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Home for the Holidays

Panini and Truffles

Thanksgiving is traditionally a time for gathering with families and loved ones, as well as a time for giving thanks for the blessings in our lives. Greeting cards often depict the holiday with images of families gathered around a table laden with delicious food. But for myself, and many of my readers, such a scene will always include at least one loved animal companion as in Jacquie Lawson’s latest heartwarming e-card, The Thanksgiving Feast.

Not everyone understands that bond, but many can become converts given the right animal partner. Over the years I have heard many stories that begin with “I never liked cats…” or “I never wanted a dog, but…” — a story that often concludes with wonderment about how much joy that particular animal brings. And it’s a magic that happens purely through the willingness of another species to offer us their trust, and to love us unconditionally. If we allow it, if we make room for it, their love can inspire us to communicate with them from the heart, and, in so doing, we become better, happier people.

Reader Gary Johnson in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, shared this photo with me of a doghouse he built for his two dachshunds. Panini (the black and tan) was a year-old on October 4th, and Truffles will be a year-old on November 29th.

Gary says, “I never quite understood your thing with pets until I got a set of dogs. I find them to be great companions and loads of fun. A set of characters to say the least. My wife had a fit when I built the doghouse. Something about ‘other things to do’ and ‘Dachshunds don’t need porches.’ The lights are solar and the sign I made.”

For someone who never had dogs before, Gary seems to be “hearing” their needs just fine. He says, “I moved the doghouse to follow the winter sunlight. They enjoy sitting on their porch watching for ninja squirrels (I think) who drop from the trees and cause mischief. The only thing they enjoy more is sitting and watching for ninja squirrels while warming their fur in a sunbeam.”

Indeed, these two charmers do not seem to have any difficulty at all in making themselves clearly understood. Gary shares, “Both have discovered the hearth by the fireplace. Neither seems to have interest in moving until spring. They are smart dogs, amazingly so at times, but they are stubborn as the day is long. Truffles has taken to staring at the fireplace and barking until it’s lit. She then proceeds to lay on the hearth until you wonder if her fur is going to burst into flames and rolls over while stretching. I should have named her Mercury after the planet closest to the sun. She is a clown.

“One day I was walking both when Panini suddenly stiffened when she spotted a cat. Truffles looked at the cat, tail wagging, thinking she found a new friend. Panini turned to Truffles and gave her an indignant bark as if to say, “You don’t wag at those.” Truff gave a half-hearted bark at the cat, but you could tell she did not mean it.”

It is said that no home is complete without a dog. Gary went for a double, adopting two. And it appears that both dogs feel that no home is complete without Gary. He says, “Since I came back from vacation in the Far East, they don’t seem to want me out of their sight. It’s like I am being stalked.”

I’d say that all parties are glad to be home, with each other, for the holidays.

Best wishes to all my readers for a happy Thanksgiving with your family, furry or otherwise!

Rose De Dan, Puma, Saqqara, Kiya, Cougar and Sand

Think Outside the Cage

Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is a paq’o and mesa carrier in the Peruvian Q’ero Andean Medicine Tradition. In addition she is also a Reiki Master Teacher, animal communicator, author of the acclaimed book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism, and creator of Animal and Reiki Art. As an animal shaman, she views her role as a healer as one of building bridges between people and animals, and of empowering them to reconnect with Pachamama, Mother Earth.

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