GRATEFUL FOR YOUR PET?

It’s that time of year for thoughts of gratitude. I asked pet lovers online, “What do you thank your pet or pets for? Anecdotes about their awesomeness are welcome! How do you show them your gratitude? How does your daily life with them reflect your appreciation for their importance to you?”

Here are some responses from pet lovers around the world:

Adrienne Critchlow (United Kingdom) I appreciate them for being exactly who they are, not being afraid to let me know when they are struggling; for taking great pleasure in the open air with me; for choosing to attend my trainings. Thank them verbally, with toy play, treat games, scent games, hunting games, then letting them choose what they want to do or where they want to go. I am eternally grateful to them just for being with me in this world.

Alisha Ardiana (California) I love walking our dog on the beach. It is our happy place.

Photo: Alisha Ardiana

Melissa Jolene Viera (Massachusetts) My dogs challenge me and inspire new adventures. I often thank my dogs in ways that are meaningful to them individually. Afternoon outings, backyard digging permits, or ice cream outings are just a few examples. My senior dog gets special thanks and I make sure he always gets some one-on-one time with me no matter what the day brings. Training my dogs is my hobby and it gives me so much joy and I thank them for playing the training games with me. My dogs are not robots – they are individuals who deserve appreciation for everything they do. The way we thank them should fit their unique personalities.

Deb Hunt (Washington) All my furry loves are saved. They are just as grateful as I am. We saved each other and the exchange of love is in our eyes, our hearts and our touch. We all fit together with Vibe.

Eric Bellows (New York) They know what you need, when, and if you’re open to it. They give back tenfold what you give them with their loyalty, love and fun energy they share with us every day. I can honestly say that without my dogs, I would have surrendered to the darkness that I struggle with PTSD and bipolar on a daily basis, so I am forever grateful and that is why I dedicate my life to them and their needs. I will sacrifice my life if necessary to give them life.

Oona McGuinness (Washington) As a lifelong cat owner, I find that my furry companions come and claim their rewards just as needed.

Amy Suggers (Ohio) I am thankful for my dog ​​Katydid because she is truly my companion! He kept me company during the long days of isolation during the pandemic. Thanks to him, I got back into dog sports, which resulted in the rekindling of old friendships and the formation of new ones. When I say Roger Karas, he is not my whole life, he makes my life whole. Besides telling her I love her every day, I also thank her for being a part of my family. I show my gratitude to him by giving him a good quality of life. I do activities he likes at his places (like running, swimming, and fetch) and I try to enrich his life by training and competing. Training challenges his mind and competitions give him the chance to go to new places, meet new people and other dogs. I feed him the best quality food I can afford and do my best to keep him healthy and stress free. Dogs are never around us long enough, and I want to show him as much love as I can every day he’s with me.

Darcey Byrne (Washington) Good! Thank goodness they are returning it. Some chickens are more cuddly than others and require pick-me-up time. I am so thankful for the poo that goes into my compost (the best compost ever) and makes my garden grow so well. They love that I throw them earthworms from the garden. They take quality time from us every day and honestly give it back. And let’s not forget those farm fresh eggs!

Isabel Alvarez Arata (Texas) My dog, Titan, has changed my life in so many ways. She inspired me to enter the pet care industry, has been my constant companion through many difficult times, and taught me a lot about myself. I respect him in his golden years and thank him. He is now 15+ years old and still enjoying life as we do everything we can to ensure his quality of life. We are patient with her struggles, gentle with her aging body, and constantly assess her changing needs. He is an angel from heaven and deserves all our love.

Carla Smele (United Kingdom) By doing whatever they want…even getting up at 3am to flush the toilet so my dog ​​can drink from it.

Harvey Morgan (California) My pet bird is a dusty-headed conure, the largest of the species. When I rescued him, he was naked, I had plucked all the hairs he could reach. He lived in terrible conditions. Now it is 25 years old and it has not yet passed into my hands. I don’t force him. I let him give what he wanted to give. He blows kisses to me through the bars of his cage. He amuses me and makes me laugh. I show my gratitude by taking good care of him, giving him toys, cleaning his cage, and sneaking treats that he likes but shouldn’t. I think it’s wonderful that a bird, the freest animal in the world, accepts you as a friend. He earns my gratitude just by being my friend.

Kelly Snyder (Pennsylvania) Well, they make me feel loved. In the evenings, I am happy to pet, feed, train and treat them whenever they want. And in general, to revolve my life around them.

Neil Rubenstein (Florida) It’s simple… I let him be a dog. I always stand up for him and protect him, but he is his “own” dog!

Kelly Snyder Neil, that’s my style too. I don’t currently have a dog, but my approach has been to teach them what they need to know to walk in the Land of the Man and then let them be the dog. The little dog I needed had to be a dog like this. He was walking on the floor and rolling in stinky things like a proper dog. Sometimes it wasn’t much they needed to know because they were already well-matched. Sometimes this meant protecting them from an unpleasant situation through some kind of management.

Kathy Smith (North Carolina) Since my puppy Loki works for me in the show or obedience ring, it has become our tradition to “go shopping” at the dog show weekend on Saturdays. We go through the vendor booths and I let Loki pick out a toy and/or treat. While his toy collection has grown, I also have a happy puppy looking forward to weekends full of dog shows!

Trillium Schlosser (Oregon) I let him do everything. He is my best friend. Now that it’s cool, I take her for walks, even to the store. If he is cold, I let him sleep under the covers. I give him the last bite of my food. I buy him quality food. I wait until he picks raspberries from the bush. If I am sick or sad, he lays down on me and licks my tears or my hand. I give him sweets for no reason. I keep the apple peels because he loves them. I brush it so it doesn’t tangle. I gave him the almost empty peanut butter containers. I would do anything for him.

Glenda Lee (Maine) God, I am thankful for the many things my daughters have done. Little things like Dixie letting me rub under her hated tail. Both girls for letting me dry them off after a wet field trip. Daisy, who always steals my place on the bed, for willingly moving to make room for me. Dixie for being so careful not to put 120 pounds on me in bed. Anything they appreciate with words, pets, belly rubs, and hugs if they’re inclined.

Sandra Sandy Machado (Florida) Thanks to Miami for teaching me how to better relate to my clients with difficult dogs. Maya taught me what it’s like, day-to-day, and what it can do to your social life. Maya took my empathy to a whole other level. Also, after my two-year-old nephew came to visit for over a month, I called all my clients with children to apologize if I ever made it easy or possible.

Jill Gibbs (Montana) I am thankful for my dogs for keeping me active. They make me take them for a walk every day. They humor and challenge me at all the dog places I train. They keep me moving and I feel it keeps me from debilitating symptoms. I have MS and am doing very well. I owe my dogs a lot.

I could never repay them for what they did for me. Homemade Jillcookies and dock divers are the highest paying options.

September B. Morning (Washington) My Rottweiler, Viggo, will fetch anything I ask him to fetch, from out-of-reach dog bowls on the back of the crate to flashlights that slip out of my hand and splash down a hill and into a muddy conifer thicket. “Thank you dear, you are very smart and good! Smart and good!” while petting/hugging him. If it’s something amazing (like a flashlight that I can’t find in the dark and can’t really afford), it gets good treats—cheese, meat, or a piece of whatever I’m eating. My Sheltie, Daisy, finds my chickens when they run into the brush. Then he comes and tells me and takes me to them. Then he drives them to me so that I can collect them in a big fishing net. I am very grateful to him for doing this, as I would not have been able to find them myself, much less carry them to safety. I thank him by saying how incredible he is for doing this. He loves to do it and loves to be praised for doing this job that he made for himself and thoroughly enjoys. When we’re done together, he jumps and barks with joy and I tell him how great he is.

What does your pet do that makes you grateful?

How do you show your pets how important they are to you?

It’s always time for thoughts of gratitude!

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