(Please note that I am the Friendly Neighborhood Methodist, & none of my opinions, therefore, have any canonical relevance…but– ( As always), I have an opinion.)
There are any number of good reasons why the dog might be there. Several have been mentioned. Here are a few others:
1.The dog just wandered in, & the priest is still trying to figure out how to stop this, without :eek: interrupting mass to chase the animal home again. Not a real option, IMNSHO].
2. The dog is in training to become a service dog. We get lots of these at the Methodist Church, and then they go on to a Catholic Church another Sunday, etc, until they know how to behave properly. [If this is the case, Father has his heart in the right place, but is, IMO, doing it wrong]. If you have Lions Club/Rotary/whatever service org as members, they do this a lot–training service animals. Maybe KofC, too??
3.Father has come to know that letting the dog in, is the lesser of two evils.[See Phemie’s post: This sort of thing was one of my thoughts, also].
4.Sometimes there is a behavioural problem related to age and/or health. [Some breeds are prone to a form of Alzsheimer’s, & the only way to care for them in their last days, is to not upset them unduelly. Cats may also have this problem in advanced age].
5. Do we know for sure that this is, indeed, a dog belonging to this actual priest? I have seen more than one stray animal just decide to come to church of a Sunday morning, sometimes trailing after a scent, sometimes just lonely, or bored. Only the bats who do this bother me.Pastor just shoos said http://bestsmileys.com/halloween1/9.gif into:shrug: the men’s room, & comes back & picks up where he left off.[Sometimes you do what you have to do. Something swooping over your head is definitely attention-getting; half the congregation was under the pews!!].
There are also some bad reasons why the dog may have been there. Ask someone else, who has been around the parish for awhile, before approaching Father, I think…Just to insure that you are not always hereafter referred to behind your back as “That nosy-nelly who made poor Father have his dear old pet put down when it was all ready living out its last few weeks in this world”. [Dogs get terminal illnesses, too, you know. Sometimes they are not in pain, just needy for a time, & then they pass away quietly, knowing they are loved & cared for].
Because it just may be, that you don’t know the whole story. I have seen all these scenarios & more played out before my very eyes…[In one case, the dog passed away between the early service & the late one, having slept under the front pew in the first].
Again: My opinion & :twocents: amounts to a little loose change.