Dogs in Church

I believe dogs are always in the presence of God. They don’t get distracted by dogma (tee he) or doctrine. Dogs, without thinking about it per se, are always awake to the wonders of Creation.

Some people feel that dogs are less worthy–that they aren’t deserving of the merit of God. Evidently a dog who received communion in an Anglican church in Toronto caused one man to leave the church. (Read the full story here.)

In another story, a congregation found they could best accept people by accepting their pets.

What do you think? Does your dog have any part in your spiritual practices?

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  1. I’ve always had some of my best conversations with God on the back of a horse or with my dog. If I could bring my dog to church, I definitely would!


  2. I often regard dogs as quite spiritual – but I do not attend church, so we practice privately. :)

  3. I’ll start by saying I’m not religious so it’s hard for me to be completely subjective on the subject (versus objective). However, I do believe people are getting too much in the habit of bringing dogs everywhere ‘on purpose.’ Meaning, if i’m going out to dinner with my husband, i won’t bring my dog for the sake of brining my dog just because we can here in CH or because he’s well behaved. If I happen to be out with my dog and need to go into a store for any reason, or perhaps get a bite to eat, then it’s a nice comfort knowing i can bring the dogs since they are already with me. My walks are long and sometimes it’s a good idea to combine a few small errands with a walk because we dont’ have a 2nd car. so for convenience sake it’s nice. but from seeing dogs in crowded stores and restaurants (soemtimes you’ll see 5 dogs in one restaurant and 1 will inevitably make a scene about another dog), i can definitely tell, they are NOT having fun. they don’t like being in crowds, in tight clothing stores, bored out of their mind. I won’t bring my dog on a 3 or 4 hour shopping trip for example as I see many people do.

    we as dog lovers have to respect that not everyone likes dogs. to bring them into public, they should be able to be ignored just like most people ignore strangers other than a polite hello.

    I tend to believe religions are more exclusive than they are inclusive so i’m not surprised a parishioner would be offended and walk out. to each his own. briging a dog for communion probably will set a precedent and others will likely want to do the same. The church will eventually face some sort of stance on whether they believe animals should be allowed in/receive communion or not. Maybe not tomorrow, but it’s coming. I do know some churches have a yearly “bring your pet for blessing.” but time will tell when it will eventually come down to whether they are allowed for weekly service/communion.

    If I were religious, I probably would NOT bring my dog to service most likely in the spirit of my own dog’s interest and well-being. he would be bored out of his mind and happier at home, in his own space.

    • I think the best way to decide whether to bring a dog to any event (religious or not) is to think about what’s best for the dog. I’m sure Loki and Juno appreciate that. And I appreciate your sensitivity to people who are not dog lovers.

      My mother is afraid of dogs and she’s been startled by off leash dogs in stores.

      I like bringing Honey with me many places I go. But I don’t shop recreationally. And my habits reflect that I like spending time with my dog–I go walking, I go camping, I go kayaking. I can’t see bringing Honey with me to places where she’s not allowed to be a dog.


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