Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving 2023 so time again to count my furry blessings. The holiday changes each year, with new joys and challenges that somehow (mostly) sooths the pain of our sorrows. Thanksgiving, a time of reflection, helps reset lives that continue to change.
My brother and SIL will spend the holiday with Dad, he’s still going strong at age 96. I wish we lived closer and could spend more time with him and both my brothers’ families. We have long phone conversations frequently, with lots of laughter and reminiscing. After all, I’m “me” because of my wonderful parents–Mom now gone for over two years–so we can’t really ever be totally apart. There’s that balance, I mentioned.
Counting Thanksgiving Blessings
Many of my blessings don’t change from year to year. I remain thankful to veterinarians who make life better for the pets we adore–and grateful for the incredible award recognition given to me this past summer. I’m thankful for researchers who work to find diagnoses, treatments, and cures for our ailments, both for pets and for people. And I’m especially grateful to busy researchers who answer my out-of-the-blue emails with gracious answers to (probably) dumb questions so I can share with y’all. And I’m thankful for the animal welfare volunteers who do the work of the angels when others somehow let pets down.
I’m thankful that I have the best job in the world, sharing information about the cats and dogs that have become so important to our emotional and physical health. I’m thankful for publishers, editors, magazines, newspapers, TV and radio shows, websites, bloggers, and email lists that share these important resources to benefit cats and dogs and the people who love them. And I’m thankful to writing organizations, teachers, agents, and all those who promote the craft of good communication and help others pursue this rewarding work.
Counting Pet Blessings
I’m thankful that we found a dumped kitten over a decade ago, and brought him into our home. I’m thankful that Karma-Kat dodged coyotes, cars, and who-knows-what to find our patio. I’m thankful that Magical-Dawg heard his meow-SOS, and that the little, dumped kitten trusted me enough to come when I meowed back.
I’m grateful that nobody claimed Karma—although shame on whoever dumped him!—and that he and Magical-Dawg became best buddies. I’m thankful that Karma turned back the age-clock for both Magic and Seren-kitty in their last few years with us.
I’m thankful that we found Bravo-Dawg the Bullmastiff at just the right time. He helped Karma-Kat (and us) emerge from deep mourning after we lost Magic and Seren. I’m thankful Karma and Bravo became inseparable friends—even though their antics threaten the safety of our fine breakables—and even though Bravo’s cancer cut short their friendship.
I’m thankful for responsible breeders who ensure purebred dogs and pedigreed cats have a healthy paw-start in life. I’m thankful that we had Magical-dawg for eleven years, and Seren-Kitty for more than 22 years.
I’m still missing them, and always will. But now can smile about the water-hose-tag, Bear-toys, Frisbee-tag, Seren pester-sessions and a Karma-Kat buddy that made their last years bliss.
I’m thankful that modern veterinary medicine helped diagnose and treat Bravo-Dawg’s osteosarcoma during the @#$%^!! pandemic. I’m grateful that a dumped puppy became Bravo’s Shadow, a beacon of hope and good cheer during an incredibly difficult time. And I’m grateful we had the gift of a joyous Bravo-Dawg, and I will treasure the memories we shared.
And I’m incredibly thankful that Shadow-Pup and Karma-Kat have become besties.
Trinity Has Landed…And Taken Over!
I’m also thankful for ANOTHER dumped kitten. Trinity arrived at less than 2 pounds, full of fleas–and ready to eat her way through house and home. Within days, she’d bullied Karma into falling in love with her, and charmed Shadow-Pup from the beginning. That rarely happens, and I know we are blessed–and so very grateful.
She’s now almost 5 pounds, and continues to keep us on our toes. Trinity has turned back the clock on Karma’s creeping age. And at last, I have a cat that likes lap-sitting (at least for now!).
Counting Chosen Family Blessings
I’m thankful that although he never grew up with pets, my husband loves Karma, Shadow, and Trinity, and that he mourns our past pets. I’m even more thankful they adore him back (that could get awkward!).
I’m thankful for my church family—pet lovers or not—who also support my furry notions. I’m thankful for the leadership helping us through a very difficult period as our Pastor Craig Sturm recovers from a horrible accident.
This year, I’m especially grateful and thankful for our community theater (we’re opening next week in SISTER ACT) that welcomes folks from every walk of life with open arms. It’s a chosen family, supportive and loving, for any who cross the threshold into the audience, behind the scenes, or onstage. And I’m also proud and thankful that our community took a stand for equality and championed young actors and their teachers at the local high school during a very challenging and trying time.
I’m thankful for the gift of music and theatre I get to share with colleagues who have become wonderful friends. I’m thankful for the ability to stay connected via tools like Zoom, and share *virtual hugs* when we can’t meet in person. And I’m thankful for my partner-in-play-writing-crime who helped make our theatrical dreams come true.
Thankful for YOU!
Finally, I’m thankful to you—yes, those who read this blog, my newspaper column, the Pets Peeves newsletter, the cat book lovers, and the dog book lovers, and folks who have “adopted” my thriller series. And those who offered awesome applause and support any of the other venues mentioned.
This Thanksgiving, give yourself some love and WAY TO GO! For many, it continues to be a challenging time. But we will get through this, and it helps me to count my blessings. You, dear readers, are one of my most cherished blessings.
I truly believe a happier world begins with healthy, joyful pets. God put me here for the pets and those who love them (especially the pet lovers who feel scared and uncertain what to do). So thank you for allowing me to live my dream.
Without you, I would not have a career, and my life’s passion would remain unfulfilled. Without you, your pets wouldn’t have the wonderful love and care you provide. Without you, there wouldn’t be any reason for this heartfelt—THANK YOU.
Please SHARE this post with anyone who might need some furry WAY TO GO love. *s*
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!