Chaos Springer receives his blessing from Kay Wheeler at Trinity Episcopal Church Sunday afternoon, part of the church’s annual blessing of the animals. A dozen canines and their owners attended the ceremony, led by Wheeler and Rev. John Sink. Following several prayers and a reading from the book of Genesis (1:20-22, 24-28, 31a), the entire assembly joined in St. Francis of Assisi’s prayer “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.” The animals were then anointed by holy water on a stem of rosemary. Music to accompany the service was performed by Tom Adams and Brooks Jones. For a gallery of pictures, visit www.apalachtimes.com. - By Lois Swoboda