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Congregation Or Chadash blesses all creatures great and small

Skylar Dehnert (left) and Riley Strizver wtih rabbit
Alice Mayoral, with Jordan the lizard, won most unusual pet. Photos: Debe Campbell/AJP)

Pets of all description were on parade at Congregation Or Chadash May 5 for the annual pet blessing. About 50 gathered with their beloved dogs, a rabbit, and a gecko to share the Prayer for Animals, led by Rabbi Thomas Louchheim.

The blessing also culminated a monthlong b’not mitzvah project for Riley and Jenna Strizver. The sisters collected food, blankets, and cash donations to help homeless animals in Tucson. They judged the pet parade and awarded gift card prizes for most unusual animal to Alice Mayoral and her gecko Jordan, smallest dog to Ella and Lilah Winters with Ruby, and largest dog to Beverly Sandock with Bacchus.

A rousing rendition of the “Arky, Arky” song was followed by recitation of the “Creature 10 Commandments,” which included instructions for owners such as thou shall provide shade and water, and for pets, including thou shall not nip, claw, or kick.