It’s the holiday time of the year and it’s easy to get caught up in the fever of the season. In the rush from party to party, shopping, dealing with the logistics of children and presents and travel sometimes we forget about our pets. Our little fuzzy family members dutifully watch us with their big, caring eyes wondering what the big fuss is about and eager to join in the fun. Lucky for them they get the benefit of a loving, warm home and all they get to do is witness what we humans go through annually. When it all boils down to it that’s all that really matters, though, isn’t it? Sure, our pets appreciate us and our opposable thumbs – who else can open the pet food?! But, for the most part, they’re content to receive the modest scratches and belly rubs, have a fulfilling meal and be near you.
During this season of holiday cheer and generosity let’s not forget our pet’s care givers – those people who make sure that our kittens and pups are healthy, happy and well cared for. It may be your vet, your dog trainer, the service who comes by and picks up dog poop, your pet groomer or (plug!) your pet sitter. Any sign of appreciation is…uh…well…appreciated 🙂
A few years ago one of my furry family members passed away the day after Christmas. He had spent the previous 9 months in and out of the vet, the emergency vet and more. My family spent as much as we possibly could to save him as he was such a dear boy to us. Our last Christmas together he had given us the sign that he felt safe and secure – he rolled on his back like dogs are prone to do, all four legs up in the air, and he snoozed in the comfort of his home. He snored and rested with us, our other pets snuggling with him and me taking a nap next to his outstretch, half-shaven body. The next morning he was gone.
Every year since then I’ve made it a point to stop by the emergency vet on the day after Christmas. My boy had spent so much time there as they tried to figure out what was wrong with him and they cared for him. As a sign of thanks I bring them a simple offering of coffee and doughnuts. It probably doesn’t mean much but it makes me feel better letting them know that I thank them for all that they did for my family.
If you have the capacity you might even consider helping those animals less fortunate than yours. Groups like FOHA and Best Friends could always use assistance – be it money for their general funds, sponsoring an animal, or supplying them with the materials needed to care for dogs and cats. For example, FOHA’s Holiday Wish List is filled with items that they need which don’t really cost a lot but would go a long way towards helping animals in need.
As I go through my list of charities that I donate to and service providers who care for my dogs and cats I try to remember what it was like before my pets and I just can’t imagine it. I look at them, staring at me and asking me to feed them, and make sure that I give each of my pets extra hugs and kisses and wish that all the other animals out there – the sick, the old, the abandoned and abused – will also find a warm, loving forever home.
To be honest, I make sure that I give each of my pets extra hugs and kisses during this time of the year.