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A Guide Dog’s Prayer to Saint Francis

October 5, 2016


NOTE:  Since yesterday (October 4, 2016) was the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, since my nephew Eric added a Saint Francis medal to my fourth Leader Dog’s collar this past weekend when Willow and I visited Michigan, and since I have had a case of constructionitis due to all the preparatory work for the most unnecessary streetcar (trolley), I decided that this week was a perfect time for sharing with you once again my blog post from October 7, 2015.  Of course, when I gave my third Leader Dog part of the byline for this poem, I never ever thought that she would not be leading me on this year’s feast day of Saint Francis.  With warm and loving memories of Zoe, as well as blessings and gratitude for Willow, I pray the following for my young guide dog who has had to contend with so many construction obstacles and challenges during the past few weeks and will need to continue to do so for too many months ahead.



A Guide Dog’s Prayer to Saint Francis of Assisi


(Patron Saint of Animals and the Environment)



by Leader Dog Zoe and Alice Jane-Marie Massa



Dear Saint Francis of Assisi,

bless me,

a guide dog in Milwaukee;

and please bless

all my fellow guide dogs around the world.


Bless my eyes

so that I can see what my handler cannot see.


where there is a driver who is texting,

instead of watching the road,

show me the safe path to guide my handler.


Bless my ears

so that I may hear those too quiet electric vehicles

at an intersection or at an alley.


Bless me with grace

as I maneuver

my beloved friend and myself

through crowded sidewalks,

hallways, stores, classrooms,

theatres, restaurants, elevators,

hospitals, churches, and cathedrals.


When ear-piercing sirens zoom by,

when construction work vibrates in my ears,

when leaf-blowers rage a wall of noise–

bless me with courage.


When snow deeply lines my path,

ice makes our way slippery,

sleet stings my face,

wind challenges my strength–

bless me with your warmth.


When I walk on hot sidewalks and streets,

when my fur becomes warm on a sunny day–

bless me with your cooling touch.


When my handler takes so long to get ready to leave,

to prepare my bowl of food,

or to wash my paws–

thank you for blessing me with patience.


When I get a whiff of

all those wonderful smells,

indoors or outdoors,

bless me with reminders

of when I will receive

my treats and meals.


When a little dog yaps and yaps at me,

when a big dog  barks my way,

thank you for continuing to bless me

with concentration on my very important work

so that I never bark back.


When a squirrel, bunny,

duck, bird, or

any other animal

tries to distract me–

thank you for continuing to bless me

so that I think only of my handler.


Dear Saint Francis,

on your feast day Of October 4,

and throughout the years,

please continue to bless me

with good health

so that I may work

for a very long time

as a guide dog.

Someone needs me,

and I need your daily blessing.


Please bless

all the paws

that make

this happy, noble,

and peaceful journey of guiding

on Earth.



May Saint Francis bless all guide dogs and all of your pets,

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


October 5, 2016, Wednesday



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  1. Amen!
    For Willow, Zoe, and all Leader Dogs with love and admiration from Mary

    • Mary–Thank you for having the Saint Francis medal blessed by your priest.

      Have a good day with your little pre-schoolers!

      Alice and Willow

  2. Alice.
    May God bless all the dogs of the world, and may He protect the magical memories of wonderful Zoey. May He also protect and guide you, and your Willow girl through tomorrow, and towards the amazing future He has in store for you both.
    In honor of all.

    • Deon–Thank you for your beautiful prayer and good wishes. I so appreciate your mentioning Zoe.

      With special thanks, Alice and Willow

  3. Sue McKendry permalink

    Alice–What a nice prayer to St. Francis, and what a nice reminder for those of us who can easily forget the many obstacles and temptations guide dogs face in their line of duty. Thank you for including our pets. With your permission, I’d like to share this with our veterinarian who has several St. Francis statues in her gardens.–Sue

    • Sue–Oh, yes, please share this prayer with your veterinarian. How interesting that she has a collection of statues of Saint Francis!

      Take care–Alice and Willow

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