NOFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — With the coronavirus pandemic now in year three, a Norfolk church will once again offer blessings for our furry friends.

The second annual Blessing of the Pets takes place at 11 a.m. on April 16, the Saturday before Easter.

With church services and much of life back to normal, Daisy, granddog, of Shiloh Baptist Church Pastor Keith Ivan Jones, was excited about her first in-person interview with 10 On Your Side. It was definitely her “rub my tummy” moment.

“Every now and then, I get the opportunity to play with Daisy and to pet Daisy. Daisy is a very wonderful and friendly pet. She has been extremely important to the life of our family” said Jones.

Daisy was the star of the show one year ago via Zoom teleconference when Jones announced the inaugural blessing of the pets at Shiloh Baptist Church, which is just outside downtown Norfolk.

The launch was a hit, complete with pet sketches and a stroll on stage for pets and their owners. Jones, a former military chaplain, uses the traditional Catholic blessing of pets as inspiration for the free event that is open to the public.

“It’s an understanding of the important role that pets have had making it through the pandemic and these very difficult things,” said Jones.

“We pray for the pets, we pray for the owners, we put our hands on them and give them a treat, and just understand that pets are part of our family too,” said Jones while in Daisy’s “playground,” which humans generally call a “parking lot.”

And it was truly a regional event that included a pet with four very long legs.

“We had about 40 pets. We even had a horse out here,” he said.

According to Pastor Jones, the horse, named Tripp, is from North Carolina.

The pastor will also offer prayers for families who had to say goodbye to a pet this year.

“It creates a void in our midst so we pray for them as well that they will be comforted and their grief will be short-lived,” Jones said.

For additional information on the Blessing of the Pets, contact the church at 757-625-4367.