Happy Thanksgiving


I’m writing this, as usual, in the frenzied build-up to Thanksgiving. Only this year, I’m not hosting a pack of friends and relatives and their dogs as usual; instead, I’m preparing to be one of those millions of people taking their chances on traffic-snarled freeways and crowded airports. Yikes! Taking a midnight flight to the East Coast, to spend the holiday with my husband’s adult children and their children.

The dogs are staying home, of course. Otto takes his vacations at my sister’s house, where he is the much-loved, much respected lord of the manor, Gulliver to my sister’s pack of noisy little dogs. He’s always very dignified when I drop him off, but I hear stories about how he loses that dignity once I’m gone and starts to romp and race about with Lucky, a stray I picked up off the side of a country road about three Thanksgivings ago.

Happy Thanksgiving

Lucky was thin and covered with ticks when I found him, and it took me over an hour in the rain to convince the very hungry little dog to either let me catch him or to jump into my car. I took him to my local shelter, where he spent a month waiting in vain for an owner to claim him and flunked all of his temperament evaluations. He snarled viciously at every passerby and bit one kennel attendant in the behind when she was in his run trying to catch another dog, her rear end facing him; but every time I stopped by the shelter to see how he was doing, he would light up like a candle and leap into my arms, covering my face with kisses.

I made the mistake of mentioning this to my sister. When she heard that the shelter evaluators didn’t think the little dog was going to make the cut and go up for adoption, she insisted on coming with me to the shelter one day to see him for herself. Oddly enough, he took to her just as readily as he took to me, and the shelter staffers were puzzled but happy to adopt him to my sister on the spot. That’s when he got named Lucky; it ought to be Super Lucky.

Anyway, at just about 10 pounds, Lucky looks like Otto’s Mini Me, and though he ordinarily rules the roost at my sister’s house, he shares the command with Otto when Otto comes to stay. Then, supposedly, the two scruffy dogs have a warm bromance going, and they race up and down the hall together and wrestle. I am waiting for video evidence of this, Pam. At my house, Otto doesn’t ever deign to romp and play with other dogs. He’ll play chase and hide-and-seek with me, but not other dogs.

Happy Thanksgiving
Otto at my sister Pam’s

Woody gets to stay home, and one of our friends is coming to stay at our house with her two dogs. One is another one of my former foster dogs, Chaco. She’s an old lady now, with bad knees and arthritis; she will likely enjoy sleeping on Otto’s super-thick bed by the woodstove. The other is a big young Husky-mix, Ricky, one of Woody’s favorite playmates. They will have a blast romping around our fenced two acres. I’m not sure my dogs will miss me at all!

I’m sure going to miss them, though; Thanksgiving Day hikes with my dogs and friends and family and their dogs are usually my jam! But I’m looking forward to seeing the (adult) kids and grandkids playing tourist. In the meantime, my guys are in good hands – and for that, I am incredibly grateful.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Kiss those dogs!


  1. Christianity and meat-eating culture have come hand in hand for centuries. Christmas and other Christian “feast” holidays are certainly NOT times of peace and love for animals. And, “Carnival” is a very interesting word and practice full of contradiction.

    Sadly, most dog lovers are NOT animal lovers, and are speciesists, not caring about the animals they and their dogs eat. How hypocritical!
    I and my dog are thriving on a vegan diet.

    • Jim, you obviously feed YOUR dogs what you believe is best for the PLANET. I will continue to feed MY dogs what I believe is best for THEM. Whole Dog Journal is not a forum for you to try to shame people into adopting YOUR vegan beliefs. I respect your beliefs and choices and hope you & your dog are happy and healthy. Take your agenda somewhere else.

  2. I would swear Lucky is very closely related to my Leya, but half the size, Leya weighs in at 19.5 lbs
    The dogs in your home lead a charmed life
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones

  3. May this find you happy and OK from your travels… I wouldn’t do it for anyone! (But then I m old and cranky) Your dogs are so “Lucky” to ahve you! Your bloodline just must be”Dog wranglers”from Heaven!!! Thats why the little whitestreak fell intoyour arms..

  4. I, my wife and our dog, Lucy (50% miniature schnauzer/ 50% Shih Tzu – 18#), spent Thanksgiving at my daughters with all our children. My daughter has two French bulldogs. One, the male (Rosco), always runs up to my Lucy when we arrive as if to say “I’m boss here!”. He never learns, no other dog is Lucy’s boss. But she quickly informs Rosco in no uncertain terms that he is not the boss. We rescued Lucy similar to Lucky. Lucy had obviously been running out for quite some time in a rural area … very shaggy, nails very long and curved, dirty … but it was love at first sight for us both. She had no collar, no chip, nothing. As we suspected, she tested positive for heart worms … fairly obvious that she was dumped because of the HW. We treated her for the heart worms ($$$). She is now about 3 (1 yr when we rescued her) and now very healthy. We had not had a dog for over 25 years and no plans to get one but this little dog stole our hearts and still has them. She loves my wife but is my shadow … always where I am. We have traveled with her in over 25 states and almost 25 thousand miles by car … she loves to travel. She is very quiet and mannerly in motels and parks. Rarely barks and is super friendly to everyone … everyone instantly want to pet her. Even Rosco comes around after his initial rebuff.😁

    Hope everyone had as great a Thanksgiving as my family.


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