Thankful for the Greatest Gift

I have always liked animals and rarely found an animal I could not enjoy. I am sure that is why I am a veterinarian rather than an MD. Dogs just make sense to me the way they love us unconditionally.

One of God’s greatest gifts is the love of a best friend and for me that has often been a four-legged friend. When you see a child with a new puppy, you soon realize you’re seeing America’s next best friend. Dogs grow up with us, live with us and share our most special moments in life including family portraits. Dogs and cats love us unconditionally, no matter what we look like, a bad hair day or no hair at all. They just love and that is enough.

In my family, we lost one of our special pets this year. Stiffler was a quiet Min Pin that came from a friend. He was only eight pounds, but had few issues in spite of his small size. “Stiffler is a German name” my son told me when I questioned the name he gave his dog. I later found out it was from a movie and not so German! Stiffler seemed to like his name and for 16 years he was part of our family. He was part of the family before my daughter-in-law and before my now 11-year-old grandson was born but he loved both from the day they met.

From little on, my grandson Beau would sit beside Stiffler and hug him. Stiffler tolerated it even though it was often a little firm for his tiny body. They grew up together, played together, slept together and rode in the back seat of the car over the years together. Stiffler consoled Beau when he cried, sat with him when he watched TV and made him smile every time Beau needed him. In short, Stiffler loved Beau and his family and we loved him.

The end of September Stiffler died of heart failure. I would like to think he loved so much that he just wore his little heart out. We certainly felt love every minute he was around!

We all say we are thankful for our gifts at Thanksgiving but this Thanksgiving I want to be thankful for one of God’s greatest gifts. The gift of love from our pets. We don’t distinguish family members with two legs or four and we all agree pets give more love than we deserve. Thank you God for the gift of love and thank you for our pets who know no boundaries when it comes to sharing it.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and to your pets!

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