As Thanksgiving Day approaches, we pause to remember the things for which we are thankful . To quote Oprah Winfrey, “We radiate and generate more goodness for ourselves when we are aware of all we have rather than focusing on our have-nots.” Today’s life is constantly throwing us curve balls, and our busy lives are so packed with responsibilities and stress that sometimes we forget that the path to happiness is gratitude. It seems especially fitting as we turn our thoughts to Thanksgiving that we pause to count our many, many blessings ….faith, family, and friends, both two-legged and four-legged. I am making a “Thankful list”, and one of the things on my list is my dog, who offers me unconditional love every day of the year As Roger Caras said “Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. ”

  • A dog is loyal and provides love and affection. You are never alone when you have a dog. .You always feel safe with your dogs. Even the small ones act as watchdogs to warn you of visitors—welcome or unwanted.
  • You always get an exuberant greeting to welcome you home, whether you have been gone for hours or just minutes.
  • They never complain about you….no matter what you do…make a fool of yourself, come home late, or are just plain cranky…. your dogs never complain. They love you just the way you are…with all your faults.
  • No matter what mistakes you make, your dogs always forgive you. .. they never hold a grudge (a trait that very few of us humans possess.)
  • You are ALWAYS number 1. Whether in a crowd or home alone with your dogs, you are the most important thing in their lives.

This Thanksgiving, my dogs will take their rightful place on my “Thankful List”, but there are many dogs who are not on anyone’s list. Some of them have been abandoned and are living on the street. Others have spent their entire lives crammed in miserable puppy mills with little human companionship or medical treatment. The word “thanksgiving” is exactly that: giving thanks, and giving is an action….urging us to take time to do something for all the dogs who have little for which to be thankful. Your actions don’t have to be enormous to make a big difference. Here are a few ideas to make lives better for your dog, a friend’s dog, or a homeless dog.

  1. Volunteer at your local shelter or rescue group. “There is always a dog for reasons unbeknownst to me why his family gave him up. They took him to the shelter and they just left him there, where he sits scared and lonely, wondering what he did that was so bad . He deserves a second chance! “
  2. Offer to walk a senior’s or neighbor’s dog who may not get a lot of attention or exercise.
  3. Make a donation to an animal welfare group, preferable an area group with which you are familiar.
  4. Check out the cosmetics that you use. Be sure you are using products that do not do testing on animals.
  5. Bake dog treats for a local rescue..and your dog and perhaps a neighbor’s dog… Here’s a quick and easy –to- make recipe:

 Peanut Butter Balls

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 cups flour (preferable whole wheat flour)
  • 1 ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup mashed bananas

Mix well . Hand form into 1-inch balls and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.


 “When life gets hectic, and you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to focus on all your blessings. When you have an attitude of gratitude, frustrating troubles will fall by the wayside. Smile, show kindness, and be grateful. Refuse to be unhappy”—Dana Arcuri