The two photos above (9 April 2009) are by Robyn Beck taken at the 79th Annual Blessing of the Animals on Olvera Street in Los Angeles, at the El Pueblo Historical Monument.
The first photo is of Cardinal Roger Michael Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles, sprinkling holy water on attendees' pets. Father Mahony is a native of the city, born right in Hollywood. In a world that seems always to be about promotion and commerce, this event is free for everybody.
One of the many great things about the Olvera Street Blessing of the Animals event is that even in the heart of L.A., it hasn't been taken over by minor celebrities and upcoming movie stars who are forever latching onto issues and events to promote their own agendas.
The Blessing of the Animals is a very old "peasant" L.A. (in the finest French sense of peasantry). A big crowd of families black white and brown dominate, loving the day and each other over the shared love of animals. It no doubt also helps to be Catholic or Episcopal, though it's by no means essential.
The final photo below (7 April 2007) captures the beauty of the people as well as a gorgeous longhair chihuahua. That photo is by Lydia "Telzey" Morano.