Thursday, November 24, 2011

Grateful to be a dog

It seems funny to set a day aside to be grateful.  I don’t really get it.  I’m pretty grateful all of the time, and I show it by excessive licking on the people I love the most.  They don’t always appreciate my gratitude but I think they get the message anyway.  But I know that there’s this Thanksgiving thing where everyone gets all in a tizzy cooking (which by the way I am happy to help out with leftovers, dropped morsels, or even plates left unattended!) and speaks about being thankful for their blessings and grateful for the gifts in their lives.  Sounds great, but shouldn’t that be an every day thing?

My mom used to write every night in this little book five things she was grateful for.  Obviously, I was usually at the top of the list, along with friends, family, and other small joys like the warm sunshine, feeling energetic, having legs that can run and eyes that can see.  It was a good practice, but for some reason she doesn’t do it anymore.  I don’t think it’s that she doesn’t like those things anymore. Rather I think that she forgot that it was important amid the cachophony of daily living. 

It seems to be due to something called “stress” and “anxiety” which I don’t really understand.  Well, I take that back.  When I’m wandering towards spotted food at the park and my mom is yelling for me, I feel a moment of stress at the impending trouble I’m going to be in when I ignore her command to “COME!! RIGHT NOW!!” but then I’m happy-go-lucky as I trot off in search of my hidden treat.  But my mom, also known as Lauren to other tall beings, seems to feel “stress” and “anxiety” even when no one is yelling at her to come!

She has this list that never seems to end.  Her list is like her leash, always tugging at her neck, pulling her back from good smells and grassy fields to explore.  I hate the list because a) it makes her “stressed” b) I have to wait in the car sometimes while she runs errands to check off on her list and c) we have to leave the park to do things on the list! And it’s not even my list!  You’d think that we’d finish the list and then we’d get to be done, but no…this is a magic list that never seems to end.  The to-do list that rules her days and yanks on her neck. 

So maybe the gratitude list helped with the stress and maybe it didn’t.  But I’m voting to instate gratitude on a daily basis and not just one day a year.  And today I’m grateful for:
  1.   my mom
  2. the park
  3. yummy food
  4. my doggy friends: Tillie Lou, Parker, Coltrane, Moose, and Navarre
  5.  treats
  6.  playing fetch
  7. dropped food
  8.  my aunts: Tammy, Shalene, Linda, and Lise
  9.  treats
  10.  anything edible (sense the theme??)

I get to walk off leash in the neighborhood and at the park I roam free.  I wonder when she gets to take off her leash…

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