For my last birthday, my wife gave me a couple of courses from the Teaching Company (they have some very interesting stuff). One of the courses is entitled, "Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt"
I've really enjoyed the DVDs so far, especially the painted scenes of life in Holland around the time of the Synod of Dort (1618-19). The faces painted by Frans Hals are simply magnificient.
One of the artists, whose work I greatly admire, is Emanuel de Witte. de Witte is noted for his interior scenes of churches. This painting is the "Interior of the Oude Kerk [old church], Delft," from about 1680. It is now housed in the Art Institute of Chicago.
The scene is of a Reformed minister, preaching from the raised pulpit in the center of the church. If you look carefully, one of those listening to the sermon has brought his dog with him (in the shadow at the bottom right). According to the lecturer, this was a common practice. Whenever Fido got too noisy, or attempted to do his business, church wardens would instruct the dog's owner to take them outside, or else clean up after them.
Clearly, the Reformed fully understood the superiority of dogs to cats. You won't find a feline anywhere in the Oude Kerk (unless one sneeks in)!
And no, you can't bring your dog to Christ Reformed. Even Andy stays home on Sunday. He goes to "house" church on the Lord's Day.
Thanks to Chris Sherman, here's a link to more of de Witte's work. Notice that de Witte portrays dogs present in virtually every church. Click here: Web Gallery of Art, image collection, virtual museum, searchable database of European fine arts (1100-1850)