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Archive for July 29th, 2010

Communion for dogs? Why not?

An Anglican priest in Canada who drew criticism for feeding a communion wafer to a dog has apologized.

Donald Keith, 56, and Trapper, his German shepherd-Rhodesian ridgeback mix, frequented a park outside St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Toronto, and would sit on its steps as part of their daily routine.

Last month, Rev. Marguerite Rea welcomed both inside and gave them both a wafer during communion — an act of kindness that, as can happen when it comes to religion, created a furor. One parishioner filed a formal complaint with Anglican Bishop Patrick Yu, leading Rea to apologize this week.

“If I have hurt, upset or embarrassed anyone, I apologize,” Rea said on Sunday. “It was a simple church act of reaching out.”

Keith, a 56-year-old truck driver, got Trapper three years ago from a shelter, where, after three previous owners declared him unmanageable, he was likely going to be euthanized, according to the Toronto Star.

Every day, the two sit on the front steps of St. Peter’s for “reflection and spiritual renewal,” Keith told the newspaper. In late June, police urged the two to move off the spot, and Keith stepped inside the church to complain. Rea, the interim minister, invited Keith and Trapper to attend church.

When offered communion, Keith accepted. Trapper only sniffed the wine, but gobbled up the wafer.

Bishop Yu called the act a “misguided gesture of welcoming.”

But Rea says she’s received support through phone calls, visits and emails. The congregant who complained has since left the church, and others have no problem with the minister’s gesture.

“We’re all God’s creatures,” said one of them, Suzette Mafuna. “If a dog goes into a church, he’s entitled to every service that’s offered, including spiritual nourishment.”

(Photo: By Colin McConnell/Toronto Star)

Please don’t squeeze the “envision”

Now that’s a toilet paper name.

None of that puffy-cloud, bed-of-cotton, heaven-and-angel imagery. No, when Georgia-Pacific chose a name for its toilet paper, it picked “envision.”

A lofty moniker, even in lower case, but not fluffy — like Cottonelle, Charmin or White Cloud, or other Georgia-Pacific brands (Quilted Northern, Angel Soft and Soft’n Gentle.)

I’m no expert on toilet paper marketing trends — other than noticing that most companies try to portray their product, often with the use of clouds and puppies, as the softest substance on earth. But there has also been a slightly less ballyhooed move toward more environmentally friendly products.

envision describes itself as 100 percent recycled, which, even though it doesn’t really mean that 100 percent of it comes from recycled waste paper, is a step in the right direction — one also taken by brands such as Seventh Generation, Ecosoft and Small Steps, from Marcal.

I’d never run into envision before, but it seems to be the brand of choice at Motel 6 — the chain that, in our continuing travels, we often end up in because of its combination of dog-friendliness and affordability.

With its greenish wrapper, and its Obama-esque name, envision not only starts with same four letters as “environment,” but seems to convey, if you read between the lines — or in this case, plies — a message of hope for a cleaner planet. Of course one could draw other connotations. Most people in the midst of their constitutional, if they’re not reading, are envisioning — thinking lofty and throneworthy thoughts about what they are going to accomplish in the day ahead, or at least about the successful completion of the deed at hand.

Either way, it’s a very hopeful sounding toilet paper, one that seems to tell us to shoot for the stars, be all you can be. If you can view it, you can do it. You, like it, are on a roll.

Doggie market goes even more pupscale

Just when you thought the pet gear market couldn’t get any more precious, Martha Stewart and Crate & Barrell have launched new lines of upscale doggie products to further spoil our pooches.

Crate & Barrel is offering “a colorful pet gear line, which includes toys, beds, collars, leashes and more — all under $70,” according to PeoplePets.

It reports: “While we love the patterned cotton bones and catnip-filled mice, our pets are drooling over the dishwasher-safe porcelain bowls ($6.95-$14.95) adorned with conversation bubbles that say “Woof,” “Ruff” and “Meow.” Porcelain treat jars ($14.95-$19.95) are another charming accent for your kitchen. Dog jars feature a black-and-white fire hydrant motif and a bone-shaped handle, while the cat ones have fish and mice graphics and a fish-shaped handle.”

The new line is available in stores and on the Crate & Barrel website.

Martha, meanwhile — shown above during the taping of a commercial — has teamed up with PetSmart to premiere her Martha Stewart Pets line, which includes bowls, feeders, tote bags, toys, collars, leashes, beds and grooming accessories, all “designed with dogs and their owners in mind.”