Most of us love our dogs as much as we love our human family, sometimes even more (shhh, I won’t tell on you). It makes sense that we think of them a little like humans, but they are not humans, and they view the world differently from us. For fun, let’s consider what your dog is grateful for this holiday season and how this can help us be the humans they believe we are.
What your dog is grateful for
Whether that warmth comes from the fireplace or your lap, your dog is grateful for the simple gift of being warm and loved. Dogs are simple creatures, and the simple things in life make them happy. Something as simple as a soft bed in a warm home with a family that cares for them likely makes them the happiest. Being grateful for the warmth that we have in our lives seems a little too easy, but gratitude doesn’t have to be hard, so why not start with the small stuff?
Like any canine or human, your dog thrives on love. They have evolved from wolves (that live in packs that provide a kind of love and warmth) to desire and seek out human contact and affection. They are happiest when they are near their human pack. I’ll bet that if it were them giving thanks during the holidays, your dog is grateful for the love and affection that you show them daily just by being there for them.
A full belly
What animal, two or four-legged, doesn’t live its best life on a full belly? Food is a part of life that none of us, even our dogs, can live without for very long. If your dog has a warm place to sleep, some affection regularly, and a full belly, your dog is grateful to be your dog. Some dogs, like some people this time of year, don’t always have full bellies. It’s sad but true, and when our four-legged friends are suffering, often so are their humans.
Sometimes, food banks offer pet food alongside human food, but not always. There are great organizations in Tucson that focus on helping our dog companions to keep their bellies full even when their humans are having a tough go of it. If you want to help keep tummies full this season, reach out to Cody’s Friends, an organization built to help Tucson shelters, rescues, and that community at large keep our dog friends well-fed at all times of the year.
In your life, you have friends and family, and work and hobbies to keep you occupied and to be grateful for. Your dog has you. They have the time they spend with you and the time they wait for you; everything in their life revolves around you. They rely on you for food, warmth, affection, exercise, and amusement.
I would say that you are at the top of the list above and beyond all things your dog is grateful for. The greatest gift you can give them, and anyone who loves you, is your time. Your time is more valuable than any physical gift, as you only get so much of it, and what you spend, you can never get back. This holiday season, keep that in mind as you pick out the perfect gift for anyone, including your dog, that no matter how precious the object, you and the time spent with you are the actual gifts.