On Thursday, Americans will celebrate another Thanksgiving Day. There will be lots of food, family gatherings, parties and – hopefully – if you take the time to observe the true reason for the holiday – you will pause and give thanks for what you have been able to achieve and have been given over the last year.
I’m in New Zealand. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving (although I wish we did, because I think New Zealand is a great place to live and we are endowed with so much in terms of quality of life. It wouldn’t hurt us to stop and take a moment to give thanks.)
I am thankful and here’s why:
- I work in a field that I am passionate about. Yes, I have worked hard to establish my practice, but I am grateful that the effort has paid off.
- My customers trust me to work in their homes with their dogs. I am always aware that, as an in-home specialist, I am entrusted not only with the dog’s care but also access to homes. You can’t get more personal than that. I am grateful for the opportunity that these dog owners have given me.
- My work enables me to travel and meet other people who work with dogs, too many of these dogs are homeless and in need of care.
- My work also allows me time to visit with my family overseas and we are able to spend quality time together.
- I have friends, most of whom are also dog people, and they give me support when I need it. Like recently, when Izzy was hurt and she needed looking after during the work day. My friend Marie stepped up to do this for me. (My friends, Izzy and I also do fun dog things together – like beach walks and visits to dog-friendly cafes.)
- Izzy, my greyhound, is healthy. Although she is aging, she is aging gracefully and still loves to be my demo dog at workshops and public events. When the weather is cooler, she also travels with me and visits with the customers. She’s a true ambassador for canine massage and natural care.
- People engage with me on Facebook, through this blog, and through the columns I write for NZ Dog World. I love to write and it is satisfying knowing that people like you are reading what I have to say and to share and take the time to get in touch.
So, on this Thanksgiving Day please take the time to give thanks – even if you are not in a country that officially celebrates the day.
Remember to hug your dog, too!
Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand