Friday 18 January 2019

Watch: Bark! The hairy angels sing - dogs fill Christ Church Cathedral for annual carol service

Pavlina Molotok Ayduran pictured with her dog Gingerbread. Photo: Saskia Vermeulen
Pavlina Molotok Ayduran pictured with her dog Gingerbread. Photo: Saskia Vermeulen
Dogs from all over the country, including therapy dogs, gathered at Christ Church Cathedral for their annual carol service. Photo: Saskia Vermeulen

Rachel Farrell and Saskia Vermeulen

Dogs from all over the country gathered in Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin on Tuesday for their annual Christmas carol service alongside Peata.

Many of the pooches present were part of the therapy dog programme with voluntary organisation Peata.

Others came from all over the country to listen to carols sung by the girl choristers of Christ Church, and to mingle with other pets.

Michael and Margaret Dickson brought along their dogs Tessie and Millie, who regularly volunteer at nursing homes and centres for homeless people.

“My cousin originally did this, and I saw what a difference it makes to people. I used to bring in a puppy to my father when he was in a nursing home,” Margaret told Independent.ie.

“It makes a huge difference to people to have a little outside interest and to remember what they may have had themselves.”

Tessie and Millie pictured at the event. Photo: Saskia Vermeulen
Tessie and Millie pictured at the event. Photo: Saskia Vermeulen

Pavlina Molotok Ayduran, originally from Turkey, brought her dog Gingerbread along so they could experience their first carol concert together.

“He’s my everything, my soul,” Pavlina said about her Russian lap dog.

“I’m wondering about the Christmas carols, I’ve never seen them before. In my country there is nothing like this, so I wanted to live the experience together with my dog.”

Meanwhile puppy Spark, a cocker spaniel mix, took a break from working alongside his owner Isabella McKeown as a therapy dog to check out the festive tunes.

“I got him as a therapy dog because I have bipolar. He helps me stay in the moment,” Isabella said.

“I have to take medicine and it’s hard to get up in the morning. He gets up at half seven and I have to be responsible, feed him, toilet him, walk him.

"I stopped worrying about myself all the time because I worry about him.”

The dogs received a special blessing at the event ahead of the new year. All funds raised today went to Peata and the Peter McVerry Trust. 

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