Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Father, we thank thee for the night
And for the pleasant morning light
For rest and food and loving care
And all that makes the world so fair.

I must have learned this song when I was very young, because I don't remember learning it and I don't remember ever not knowing it.

Most mornings, Bingley and Magic wake me up between 4:50 and 5:10. Many times I really don't want to get up, but once I've leashed them and I'm on my way, I'm fine. And when it isn't pouring rain, I'm better than fine.

A mystical moment is when I open the front door and look out into the darkness. Sometimes the sky is clear and the moon and stars pop out at me. Sometimes there is a marine layer and street lamps are barely visible. Sometimes wind is scuttling clouds across the moon.

At that moment, it is not hard to say, "Thank you for this day."

And sometimes I silently sing this old song over and over. Never out loud. Wouldn't want to frighten the neighbors or the dogs.

I have many, many things for which to be grateful this Thanksgiving. Since this blog is about dogs, I'll focus on them.

1. We are able to provide a home and care for two rescued dogs. This year has been a tough year for humans and, therefore, for dogs. Rescues are full of dogs who have lost their homes because their humans have lost their homes.

2. We have gone through a year without a beloved dog "Crossing the Rainbow Bridge." That's a pretty phrase for a crushing loss. And when you take a dog into your home that has years of neglect and hard living in its background, every day, every week, every month--and certainly every year--is a gift.

3. Bingley's prescription food is available again. At the end of the summer, a salmonella scare closed down the plant where Bingley's food was made. Readers of this blog know that shortly after he came to live with us, Bingley almost died with terrifying episodes of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. Near starvation can do really bad things to a dog's digestive track. We have been trying to transition him slowly onto the food that most closely resembles his prescription, but it has not been easy. We have been able to prevent another attack, but some days I wonder if he is consuming as much Pepto Bismol as he is food. We anticipate the arrival of his prescription kibble within ten days. My relief knows no bounds.

4. Brody is being well cared for and can remain in his new home until or unless a perfect home that totally suits all his needs can be found. Actually, his needs are being very well met where he is. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Brody's Foster Parents!

5. Windsong. Travel, surgery, medical tests, house repairs all pose the question: "What can we do with the dogs?" Since our trip to England last November, we haven't had to worry about that. Thank you, Mike, Michelle and Jessica. And thanks to my knitting friend, Robin, for telling me about Windsong.

6. Dr. Dorota Pearson, Dr. Treasure Schultz, and all the staff at Pearson Animal Hospital--especially Bingley's and Magic's good friend, Kristen. Dr. Candy Lewis and her staff at Harmony Animal Hospital. I'm never at my best when I take a sick or injured dog to the doctor's. Having a veterinarian one can trust and talk to is essential.

7. All the friends of Friends of Portia. I treasure every reader of this blog and thank you for taking the time to read what I have to write.

8. John, my husband of forty-three years, who understands, supports and shares my love and concern for dogs. He is giving up Thanksgiving Dinner with our best friends this year to stay home with Magic and Bingley in order to be sure that no harm comes to the delicate stitches around Magic's eye.

9. Everyone who has ever rescued or provided a home for a needy dog or cat. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am very, very grateful to you. We need more people like you.

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