Let's Eat...

Probably the best holiday for me is Thanksgiving.   It involves one of my most basic and coveted needs, “food,” and I always ask Elaine to make a lot because I love the leftovers. This year I wanted to include the dogs to help me share my beloved and much anticipated holiday.

In 2011, I wrote my annual Thanksgiving tribute about my dogs. As I looked back and re-read it, 3 of them have passed, and now we have three different dogs.  Clancy, Molly, and Abbie have passed but are waiting for me,  Dahlie, JoJo, and Whiskey needed a home, and even share their same kennel when it’s time to eat.  It is bittersweet when they go in, but I always look at my past dog's name above there door, it’s never been removed. 

A lot of water has passed under that bridge, but things and lessons have been learned.  I have always said, “we are who we are, because of our past.”  You can forever be looking back, but it can be a lonely place.  Things happen for a reason, and we will never know why things seem so cruel.   

While I will never get over the pain of Clancy's death, I am thankful that something good came out of it.  I can’t tell you the times I’ve cried when I looked into the eyes of a rescue dog that had no hope.  Some were on chains, some had broken bones, some were scheduled to be euthanized (a nice word for killed), but they were saved because of Clancy.  In honesty, if Clancy were still alive, none of these dogs would have been helped by us and who knows where they would now be.

June 20, 2018, This was her life.

June 23, 2018, This is the same dog.
When I look at Thanksgiving, it’s not about the food and football, to me, it’s really about the dogs and how thankful I am that our foundation has the Directors, volunteers, and supporters that care about the plight of these dogs as much as I do.

On Thanksgiving Day in 2011 I wrote this in my Blog;

“Well guys, you told me what you are thankful for, I guess it’s my turn.  It’s a little more complicated than what you are thankful for. But let’s start. You are my friends and my companions.  You listen to me and have no idea what I am saying except “Let’s Eat, Ball and Frisbee” But, your vocabulary will far exceed mine on many fronts because you say so much with your eyes. Watching you enjoy life, makes my heart skip a beat because you really do enjoy life, something we all should learn to do, but never have time until it’s too late.
You have saved me many times in so many ways, even once when I fell and knocked myself out on a cold on an icy walkway. I was home by myself, and you all licked my face until I woke up. There is no doubt that you would give your life for me and I hope you know, mine for you. I remember once Max fell through the ice and was trapped and couldn’t get out. My shoes were off, I knew my duty, just like you know yours.

You pick up my spirit and allow me to wander through your world, making me part of "your" pack, which is an honor, something, not every human has done. You love me for just being me, taking me as I am. I never have to dress up or comb my hair or put on my fancy clothes.
You have always been loyal and have never left my side, even when I have scolded you, you crawl to my feet, looking up from your bowed head, your eyes take me straight to your heart, teaching me another lesson. You are more dependable than most humans, and we should all take lessons from you.
Thank you, Clancy, for making me what I am today. I am living a dream I didn’t know was possible.”

And I further add to those who can’t speak except through their eyes that they say “thank you, Clancy, for hope, shelter, freedom along with a warm bed and loving people who will not only give me my basic needs but a family to call my own. 

While my Thanksgiving Day will be bittersweet, I know a lot of dogs and new dog parents are thrilled that something happened and fate came together to make a better life for everyone.

A letter from Clancy.  

I hope, in your grief and loneliness, that you will consider how sad it would have been had we not have this time together, not had the chance to give each other so much.
I do not mourn or grieve, but I will miss standing beside you, bound together on our walks through life, but now there is a long line of dogs to save.

Thank you. It was nothing but a gift.
And finally, I ask these things of you:

Remember me.
Celebrate me.
Rescue for me.

And then, when you can, let me go, freely and in peace.
Do me the great honor of saving another dog so they can have a life as I had, and they can give and receive love and life again...

Have a great Thanksgiving Week, Ken