Yes, that’s what I said. Gratitude is an attitude. It’s not just an automatic response to being given some material gift. Don’t get me wrong the material gifts are nice, and we should thank those who present them to us; but gratitude goes so much deeper than that. We need to FEEL grateful for the most important gift of all, that of each day of life we are granted here on Earth.
When I was a child, I took life for granted. The only time I was ever really sick was when I had the measles, mumps, or some other “childhood disease”, a cold, or the occasional stomach virus that kept me home from school for a few days. I spent the summer between my junior and senior years of high school as an exchange student in Lima, Peru. On the weekend of my 17th birthday, the other students who were also in Peru took a trip to the ancient Incan city of Macchu Picchu. I didn’t go with them because I wanted to spend my birthday with my host family. That Sunday — the day after my birthday — was the beginning of the end of my innocence. That Sunday, the overloaded airplane carrying my fellow students back to Lima crashed into a mountainside in Cuzco killing all but the student pilot on board and two others on the ground. If I had gone on that trip, I would not be here today to tell about it. That was the day I stopped taking life for granted. Eight years later, when my Mom lost her battle with metastatic breast cancer, I realized how precious a gift each new day really is. And that is why I say that “gratitude is an attitude”.
Still, what would life be without family and friends to share it with? So my gratitude extends outward. To my family — immediate and extended — including my Golden Girls and my little demonic angel, and my friends including those of you who I have only met online in “cyberspace”. I am grateful for those of you who have been “with” me since hubby and I first rescued Ducky offering support, empathy, and advice AND those of you who have stuck with me through my periods of “writer’s block” (and just plain lack of time to devote to this blog).
Pamela of “Something Wagging…” asked earlier this week what our dogs are thankful for and provided a creative list of those things for which Honey is grateful. I would say that many of those items apply to my three knuckleheads. But there’s one thing that of the three only Ducky is thankful for, and that is having been rescued from a bad situation. Life in the shelter was difficult for my little girl. She got some socialization with the other pups but not enough; she developed a need to “guard” her resources; she became easily startled by loud noises; and she was prone to what seemed to be nightmares. Over this past year, she has outgrown the nightmares knowing she has a home and a family that loves her; she still guards her toys from Shadow but has gotten better about it; and, thanks to doggie daycare she has learned how to interact nicely with other dogs and even has a bunch of doggie friends. She especially loves the puppies and the dogs that are about the same size as her sisters.
Callie and Shadow are thankful — I think — that there is such a thing as doggie daycare because it means that they get to spend time with Mom without Ducky being a little pest.
Last but not least, I hope you are all having a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and/or friends. Hubby and I are spending our day with our three “furry kids”. I finally had the chance to write my Thanksgiving post, so this evening, I’m joining this week’s Thanksgiving Edition of the This ‘N That Thursday blog hop hosted by 2 Brown Dawgs and Ruckus the Eskie. While you’re waiting for that pie to warm up, why not check out 2 Brown Dawgs, Ruckus the Eskie, and some of these other great bloggers who are joining today’s hop?
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