It is the tail end of the thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. Many people will gather with their families today for that big meal, you know the one, it has Uncle Tom and dear old Dad loosening their pants before sitting down to fall asleep in front of the TV. But how many of us truly remember what thanksgiving is all about? How many of us still go round the table with the “what are YOU thankful for” question? Have we completely forgotten what this time of year means? Or maybe the better question is does anyone really bother to be thankful for anything anymore or has thanksgiving merely become a time to get together and overindulge in comfort food?
Our family held the big dinner yesterday. Truth be told it was just me, my husband and one of my best girlfriends, oh and of course our pack of nine rescued dogs, our human child did not make it this year. We didn’t go round the table and ask what each of us was thankful for, we are all animal rescuers, we remember on a daily basis what we should be thankful for, and those things would probably seem very mundane to those of you not involved in rescue. The more important discussion over thanksgiving dinner was what our DOGS are thankful for. So I have decided to share their thanksgiving “Thankfuls” with all of you.
Phoenix: is thankful that he was rescued after being abandoned with a broken leg, and left to die. He would far rather be a member of a loving pack.
He is thankful that he has a home with people who patiently taught him to curb his fear aggression.
He is thankful he now has friends to run and play with.
He is thankful that he was finally found by a human who understands and loves him just the way he is.
Yoda: Yoda almost lost his life in a Northern California High Kill shelter at the age of nine. His family dumped him there because he was “too old” Rescued at the last possible minute, Yoda made his way to us here in Canada.
He is thankful that he has found a family of his own.
He is thankful that he has many pack mates to play with.
He is thankful for soft fuzzy blankets and abundant food.
Mysty: Mysty was born in our home to a rescue that came to us pregnant. When time came for the pups to find homes all but Mysty were snapped up by eager owners. No one wanted Mysty. We accepted her into our pack as a member of the family.
She is thankful she has a loving home.
She is thankful for friends to cuddle up and run with.
She is thankful for the loving humans she shares her life with.
Nakita (Niki): In December of 2008 I received a phone call from a woman who had adopted a husky/lab cross pup two weeks previously. The pup was now eight weeks old and the woman had decided that adopting her was a mistake. I had just lost my husky/lab cross Gabrielle the month before and although I wasn’t ready to take on another dog I couldn’t resist that one blue eye! I took her home and she has been my heart dog ever since.
She is thankful that we found her that December day.
She is thankful for a loving family and furry friends to play with.
She is thankful that she has humans to rub her belly.
Chester: taped up in a box and left to die at age 13, we are not sure how this little guy managed to survive the -20 degree weather he was dumped out in.
Chester is thankful for the kindness of the stranger who saved him that day.
He is thankful for a warm bed and friends to snuggle with.
Mostly Chester is thankful to be alive!
Hercules: rescued from a puppy mill at the age of two this little dog was completely shut down when he came to us. He was afraid of everything. Five years and a lot of patience have taught him to trust my husband and I but he will never fully recover from the psychological damage caused by life in a puppy mill.
Hercules is thankful that he has owners who love and understand him.
He is thankful for his pack brothers and sisters who love and protect him.
He is thankful he no longer lives life in a cage.
Harley: having been born in a puppy mill this little guy didn’t have the greatest start to life. We spent his first three years with us attempting to boost his immune system so he wasn’t sickly all the time. He is now a happy healthy and bouncy seven year old schnoodle.
He is thankful for autumn leaves to bark at.
He is thankful he has furry friends to hang out with.
He is thankful to have a loving home.
Minnie: Minnie is the smallest and newest addition to our pack of misfits. She wasn’t supposed to be a rescue, we took her from a supposedly loving owner. However when we got her home and took off the ever present sweater we realized we had taken her just in time. The little dog had been slowly starving to death because her owners second dog had been stealing her food. When we tried to feed her we discovered she was afraid of the food dish!
Minnie is thankful that someone finally noticed her condition.
She is thankful that she has furry companions to cuddle up and keep warm with.
But mostly Minnie is thankful that her owners make sure she always gets to eat!
Do their “thankfuls” seem trivial to you? Have you forgotten the spirit of the season? Or is life just so easy for you that you no longer appreciate the little things that make the difference? To an abandoned or abused animal those “little things” can sometimes be the difference between life and death. Damn right they are thankful for those little things! You should be too! So I ask you again Canada, it’s Thanksgiving weekend, WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?