Home
JoAnna Lou
Print|Email|Text Size: ||
Canines in the Christmas Crèche
A dog is added to a NYC nativity this year

My pets are my family, so I can't imagine Christmas without them. They have stockings hung up on the fireplace, ornaments on the tree and presents waiting for them on Christmas morning. The way we include dogs in our traditions is a reflection of the important role they play in our life.

This year at St. Patrick's Cathedral, a dog figure will make an appearance in the Christmas crèche, thanks to Monsignor Robert Ritchie. Two of Ritchie's previous parishes included dogs in the crèches and after visiting two churches in Rome that had dogs, he decided St. Patrick's had to add one to their nativity scene.

Ritchie has always been a dog lover and the inspiration for the canine addition comes from his Labrador, Lexington. Fifteen years ago, Ritchie was mourning the loss of his dog when his best friend dragged him to a pet store. Ritchie swore he wouldn't get another dog, but ended up falling in love with a Labrador puppy who he named Lexington, the street the store was on. Today, Lexington is a loyal companion and beloved member of St. Patrick's congregation.

Lexington officially welcomed his crèche figure by licking it on the nose. Lexington II, as the figure is called, was carved at the same studio in Italy where the other nativity figures were created.

Of course, I'm not crazy that Lexington is from a pet store, but I loved this story about being inspired by our dogs and including them in our most important traditions.

Print|Email
JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

More From The Bark

More in JoAnna Lou:
Trekking to a New Beginning
Mayor for a Day
Ebola Guidelines for Pets
Building a Second Chance
Walking for Shelter Pups
Canine Neighborhood Watch
Braving the Doorbell on Halloween
Instinctive Canine Comfort?
Therapy Dogs on Campus
Mislabeled Food