10 Reasons to Give Thanks for Pets
Across the country, leaves are turning beautiful shades of red, orange, yellow and gold as families begin preparations for Thanksgiving feasts and fellowship. For many, Thanksgiving festivities include the tradition of sharing what they are thankful for. In my family, we believe that some of our biggest blessings come on four legs.
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to remind ourselves just how lucky we are. I’d like to share with you the top ten reasons I am thankful for the pets—both past and present—in my life.
- My pets make me smile and laugh every day. Whether it’s the clever acrobatic antics of my cat or the way my dog Chilly runs and barks at squirrels while he sleeps, my pets never cease to amuse me. There’s nothing like a warming smile or good laugh to start or end the day!
- My pets remind me that I am needed—they depend on me. I love being welcomed home by the sound of running feet, and, in my case, the 55 pounds of wagging tail that is my 2-year-old black Lab mix, Chilly. I am grateful for Chilly’s unconditional love and loyalty and I communicate that to him by caring for, loving and playing with him. My pets give me a larger sense of purpose by reminding me that I am needed.
- My dog helps keep me in shape. Chilly gets me outside three times a day for walks, a boisterous game of catch or some good ol’ rough-housing—something that is good for both of us, mentally as well as physically.
- My pets remind me to spread the word about pet adoption. I am an advocate of pet adoption personally and professionally, and Chilly, whom I adopted from the Tampa Bay SPCA, is walking proof that great pets can be found at shelters and rescues. (I also adopted Buck, Chester, Max, Tank, and a host of others from animal shelters in my lifetime).
- My pets love and comfort me. When I’ve had a lousy day, I know that my pets are here for me no matter what. They love me unconditionally and want to spend time with me more than anything else.
- My pets remind me of life's simple pleasures. Whether it’s stretching out in a warm sunbeam, snuggling on the couch, or playing a simple game of tag or catch, my pets help me take time to engage in life’s more simple pursuits.
- My pets connect with me face to fur, foot to paw. In a world filled with “virtual” relationships through Facebook, texts and emails, pets provide a tangible connection to a living, breathing being. My pets anchor me to what is real—something that is more and more elusive each day thanks to communications technology.
- My pets inspired me to pursue a rewarding, productive career. As a speaker, columnist, pet lifestyle expert and marketing professional in the pet industry for over 20 years—that’s around 140 “dog years”—I have been blessed with the opportunity to find fulfillment promoting something I am passionate about … pets and pet adoption.
- My past pets remind me to live in the present. I am thankful to Buck, my loyal yellow Lab who passed away in 2009, and my other past pets, for memories that will forever stay in my heart. Unfortunately our pets are blessings to us for much shorter periods of time—an average of 8-12 years—than our own life spans. Photographs and memories of my beloved past pets remind me to cherish my time today with Chilly.
- My pets have taught me some things that no one else could. I am thankful for what my pets have taught me over the years. Along with the immeasurable qualities of patience, loyalty, unconditional love, acceptance, and bravery, my pets have taught me to care for their needs and funny quirks. My own pet experiences allow me to educate other pet parents so they have more rewarding, healthy days with their pets.
I hope you’ll take a few moments and share with me the reasons you are thankful for your pets.