All dogs go to heaven, and some go to church
By Jeff Martin • USA TODAY • April 4, 2009
OMAHA, Neb. — As they enter the church, an occasional woof interrupts the piano notes wafting through the sanctuary.
But this is a forgiving audience.
It is full of dog lovers, mostly, who gather every Thursday to worship at Underwood Hills Presbyterian Church.
Usher Val Poulton and her Doberman, Sirius, are there to greet worshippers and ask, "Do you need a rug?"
"I hadn't been to church in many, many years, and this gave me a reason to come back with my friend," says Poulton, 51. She hasn't attended any church regularly since about 1988, she says.
Some dogs take seats on pews and sit upright. Others lie on the floor. Some prefer spots under the pews. Zulu, a large Doberman/Lab mix, tries to make friends across the aisle.
"Just relax," the Rev. Becky Balestri, 51, says to open the service. "It's like having kids in church."
The dogs calm down once the service begins, and the yipping and the yapping subside.
I like this idea. Now, cats might be a problem.