A Bow-Wow Thanksgiving

By Benny Huckleberry as told to Liz Hoffmann | Nov 19, 2019

Thanksgiving is in a few days, and for this pup, it's always a happy day. My human has the day off as do her human friends. So hopefully, we’ll have some company in the house, which I love. I’ll prance around carrying my favorite toy, wiggle my butt, and receive lots of pets and proclamations of love. "Oh Benny, you are so cute!" "Oh Benny, I just love you!" “Oh Benny, look at your glorious brown and tan spots!” I hear these words from all of my human's "dog-less friends,” and it makes me wonder why they don't have dogs of their own. While I know I’m special, I also know that there are lots of other special dogs out there who need a home.

I asked my human about this; why doesn't everyone have a dog? I mean, there are literally thousands of dogs like me who die in shelters every week. Yup, every week. I felt very confused as to why these dog lovers weren’t lining up to adopt shelter dogs. She understood my confusion and then explained to me that while many people want to have a dog, their circumstances just aren’t right. Circumstances? I didn't understand. Can’t humans just change circumstances to accommodate a dog and get what you want? My human explained that it's not always that easy, and it's not always their choice. She went on to say that just because humans want things doesn’t mean they can always have them. She cited a couple of specific situations that were relevant to Thanksgiving, where circumstances often prevailed over what humans wanted. “Benny, you know that almost everyone wants a big, loving family, especially around the holidays, but that doesn’t always happen.” I knew this to be true and that sometimes it was the luck of the draw. She also mentioned how some couples and single people want to have children, but that doesn’t always happen either. Maybe it‘s a physical limitation, maybe financial, or maybe they just didn't find the right partner in time. And the same went for adopting children. Not everyone had the financial means or family support, and the circumstances are often beyond a person’s control.

I started thinking about what she said and felt sad. Then, because I’m a dog, I remembered the moment in front of me; the moment right now. I didn't focus on what humans didn't have, but what they did have. Like us. We have a warm home, we had dog and cat siblings, we have food in our stomachs and friends that love us. When I thought about that, my sadness lifted. I realized that whenever I focused on what we have, feelings of happiness and gratitude followed. And that was where the magic was. With that in mind, this Thanksgiving I plan to focus my entire day on being thankful.

A poem that my human read me expressed this mindful gratitude well and I want to share it with you.  It's part of the poem "Thanksgiving" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox:

We ought to make the moments notes

Of happy, glad Thanksgiving;

The hours and days a silent phrase

Of music we are living.

And so the theme should swell and grow

As weeks and months pass o’er us,

And rise sublime at this good time,

A grand Thanksgiving chorus.

I love the notion of "the music we are living." Or in my world “the barks, howls and hugs we are living!” On that happy note, may you find yourself filled with gratitude this Thanksgiving, no matter what your circumstances. And please remember, I am grateful for you, my dear readers! Please enjoy a bow-wow kind of Thanksgiving!

With love,

Benny H.

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