Saint Francis of Assisi is known as the patron saint of animals. A lot of homeowners put statues up in their gardens (our priest told a joke that St. Francis was the patron saint of birdbaths.
St. Francis' Feast Day is October 4th, and around that time each year, churches sponsor and event known as The Blessing of the Animals.
It was a nice event, glorious weather. A nice short half hour, with some religious hymns (Canticle of the Sun) and spraying the animals with holy water. There were many dogs, some cats, two horses and an assortment of gerbils and lizards.
If you are a dog lover, (and why else would you be looking at this blog) I recommend it.