THANKFUL TO BE PANTING AND SCRATCHING OUR BUTTS
~ Originally Published in the 11/11/13 Edition of The Reporter in the Florida Keys ~
By Jana Vandelaar
November is a month where we all reflect and give thanks for our bountiful life. Everyone does it. The other day, I even caught my two dogs, Sushi and Squirt, giving thanks for their luxurious life as dogs:
“We are so grateful to live our lives as dogs. Especially here in America where we are considered as close to royalty as HRH Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge – but with much simpler and snappier names like Buddy or Daisy.
Everyday, food is placed in front of us or sometimes hand fed directly from the table. We get full body massages throughout the day, and almost automatically, whenever we roll on our backs and wag our tails. We have chauffeurs who hold the car doors open for us and we even have servants who pick up our messes and our poop.
Actually, our lives are superior to Prince George’s life because we will never be harshly judged if we go out and get plowed one night in our life, thus disappointing an entire country. The most we have to do is occasionally shake a few hands over the years, but even then, we usually get a treat for shaking. Prince George probably never gets a Beggin’ Strip when he shakes hands.
Although we are treated like royalty, we live with decent, hardworking folks, for which we give thanks. But, we are even more thankful that we don’t have to live their lives, crunched over a computer all day or stuck in a cubicle with pictures of us taped up on their monitors. We stay home and sleep all day in our king-sized bed, or, if we feel like it, occasionally run around and bark at other dogs through the front window. Some of us have our own doggie door, which gives us the ultimate freedom to go outside anytime we feel like it, and more importantly, to come back inside to the luxurious air-conditioning.
A lot of times we even to get to go to work with our humans. Yes, here in the Keys, we dogs are thankfully embraced at work places. It’s great waiting for them at home but it’s heaven sleeping next to them while they work like “dogs” all day.
The reason our people have to work so hard is because they are into “material things.” Thankfully, we dogs are natural minimalists. Give us a tennis ball or a stuffed squirrel that squeaks and we’re happy for life. We know our people simply wrap up the same ball they gave us five years ago and pass it off as a new Christmas present… and we don’t care a bit.
Actually, we don’t care about much – including personal hygiene. We are so thankful we’re not required to brush our teeth two or three times a day or take baths more than twice a month. And, we are so thankful we can run around naked all day long. We’re not obligated to put on makeup or wear bras on a daily basis.
Wait, most of the people here in the Keys don’t do any of this either, so scratch that.
Which brings us to our biggest thanks… like our humans, we local dogs are grateful we live in the Keys.
The Keys are a dog’s paradise. Everywhere else, most dogs are just happy sticking their heads out of car windows, but here in the Keys, we get to let our fur fly in the wind on our boats. A little saltwater sprays up into our furry faces and we’re in heaven! And, there’s nothing better than when we get to jump in the water or chase those stupid crabs that run sideways along the beach. Our Colorado cousins have to jump in icy lakes and rivers if they want to play in the water.
We are so thankful for the endless cats and chickens that are abundant in the Keys. So much more fun to chase than, say, mountain lions and bears. And, when we do chase anything, we run on flat land instead of up mountain terrain.
Which brings us to basic walks. Even though it gets a little hot for our paw pads over the summer, we are thankful we don’t have to walk outside and have ice balls freeze between our furry toes like the dogs living in snowy states. These dogs, with names like Snowball or Skater, just wish they could live here in the Keys and be called Rumrunner for a day.
Yes, we are thankful we are dogs, but we are blessed to be dogs in the Keys.”