What is at the top of puppy Thanksgiving thank you list? We can't know for sure but it's fun to speculate and--I think that I have some pretty good guesses. People don’t count their blessings often enough. In hard times, it’s much easier to dwell on the negatives and take the positives for granted. But one reason we love our puppies so much is that they live life one day at a time, and act thankful and grateful for things that we humans probably take for granted. If puppies could talk, they’d likely include some if not all of the following on their thank you list.
A Puppy Thank You List
- A Full Tummy. Puppies probably don’t think too much about nutrition and what they should eat, but you’ll hear lots of complaints if the bowl stays empty. Hunger hurts—and your puppy is thankful every day for tasty food that keeps his tummy tick-tight to help him grow.
- A Warm Bed. Whether the pup sleeps on your pillow, in a special crate or soft carrier with his blanket, or at the end of the sofa beside you, a secure place to sleep means safety for puppies. When puppies feel insecure they can become fearful and that leads to more behavior problems that can damage your relationship. Puppies are thankful for fuzzy soft places to sleep, especially during cold weather.
- Fun Toys. Play rules puppy life, and a puppy looks for fun wherever he goes. He doesn’t care if the toy is your old balled up sock, or a puppy toy designed just for teething baby dogs. As long as he has something to bite and chase and chew, your puppy is thankful.
- Exciting Games. Puppies consider life itself a game. What you think of as a training session, your puppy considers a game show challenge with all kinds of great prizes he’s eager to win. Games puppies play with owners have the added bonus of one-on-one attention with the human they love. So puppies are particularly thankful for games.
- Tummy Rubs and Petting. You call it good grooming, but your puppy considers it a welcome feel-good massage. There is nothing more relaxing than a nose-to-tail petting session for a drowsy puppy to help him wind down from a rambunctious day of learning. Rolling over for a tummy rub also lets your puppy show you—in his puppy communication language—that you are the boss and the delight of his world. Puppies act particularly thankful for petting.
- Yummy Treats. Even when puppies have a full tummy, they are like kids with candy when it comes to special treats. The treat can be something made just for puppies, extra tasty (or smelly!) or could just be a tidbit from your plate. Puppies especially are thankful for treats from owners because it means their human shared the bounty with them.
- A Safe Home. Puppies that have been dumped or lived as strays, spent time in scary shelters or dangerous conditions like puppy mills must yearn for a real forever home. A safe home is something these puppies never seem to take for granted, once they’ve been adopted and rescued from trying beginnings. Puppies adopted into a loving, safe home that provides them with a full tummy, tasty treats, warm spot to sleep, fun toys and exciting games, and paw-sitive petting probably think they’ve found paradise. Your puppy surely is thankful for the safe home you provide.
- A Loving Owner. If I know puppies (and I think that I do!), your puppy would trade all of the above for this last most important item of all. Because it is the loving owner—you—that makes everything else for your puppy possible. In fact, you show your love not only with treats and petting, providing proper veterinary care and grooming help, playing games with puppy toys and teaching training tricks—your puppy feels your love the most when you simply spend time with him. For a puppy, that is one of the greatest gifts of all. And I have no doubt that puppies around the world would agree that they are the most thankful of all for a loving owner.