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Blessing of the police dogs (and the cows, too)

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

Policemen apply vermillion powder and perform rituals on a dog during the Tihar festival at a police kennel division in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Nov 13, 2012. Dogs are worshipped to acknowledge their role in providing security during the Tihar festival, one of the most important Hindu festivals dedicated to the worship of the Goddess of wealth Laxmi.

Narendra Shrestha / EPA

Hindu devotees worship offering food and 'Tika' red color to a cow during 'Gai Puja' cow worship day as part of the Tihar festival in Kathmandu, Nepal on November 13, 2012.

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

A cow stands decorated with vermillion powder and flower garland during Tihar festival in Kathmandu on Nov 13, 2012.

Prakash Mathema / AFP - Getty Images

Police officers garland their dogs after applying vermillion to their foreheads on the occasion of the Tihar festival in Kathmandu on November 13, 2012.

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

A cow stands decorated with vermillion powder and a garland during Tihar festival celebrations in Kathmandu on Nov 13, 2012. Cows are considered sacred to Hindus.

On Tihar, as the Hindu festival of Diwali is known in Nepal, it is customary for people to offer blessings to dogs (which are seen as messengers of Yamaraj, the god of death) and cows (considered incarnations of Laxmi, goddess of wealth). 

-- Agence France-Presse, European Pressphoto Agency

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