With our world rocked by a pandemic and many people staying home and having a smaller Thanksgiving holiday than usual, our pets are taking on a more prominent role in our lives. In spite of everything, there is much to be thankful for. Most of our pets have it pretty good – in fact many are getting downright spoiled by having everyone home with them all day! If you share your life with some furry, feathered or scaly critters, I would like to speak for them this Thanksgiving. In an ideal world every pet would, if they could speak, be able to thank his/her humans for these ten things.
1. Thank you for letting me truly share your home and not have to live outside. I love sleeping next to you either sharing your bed or on one of my very own. I know I am safe when I am indoors and not vulnerable to predators, disease, cars, or becoming lost.
2. Thank you for seeing to my nutritional needs and making sure I have just the right amount of high quality food and fresh water. I appreciate that much as I beg, you don’t overindulge me and make sure that I remain a healthy weight.
3. Thank you for showing that you love me and want me to be safe by having me microchipped in case I become lost and fitting me with a collar, license and ID tag to help me get back home. I feel bad for all the naked pets I see whose owners don’t care as much as you do.
4. Thank you for teaching me to have good house manners so that I can live happily with you. I love having a clean litterbox or a way to tell you I need to go outside so that I can go potty.
5. Thank you for keeping me clean, brushed, and clipped when needed, so that my fur doesn’t get matted and tangled and I look my best. I hate fleas (and I know you do too) and I appreciate the help in getting rid of them so I don’t itch and get tapeworms.
6. Speaking of which, thank you for taking me to the vet for regular check-ups and vaccines. We both know that prevention is less costly than treatment – but it’s easy to let it slide. I know you keep a close eye on me to make sure I’m always in good shape and so you can get me help at the first sign of illness or injury.
7. Thank you for playing with me and making sure I get some exercise every day. It helps me behave better when you are gone and keeps me physically fit. As they say “A tired dog is a good dog, an exhausted dog is even better!”
8. Thank you for having me altered. The last thing I need is a litter of pups/kittens to take care of - and goodness knows there’s no shortage of them! Freedom from sexual tension is a great relief and not only keeps me free from distractions it keeps me healthier too.
9. Thank you for not leaving me alone for hours at a time. I enjoy the companionship of others of my kind and even the other types of animals in the home. Who said dogs and cats can’t get along? At least it beats being all by myself while you are away, after all, most of us are social creatures like you.
10. Thank you for your love and commitment, for making me a real member of your family, and for sticking with me through rough economic times, physical moves, job changes and personal ups and downs. You are the sunshine around which my world revolves and I’m glad to know that the feeling is mutual.
Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at email@example.com.