totally agree, but this was an Off Time with nobody to bother except for someone who chose to intervene and not just allow the poor guy to pray. If the dog barfed or crapped, it may have been different. If it was a Pony....maybe not quite the right thing. But you said it was a little terrier. Come on!

    There are churches all over the world that do allow pets and some have special Pet Services.

    And again as JohnMichael points out, everything here on earth came from one place AND is a part of that place/thing. How is the Life of an animal less of a life than a human? Same miracle, different shapes and sizes.
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    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    We have some local churches that have days for blessing of pets. I have been in a number of very large churches and if the sermon was boring or in a different language I could always enjoy watching birds flying around. A good cat keeps an old church free of mice and rats.

    At the risk of beating a dead horse but for me a person's spiritual/comfort needs outweighs the needs of a building/structure.
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    In this in this particular church no animals are allowed but you guys want to make all sorts of stipulations/exceptions about what time of day it was, the type of establishment, the type of animal, the phase of the moon and so on. The fact is this church has a rule and menschenstimme did his job by enforcing it. The gentleman needs to find a church that allows pets. Very simple.

    Doesn't matter if it was a church, hospital, restaurant or karaoke bar. In this building pets are prohibited. Don't let religion cloud rational thinking.

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    Stupid rules are to be challenged and changed for the better of all. The church should not be so stringent as again, that is one of their biggest problems.

    I am betting the dog was quieter than some children and cleaner than some of the members by how the OP stated it all.

    Shame on any church for being so rude to anyone just trying to pray for a moment. I'm glad I am not a member of that church.
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    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    TheHills I think you need to reread the original post. The church was RC = Roman Catholic and he talked to the priest. He was performing maintenance and since he is an organist Mass was not taking place. The man was dressed appropriately and the dog was a terrier which is not a large dog.

    I was raised Roman Catholic and never saw a no dogs allowed sign on the door. As a matter of fact a service dogs cannot be refused entrance. Yes I know a terrier is not a service dog.

    So please reread the original post and if you need further clarity PM the OP.
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    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Mensch we are a group with strong feelings. Do not let difference of opinions keep you from contributing. We do get into it from time to time. Just one big dysfunctional family.
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    I debated about responding but hey, the OP did ask for input.

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    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    Mensch we are a group with strong feelings. Do not let difference of opinions keep you from contributing. We do get into it from time to time. Just one big dysfunctional family.

    And it's in that spirit that I bring up the question, "What happens when people bring pitbulls to church?"...
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

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    Charm Thai™
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    So please reread the original post and if you need further clarity PM the OP.
    Thanks for the suggestion JM. Very constructive comment.

    Ok so what you are saying is that menschenstimme made a mistake and dogs ARE in fact allowed in the church?!?! Don't know how you could possibly know that but you seem to somehow. If that is the case then I totally agree with you.

    Let me ask you this...if dogs are welcome why did the priest not do anything rectify the situation and have the man get the dog?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks View Post
    And it's in that spirit that I bring up the question, "What happens when people bring pitbulls to church?"...

    Michael Vick is at the other end of the leash

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    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks View Post
    And it's in that spirit that I bring up the question, "What happens when people bring pitbulls to church?"...

    The problem is not the breed but the owner. If dogs are bothersome wait until you see us worship with snakes. Oh and the lamb sacrifice can be a little messy.
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    Charm Thai™
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    Hahaha nice one Hyfi.

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    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    I'm just playing Devil's Advocate...to an extent..."just sayin'"...

    ...I love animals, poin of fact, there are 4 pf them in my household...that said, until you've been attacked by one the high road is the easy road....
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks View Post
    I'm just playing Devil's Advocate...to an extent..."just sayin'"...

    ...I love animals, poin of fact, there are 4 pf them in my household...that said, until you've been attacked by one the high road is the easy road....
    Yeah but we still are not talking about a fight trained pit bull, we are talking about a well dressed man with a little dropkicking dog. We obviously would have to let people make an educated and well thought out decision as to what would be inappropriate. But a guy with a tiny dog just wanting to pray for a few minutes should just been ignored.

    He did not go out into the street inviting everyone with a pet to join him, it was an isolated case with no harm intended or delivered.

    All this is exactly why they keep electing Popes that are so friggin old. Because they do not want CHANGE in any fashion and by choosing those that are closed minded and not in touch with reality, they keep up the hard line of My Way or Hell.

    I personally would have tried to pet the pooch, not kick it out and I don' have any pets at this time.

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    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    TheHills I said service dogs cannot be denied access and I said as a former member of the RC church that I never knew of a no dogs allowed rule. The priest did not say anything because you do not piss off the volunteers. Did you want the priest to tell him that was a piss poor thing to do? His actions lacked compassion and any messages of love taught to us by Jesus.
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