Thankful for Four Legs and Fur!
Thanksgiving is the time to get off of life's merry-go-round and slow down to recognize what we have. A Native American saying I appreciate reminds us, "Be thankful for the blessings already on their way." I am most thankful God gave the world animals - those four legs and fur that bring life to my day!
I have the joy of working with animals and making their lives better, and many of you share this job and do it well. I am thankful for a profession that challenges me every day and never sits still. My dog and cat breeder friends do it right and take pride in raising America's next best friend! Seeing a child's face when they bond with a pet is one of God's blessings. I love watching shy children come out of their shells around animals, talking about how they chose their pet's name and sharing what they like about their breed. We change people's lives, and it's a beautiful gift.
I love hearing stories of how animals touch our lives, so I want to share a few stories that have blessed me in 2015.
A teacher acquired a retired female Golden Retriever, and because of the dog's gentleness, decided to bring her to school. As hoped, Emma would lay still for an hour and listen to a second grader read, always wearing a smile. Emma gave the original owner some of the most beautiful puppies in the breed, and now retired, she still had much mothering to give. Emma listened contentedly, giving a struggling child a reason to read. The teacher once told me, "What child would not want to read to a Golden with such a happy face!" The children practiced their reading, enthusiastically motivated by Emma.
Brandy the Basenji had been retired for several years. She lived happily with her breeder and was loved, but she became intolerant of puppies. Though usually kind and social, if the babies aggravated her (as puppies will) she would nip them. Concerned, the breeder asked if I knew of anyone who needed a beautiful, retired, older dog. I did - my aunt, Helen. We introduced the two of them, and Brandy soon became the focus of Helen's life. Brandy loved sleeping in, and so did Helen. Helen went for a walk or to the store, and so did Brandy. Being a Basenji, she said little and gave much, and in their 5 years together, Brandy made Helen's life complete.
Animals add so much joy and life to our days! They keep us laughing, helping us enjoy them as well as one another. Here's a story that reflects this perfectly.
My neighbor's daughter acquired a pet ferret. Dad and daughter have an ongoing discussion about whether it is a ferret or a weasel, with Dad insisting it's a weasel to get his daughter's goat. One night, the sneaky ferret ran off with Dad's watch! Dad certainly won the debate that day, but the "weasel" ended up doing some good. That rascally animal keeps Father and daughter interacting - if only to find the jewelry the "weasel" steals!
On Thanksgiving I am thankful for a profession that allows me to find joy in animals every day. They give much, ask for little, and are one of God's most beautiful gifts. They give us the gift of love!
Happy Thanksgiving to anyone who ever loved a pet!
- Dr. B
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