Saint Patrick's Day has been celebrated in the United States since 1737. Green beer, shamrocks and corned beef and cabbage are traditions that most Americans are familiar with but not many realize that today’s St Patrick’s Day paw-tys have really gone to the dogs.
According to Diana L Guerrero, “Pet households now outnumber those with kids and today more and more celebrations include pets. Irish breed clubs and owners now can even give their pets bowser beer (non-alcoholic) and raise funds with pooch smooching at ‘Kiss Me I’m Irish’ booths.”
Guerrero is the author of BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS: A GUIDE TO PRAYERS & CEREMONIES CELEBRATING PETS & OTHER CREATURES (ISBN 1402729677). The new book, scheduled for release in April, discusses pet pageants, pet parades, and the pet paw-ty craze sweeping the nation.
St. Patrick (387-461 AD) is the patron saint of Ireland and Roman Catholics celebrate his feast day on March 17th but the tradition has become a popular secular celebration.
Guerrero said, “One urban legend is that St Patrick drove all the snakes from Ireland--but snakes were never native to Ireland. Some people believe the snakes were a metaphor for the conversion of the pagans.”
A traditional icon of St Patrick’s Day is the shamrock. The Irish tale is that St. Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the Trinity--representing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—all separate parts of the same entity and this is why the custom of wearing a shamrock became a tradition on his feast day.
Guerrero said, “Pet owners now have a variety of fashion options available for their companion animals. Most grooming salons will use shamrock or green ribbons if you ask. I’d also encourage some beastly bling such as a shamrock pet tag. People can also find St Patrick holiday collars and bandanas. For those pet owners who want to dye their pets green for St. Patrick's Day? Ultimately it is the pet owner's decision but animal lovers should be alerted that the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center discourages the practice.”
Allergic reactions and toxic odors and residue from green dye could pose problems so before using any product on your companion animal make sure the product is non-toxic --and protect the pet's ear and eyes. Some safer alternatives? Try green Jell-O or professional grooming.
You know that a holiday has really gone to the dogs when there is a canine version of the St Patrick’s Day prayer:
May your dog rise up to meet you, with a bark and a wag of the tail.
When your day’s journey is over, may the woes of the day be gone.
As your faithful companion greets you, eager to welcome your home, may God hold you both in the palm of His hand.
-END-Review copies of BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS: A GUIDE TO PRAYERS & CEREMONIES CELEBRATING PETS AND OTHER CREATURES (ISBN 1402729677) are available to journalists. Contact Sterling Publishing Publicity at (212) 532-7160 or Krista Margies (646) 688-2510 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Diana L Guerrero is available for interviews. Learn more at:
RESOURCES OF INTEREST:
Irish Canine BreedsIrish red and white setterIrish SetterIrish terrierGlen of Imaal terrier
Kerry blue terrierIrish soft-coated wheaten terrier Irish water spanielIrish wolfhoundSt Patrick’s Day from Religion FactsSt Patrick’s Day from National GeographicSt Patrick’s Day from US InformationSt Patrick’s Day from the History ChannelSt Patrick’s Day Songs for Cat LoversWhat you might not know:
•In the United States wearing green is the typical attire for the day—but this was not the tradition in Ireland where the color was considered unlucky.
•Chicago is famous for dyeing the Chicago River green on St. Patrick's Day. The tradition began in 1962.
•Guinness stout was first brewed by Arthur Guinness in Dublin, Ireland in 1759. The beer has become synonymous with Ireland and Irish bars.
•Cabbage was traditionally served with Irish bacon not corned beef. Immigrants to America substituted corned beef around the turn of the century.
Labels: blessing of the animals, pet parade, st patrick's day