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Beastly Blessings

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LAist got out of the house today and attended the 75th La Benedicion de los Animales/Blessing of the Animals at Olvera Street. An annual event held on the Saturday before Easter Sunday, this year attracted a large crowd. Since unexpected (and expensive) dental surgery sidelined our feline companion, we didn't participate in this year's procession and blessing.

Instead, we stood on the sidelines and took pictures. However, we found a canine correspondent, and LA resident, named Bucho (pictured above) who gave us his impressions:

Hi, Bucho here. Well, we made it to the procession after parking near Alpine Street. I must say the first thing that hit me were the smells. The exotic smells of downtown Los Angeles are memorable. I can tell where we are as soon as I stick my snout out the car window.

Chinatown smells spicy; anise scents the air. The first smell I pick up on Olvera Street is leather. Must be all those wallets and shoes for sale.

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We lined up for the procession in a rather haphazard manner. First came the work animals-beast of burdens like an ox and a cow. I even saw a huge hog, too. Then came the horses, who were well-dressed in braids and silver bridles.

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Angelenos sure like dogs. Canine-Americans were well-represented in today's procession. Small dogs prevailed, but there were some medium sized breeds and some big dogs who could show off their Easter-themed garlands.

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The little dogs were the most extroverted.

There was one dog who even had wings!

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Which she seemed determined to lose...

and another dog who thought she was an infant, but she was 7 years if she was a day--

I especially liked the way this doggie, Chiquita, posed with her minders.

There was even one Tinkerbell Hilton wannabe who pranced around in silver slippers and a spangled visor. My friends and I decided she must have been quite a bitch to accumulate such flashy gear.

Actually, shoes were a practical accessory since it got kinda wet in that area where the tall fellow in the funny white hat tossed water on us with a brown bristle brush.

Some dogs didn't like the water and shied away.

I was shocked to see some cats in the procession as they aren't known to travel well in mixed company. Some just rode in their carriers while others held fast to their human companions.

There were lots of ducks, geese, and chickens in the procession.

Since it was so close to Easter, cute bunnies were in attendance as well.

I didn't want to say this in front of the rabbits, but I think the bunnies should be blessed twice cause they'll need all the help they can get to survive more than eight weeks after the Easter holidays...

Some lucky pigeons were released by a strange troop of humans dressed in the plumes of their ancestors, who must have been pheasants by the look of them.

Exotic animals received blessings, too. I sniffed a huge, green iguana, a yellow python, lots of turtles, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice and rats. I don't know what was in this tank but it looked cool.

After the procession, it was time for photo-ops on the Plaza. We even spotted several

political animals.

Is there an election coming up?

After the parade and blessing, we milled about Olvera Street for a snack and a well-deserved drink.

Boy, Los Angeles treats its canine friends well. El Paseo Inn even had mariachi bands serenading us on the patio. With all the dogs eating over-priced taquitos with their human companions, the scene felt positively Parisian.

When we weren't eating, we visited the vendors. I wanted to stop and shred all the pinatas shaped like donkeys, but there was no time. My human companions and I noticed lots of Mexican wrestling masks and T-Shirts that made us laugh. Brown Power is the main theme of Olvera Street merchandise; we saw T-Shirts with the "Star Wars" typeface stating "The Indigenous Strike Back" or a Starbucks logo replaced with the words "Staybrown * Chicanos."

I had a good day but now I am very tired. When I get home, I'm just going to lick my butt and go to sleep.

The end.

"

PS We're sure there's more photos out there on the Los Angeles pool at Flickr, but we haven't seen any. Let us know if you see some.