50 dogs, guinea pig at Pet Shabbat
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50 dogs, guinea pig at Pet Shabbat

Bagels and bones.

That’s the buzz continuing so strongly this week at Temple Solel about allowing pets at a special worship service Saturday that organizers are already planning next year’s Pet Shabbat. (Shabbat, or Sabbath, is the day of rest and spiritual enrichment in Judaism.)

“Of the 75 people and 50 dogs and one guinea pig – I think we had 12 schnauzers alone,” said the temple’s executive director David Lamden.

In the temple’s courtyard, just beyond the tables of fruit and bagels and cream cheese, dog bones were on a lower level buffet. Water bowls of varying sizes lined the wall.

As the congregation rejoiced in musical song and prayer, some dogs howled along and even the occasional growling match between dogs seemed in harmony with the religious tradition.

Attendants chuckled when Rabbi John Linder asked the congregation to rise for a prayer. “I expect all the dogs to rise too,” he said with an inflection that blended the serious and humorous tone of the service.

Rachel Lindzon, 10, responded to the rabbi’s request by lifting her 5-year-old Dachshund named Bagel up slightly above her shoulders. Bagel and other dogs sported sweaters or bandanas.

Two-year-old Briana Lieber’s attire sparkled for the occasion. Her bright pink backpack was adorned with a fuzzy stuffed dog.

Her grandparents, Barbara and Harvey Wasserman, echoed the sentiments of others.

“What a wonderful way this was to celebrate Shabbat, and help the Arizona Humane Society at the same time,” said Barbara Wasserman.

The temple requested participants to donate one or more pet items from a Humane Society wish list.

www.azcentral.com

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