This October, Core Paws hosted its second annual Dog Honoring Ceremony. Although it fell on a rainy Saturday in Portland, Oregon, the weather didn’t keep Portlanders from attending this special event!
Inspired by the second day of Tihar, the week-long Hindu festival of lights that occurs in Nepal, we celebrated the intimate relationship between humans and dogs. Traditionally, participants offer garlands of flowers, tika, and delicious food to dogs to show appreciation for our symbiotic relationship. In Hindu mythology, dogs are said to be guardians of humans both in life and in death.
Ute Luppertz, an animal communicator, led our blessing. After a brief summary about the traditions and significance of Kukur Tihar, Ute dedicated the event to honoring and worshiping all dogs. This year, 12 dogs and their families were honored, along with a special remembrance for the ashes of one dog who had recently passed.
Ute led the blessing of the dogs by allowing the families to place a garland of flowers around each dog’s neck, and Ute met with each dog to place the tika (a pigmented, non-toxic powder) on their foreheads. Traditionally, the tika marks the dog as both a devotee of the righteous path and as an object of devotion, imbuing the dog with an air of sacredness and acting as a blessing to those who encounter the dog during Kukur Tihar.
The garlands, called malas, are a mark of respect and dignity. They announce the wearer as important and symbolizes an act of love from the dogs’ families.
At the start of the blessing, each family wrote down one wish for their dog and put it in the blessing bowl, which Core Paws burned afterwards. After the ceremony, there were refreshments and snacks for both humans and canines as they spent time together to socialize and share.
In 2018, we hope to be able to continue this event as an opportunity to honor our canine family members and raise funds for dogs without homes to find their forever families.
If you are celebrating something important to you, please consider honoring the dogs in your life and others’ lives by contributing a monetary gift to Core Paws and help hard-to-place animals across the country find their forever families.
More about Ute: Ute Luppertz, who led our ceremony, is an animal communicator, reiki master and Tellington TTouch practitioner. She takes in hospice special needs animals through Shiva’s Hope House, an organization she established in honor her beloved dog Shiva. She holds monthly animal grief support groups to honor animals who have passed away and to help the people who cared for them. Ute also helps to run a 501(c)(3) non-profit called Delicious Mickey Grrrl Rescue, who is a partner of Core Paws.