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Church with a Puppy

Reno accompanied us to church today, as he does every Sunday.  Whether or not I could bring a puppy to church was one of the questions I had prior to becoming a puppy raiser.  When I talked to a puppy raiser at BYU Education Week, I learned that she took her dog practically everywhere, including church.  With that question answered, I was ready to embark (pun intended.)

I let some ward (congregation) members know ahead of time, so that they would not be taken aback when I showed up with a puppy.  Still, I went with a bit of trepidation.  Church is 3 hours long.  Could Reno behave for that length of time?  Could he learn proper behavior without being a distraction for the ward members? 

Though I have answered the same question posed by nearly every child-- "Why do you have a dog at church?"--everyone has been kind, patient, and supportive of Reno.  He is immensely popular, yet settles down in the meetings fairly quickly.  We purposely sit away from families with young children, so as not to be too much of a distraction. 

Reno is still learning to position himself parallel to the pews.  When he lies down perpendicular, he often ends up hitting someone with his wagging tail, or playing footsie with his paws. 

Today, he stayed parallel throughout the meeting.  I thought we were home free, but just as the closing hymn was ending, a young child from a couple of rows back sneaked into our pew to pet the dog.  I didn't mind, and hopefully his parents didn't either.  He stayed with us while the closing prayer was given, then got in a few more pats for Reno before his dad came and got him. 

Reno seems to enjoy church, and I'm enjoying taking him. 

Thankful thought:  Thanks to the ward members, who accept Reno and greet us with smiles and understanding. 

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