It’s coming to that time of year again when we all regroup, focus, and really think of the things that make our lives great. I know, we should all be thankful for these things every day, but sometimes in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we can forget to put things in perspective. At least once a day, I stop and look deep into the eyes of my best friend, my little scruffy dog, and I can’t help but think how lucky and thankful I am to have found her and made her mine. I think our pet’s really get it…they know what to be thankful fro every day and they show it in the joy that those things bring to them. This Thanksgiving I thought I’d share the things that I know she appreciates, because seeing the joy she conveys helps me to appreciate the little things that I often take for granted. So in no particular order, here’s the list:
My dog is fortunate to have an extended family that loves her as much as I do. She can blend seamlessly into the households of my sister and of my parents, two homes away from homes. At either locale she is welcomed with open arms by the people there and has a unique relationship with each person in the family. She knows she is welcome at the farms, free to play with her extended doggie family while she visits, have a friendly game of chase with the poultry and barn cats, and of course she knows she’ll be offered various treats, just for presenting her adorable face. She typically knows our destination long before the half way point, and voices her excitement with lots of wags and an occasional high-pitched yip.
My dog also knows who her friends are, two legged and four. Some may call it intuition, but I love the way she recognizes her doggie friends and the people she knows will give her the pet or scratch she’s looking for in a chance encounter. She doesn’t tend to greet every dog she crosses paths with, she is actually rather selective about the other canines she wants to interact with. but once she makes a friend, she is sure to show them how excited she is to see tem each time they meet again.
Room to run
Nelly is very appreciative of long walks, hikes, and other treks where she can really let go and kick up her heels. She is fortunate to have acres of land to explore when we go to the family farms as well as several local parks where leash-free roaming is acceptable. In her eyes, there are few things as fun as collecting burrs in woodland retreats, swinning in cool, clear ponds and streams, and investigating holes, scents and other remnants of wild things of Pennsylvania. Watching her run and explore is as invigorating for me as it is for her!
Warm Beds and Space Heaters
As much as she loves the great outdoors year round, I think she’s particularly fond of cooler temps. Her coarse, shaggy coat is an excellent barrier for sharp winds and icy precipitation, and she really loves sitting on the porch or in the yard to breath it all in. Of course, it may all be so she has an excuse to snuggle closer on the sofa or in bed, but she has an obvious love for 3 foot radius in front of the space heater as well. The radiant heat and warm orange glow makes her little body toasty and warm, but I think it also warms her heart.
Car Rides and “Window Surfing”
Of all the dogs I’ve known, Nelly LOVES a good ride in the car, especially if she’s able to “window surf”, head out and ears flapping in the wind. She knows how to put the window down on her own, and has the perfect method for balance and grip, though the passenger usually provides additional support. I often think she’d climb out on the hood or the roof if given the opportunity, but with safety in mind she has to be content out the half way down passenger window, and only in low speed areas. Cold, snowy, rainy, it makes no difference to her, as long as she can feel that blissful sensation. Even short trips through the neighborhood are like new adventures!
In this she is not alone…what dog doesn’t love to watch the erratic antics of poofy tailed squirrels? Whether from the extra-wide picture window sill where she keeps her neighborhood watch or through the nose-print smeared windshield of my truck, nothing gets her going like the twitch of a tail or a verbal alert to a squirrel spotting. I swear her day is complete if she catches just a glimpse on the ride to work or some other short trip.
Most of all, I know that my baby girl is thankful for her best friends, my closest friend and I who she spends her days and nights with. I think she knows that no one understands her like we do and that we are lifetime companions, dependable, loving and true. She knows how lucky and adored she is each day, and we make sure to remind her with every opportunity we’re given to tell her how lucky we are to have such a special girl.
Grey Squirrel image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Aaron Jacobs