Thanksgiving Day is here. Now and in the flesh! And so far, it doesn’t feel that much different from any other day.
We did get up a little later than 5AM – Tessa, Josephine and I. Thankfully, it’s still warm/cold enough that our first dance in the backyard – where they pee and I count stars overhead – can still happen with me in just a hooded sweatshirt and sweat pants.
Just the three of us today. Jasper’s still on his dog bed upstairs in the bedroom. He won’t get up until my husband gets up. Thankfully, we still have Jasper with us.
When Great Danes become “senior dogs’ (and, remember, he’s a month shy of being 9 years old), you start thinking about Life Things. He’s a bit stiff in one back leg and he sleeps a LOT during the day, splitting his time between his own specially purchased dog bed and my son’s futon-bed.
He still plays with his toys and is still in charge of his harem (Josephine and Tessa). Thankfully, he still can go up and down stairs to get from the first to the second floor.
Josephine (my amazing whippet) gives lie to the fact that she’s pushing 14 years. She’s still pretty darn spry in the backyard — doesn’t tire on walks — and makes such a blessed counterpoint to Tessa’s terrier-temperament.
Boy, am I thankful for that.
She’s more hound than terrier temperament. A distinction that someone explained to me a long time ago. Back in the days of ex-racing greyhound adoption when I was a novice about sighthounds.
Hound temperament? Cat-like in the house. Easy and relaxed. Q.U.I.E.T. All of which carries over to when she’s outside.
When my fool neighbor’s dogs are making a fuss outside – barking and raising up a storm of mindless dog-chatter because they are Out By Themselves – Josephine refuses to add her voice to their cacophony.
And, last but not least: Tessa. She’s the baby of the three in terms of her age. Which we’re guessing is almost 3 years. That’s one of the wild cards with rescue dogs. You’re almost never really sure about some things.
She’s the one that puts a spring in Jasper’s step in the morning when he’s first up and deciding if he’s going to come downstairs.
Despite my previous posts about her somewhat wild and out-of-control behavior, she’s not THAT out-of-control. She listens. She can be re-directed when she’s about to open up with a torrent of barking because Someone’s Walking Past The House.
She is a whore for food. Which means that she will Stop Whatever She is Doing For Food Treats. And, I’m VERY thankful for that.
And, just like the others, she has Things To Tell Me. In time. And, I’m thankful and curious about that.
Which Rita Mae Brown would agree with. That dogs – that all animals – have Things To Tell Us. If we can figure out their language.
Which she writes about in Animal Magnetism – My Life with Creatures Great and Small.
A book I started reading last night while my husband and son were food shopping at Wegmans for our Thanksgiving feast. Something else that I’m thankful for.
I picked this book up out of the pile of books on the floor because I was Searching Inside Myself For Something. That search always nudges at me right at the start of the Holiday Season.
Maybe you do this same search. I start searching because people I’ve loved are dead. And, their physical absence gnaws at me; fills me with this soul-ache especially around This Time of Year.
And, last night, while I was leafing through this book, I read a passage that felt like I’d found a kindred spirit on my Inward Search. See what you think.
“The core American experience is loneliness. A New World. Vast spaces. Miles and miles before coming across another human, whether of European, African, or Warrior descent. Sometimes days, months. It’s deep in our character.
But alone as we might have been back then, there was probably a dog walking with you and your horse, should you have been fortunate enough to own one. Cats killed the mice even if you lived in a sod hut. We are never truly alone.
And neither are you.
I hope you are lifted by the love of a cat, dog, horse, even a parrot…More, I hope you recognize it and return it. I pray, and I mean pray, that you will send a few dollars to your local SPCA to help those that have been abandoned, some mistreated.
We are all in this life together. We need one another.” (Excerpt from page 233.)
And. I am SO thankful for this. [gplus count=”true” size=”Medium” ]