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Thanksgiving and giving thanks

The musician Fiona Apple recently shared on Facebook that she would be canceling her tour in order to stay home with her dying dog Janet. She wrote,

"I know that she's not sad about aging or dying. Animals have a survival instinct, but a sense of mortality and vanity, they do not. That’s why they are so much more present than people. But I know that she is coming close to point where she will stop being a dog, and instead, be part of everything. She’ll be in the wind, and in the soil, and the snow, and in me, wherever I go. I just can't leave her now, please understand. If I go away again, I’m afraid she'll die and I won't have the honor of singing her to sleep, of escorting her out."

Like many people, these words touched me. Our dog Cleo has been with us seven years, but it feels like forever. She is completely incorporated into our lives. Given she was already about three when we adopted her, it now feels like the aging process is speeding up for Cleo. It's difficult for me because I'm not ready for her to "stop being a dog" as Fiona puts its.

However, it is Thanksgiving Day, and my reminder to focus on the positive rather than my worries.

I am thankful for every moment with Cleo, and every experience. It is the many experiences together that has wrapped Cleo so completely around my heart. Like Fiona and Janet, I too believe that after Cleo crosses the rainbow bridge she "will be in the wind, and in the soil, and the snow, and in me, wherever I go."

It's tradition for us to share something we're thankful for before our Thanksgiving meal. This year I want to invite you to join me around our virtual dinner table. In case you're shy, I'll start:

I'm thankful for having Cleo, our adored and adorable senior dog.

Since Cleo lives in the moment, I expect she's thankful for the smell of turkey cooking and the possibility that she'll be getting a bite.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to give back to my community through my work with Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS).

Given how much she cries when the Rudy Bus drives up, I believe Cleo is also thankful for Mary, her elderly dog walker, and giver of treats and cuddles.

I'm very thankful for the friends I've made from dog blogging, and for all who comment here, on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook. You guys make my day!

I'm thankful for knowing, and having the chance to work with, the talented and big-hearted LIFE + DOG editorial team.

Maybe, honestly, I am most thankful for the heartfelt knowledge that Cleo is thankful for us, her family. It is an indescribable feeling for me to have this life, trust and depend on me.

What or who are you thankful for?  Share with us in the comments! Happy Thanksgiving to you!!


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