A Dog in Church

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, August 17, 1913:  I missed going to Sunday School this morning at McEwensville for the first time since January. Alma and I went to church this morning at Turbotville. While in church a dog came in and made his way up front and from there onto the pulpit, walked around awhile and then went out. I couldn’t keep from smiling.

Picture source: Wikimedia Commons

Picture source: Wikimedia Commons

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

And, a hundred years later, I also can’t keep from smiling as I picture the dog on the pulpit.  :)


Alma lived about 15 miles from the Muffly’s in Montour county. The trip must have been a multi-day expedition.  The previous day Grandma wrote that she took the train to Alma’s.

Grandma’s sister Ruth probably had to do all the milking while Grandma was gone. (Grandma so often had to Ruth’s milking, that it seem fair that it was now Ruth’s turn.)

15 Responses

  1. Our last vicar had a large ginger Tom cat who would sneak in sometimes, climb the pulpit stairs and sit on the balustrade as if it was his absolute intention to preach!

  2. So sweet… :-)

  3. It would be really funny if no one reacted because the dog came to church every Sunday.

  4. Well, you know EVERYTHING’S funnier when you’re in a place where you’re not supposed to laugh!

  5. I went to a small country church when I was growing up with no air conditioning only ‘furneral home’ fans. One night in the summer when we were having revival, a dog came in the open front door and wandered down the center aisle of the sanctuary….no one blinked an eye..it had never happened before but someone got up and led the dog back out!

  6. That reminds me of the chapter in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s These Happy Golden Years where the cat is in the church (Chapter 30 – Sunset on the Hill). It makes me laugh every time I read it. :)

  7. This journal entry made me smile. Dogs are one of God’s creatures as well after all!

  8. That is funny. I supposed the door was open in the summer to let in some fresh air.

  9. Gotta love a pet friend church, why not? They bring so much joy to our daily lives.

  10. What a cute story. I love that nobody chased him out!

  11. The dog in church would have been something to see. I’m glad she had some time to visit her friend.

  12. Isn’t it wonderful that we are all sharing smiles at the dog on the pulpit a hundred years later? Amazing.

  13. Love it! I write stories about church mice and I have a soft spot in my heart for animals who come to church. A little girl in my Sunday School class last week asked, “Can animals pray?” The poet in me wanted to shout out, “Of course! All heaven and earth can praise the Creator!” But the Sunday School teacher in me answered, “That is a wonderful question. I don’t know.”

  14. Fun story. :-)

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