I am also thankful that I had a great dog for ten years, that I was able to spend a lot of time with him during those ten years, that, up until this final illness, those ten years were really healthy and happy. I am thankful for the ad in the paper and the phone call from my mother and the chain of events that led me to him. I am thankful for every walk I had with him almost every night for ten years, an activity which is probably one of my greatest joys in life...walking my dog, listening to my iPod, especially under the night sky in the brisk of fall and winter. This winter will not be the same.
I am thankful that we had the funds to give him the best medical care available and that Teddy was treated so well by all the hands that helped him, even right up to the end. I am thankful for, in the words of my vet, a gentle death, and two kind and understanding people to help him make that transition. Teddy was the only being in that room that didn't struggle that evening.
I am beyond thankful for a husband who understands "how I am" about my dogs and didn't bulk at extraordinary vet bills (buying time is very expensive) and stepped in when I couldn't do any more and who was willing to sleep on the couch downstairs so I wouldn't be alone with Teddy on his last night because Teddy could not climb the stairs one more time. [He's also really great about a lot of other stuff (see "four Christmas trees," below...).]
Being thankful and feeling gratitude doesn't erase the pain, but it makes it worth it. Sometimes great joy brings great pain, but it's worth it. Teddy was worth every tear and every dollar. I think that's what gratitude does...it changes your perspective.
In every thing give thanks...Thessalonians 5:18. Amen.
If you've never been before and are thinking about coming, just know that I would be delighted to have you stop by. I offer my jewelry for sale, but it's really about the opportunity to get to know you or to visit with you a little, especially in an atmosphere that isn't rain-soaked or bug infested or miserably hot or humid, like it so often is at the arts festivals. So I hope you'll consider stopping in on Dec. 5th. I even have a few pieces that are not pet-related, so if you're bringing a friend that's not really into animals, why are you friends? No, no....even they will have something that might interest them.
Here are a few photos from last year and some for this year: