Gratitude is something that I try to practice centering in my life at all times, not just once a year at Thanksgiving. But I’ve found that it never hurts to have an excuse/reminder to focus on what we have to be thankful for. All month as my family has gotten settled into our new home after our big cross country move, and my youngest dog has been recovering well from major orthopedic surgery, I’ve thought a lot about how grateful I am for the dogs and cats who are my family now, as well as the pets of my past who were with me through a childhood of abuse and a young adulthood struggling to find myself.
I was preparing to write all about how thankful I am for the role animals have played in my life, and for my current furbabies, but when I came back to my desk with a mug of cocoa, I saw that my dogs and cats had borrowed the keyboard to write about what they are most thankful for! They did such a good job I said this month they could have the Pawternity column:
Mercury (16 year old Chihuahua mix). I’m grateful for a family who never thought I was an accessory, and who understands that even though I’m old it doesn’t mean that I am disposable. I’m grateful for accommodations like being carried when I get too tired on hikes, or surfing on my inflatable shark while my sisters swim. I’m grateful for the days I feel up for running and swimming. I’m grateful that I did my job really well as a Service Dog and that I get to be retired now. I’m grateful for warm sweaters and that spot under the covers in the middle of the bed.
Charlotte (8 year old Cattle Dog mix). I’m grateful that I don’t live on the street anymore. I’m grateful I have a home now. I’m really grateful for my family. I still remember what it was like not to have a home or a family. I’m grateful for carpet. There isn’t carpet on the street. Carpet is soft. I’m grateful for my kitten. I raised him and got to keep him. I raised puppies too when I was on the street, but I didn’t get to keep them. I’m grateful for the beach, mountains, car rides, walks, and yummy treats. I’m also really grateful for my little sister who plays with me
Sirius (22 month old Newfoundland). I’m grateful for all my doctors and for the new knees they built for me. I’m grateful for the ocean water where I get to swim in the waves. I’m grateful for all the water. I love water. I’m grateful for toys that float and toys that squeak and toys that roll and toys to tug and big sticks. I’m grateful for treats that come from the store, and in the mail and the ones my family bakes me. I’m grateful for walks, playing with my big sister, and for squirrels
Noirchat (18 year old cat). I’m grateful for a family that understands that I am very old – the vet says I’m ancient. I can’t always remember where the litter box is, I swear there used to be one…. here… or was it here? And I’m grateful that my family loves me anyway. I’m grateful for heating vents to lay in front of.
Sierra (18 year old cat). I am grateful for servants, I mean my pawrents. I am grateful that they let me yell at them when I want things, and when I don’t want things. I am grateful for fluffy pillows, and catnip, feathers on sticks, and sleeping in the center of the bed every night.
Thing (5 year old cat). I am grateful for the food I stole from your plate. I mean, I’m grateful for kitty treats. I’m very thankful for watching leaves fall outside the window and palling around with the dogs. I’m grateful for air conditioning and wet food. I don’t like to talk about it but I’m also thankful that my family found me that night in the snow when I was very very small. I’m grateful that they kept me, and that they still believe I am a cat even though my true alien nature has become apparent on multiple occasions.
Have you asked your pets what they are grateful for recently? In an overwhelming world filled with hate and violence it can be hard to focus on the good things, the simple things. I’ve always found that animals remind me of the little joys in life like crisp autumn mornings, time spent together and play. I found it really inspiring and enlightening to take some time to see what my critters are most thankful for. Have a chat with your furbabies and let me know in the comments what they are most thankful for this November!