A playful dog who demanded belly rubs from the parish priest after crashing a church service in Brazil has gone viral around the world. The dog named Herman joined parishioners in the Barrio Floresta (Nossa Senhora das Dores) and approached Father José Geraldo Sobreira who was leading mass.
The dog entered after mass had begun and climbed the altar, destroyed a few flower arrangements, and pulled on some of the cloth placemats before settling down at Father José’s feet.
But rather than sit still, the pup did everything he could to get some attention, tugging on his robes and smiling up at him.
Here’s a video of that moment.
Father Jose and the parishioners were not perturbed by their rambunctious visitor. One person said the dog was welcomed, “because he is also a creation of God. In the house of God we are all his children.”
“My husband and I went to mass at 9am, as we always do, and suddenly a medium-sized dog entered and was circulating among the people. Since it was very tame, nobody was bothered,” said retiree Maria Amélia de Oliveira Neves, 77. She noted the dog particularly liked Father José and behaved like they were old friends.
After Mass, church officials learned that the dog belonged to a neighbor of the church, Em.Com reported.
“A person who was present at Mass took the dog, and when he came down the avenue of Contour, a homeless person recognized him. Upon his return, we learned that the dog was from a lady who has Alzheimer’s. Soon her daughter recognized the dog and thanked the man,” said Matheus Lemos, of the communication office, who filmed the scene.
The video has since been viewed over 7 million times. One commenter wrote, “Beautiful father! I loved your gesture! Each day that passes I realize animals are in this world to teach us what pure love is, and that all humans should spread it.”