November rolls in another festive holiday that brings together family and friends. Thanksgiving is a traditional event where people gather for food, fun and lasting memories. I am of the persuasion that I not wait until this holiday comes later on in the month, but to have a attitude of gratitude all year long- each and every day. As I pondered this particular blog entry, my mind could not help but think about all the things I have to be thankful for in my life. Trust me, if I started my list, it would read about four or five chapters in before you realized it was simply a blog entry. My blog and the accompanying website deal with animals, so I will keep my "thankfulness" to this group and in a brief summary, explain why I am thankful for each area surrounding the animals.
First, I am thankful for my own fur babies, Ginger and Tony. I thank God for them everyday and with out hesitation. I am thankful for their little lives and that God saw fit to entrust them to my care. I made a commitment to them when they first came into my life, and I will execute that commitment until the day I die. That is how much they mean to me. I am thankful for the unconditional love they give me. The joy they bring and yes, even the stress of my heart when they get sick or their time comes to expire. I now understand the scripture "in all things give thanks." (1 Thess 5:18). This means being thankful for the good and the bad. It also allows me to see that no matter what befalls them, God gave them to me, he trusts me with them, and He is yet in control. I am also thankful for my initial fur babies that have since passed on (Guffy, Belvedere and Charity). I miss them wholeheartedly, but thankful for their lives, and the time and space we shared on this earth. I know I will see them again. That's a promise!
I am thankful for the millions of creatures that also occupy this place we call earth, and share its space with mankind. I am thankful for every lion, bear, giraffe, elephant, donkey, horse, coe, pig, goat, deer, dolphin, whale, and the list goes on. Yes, even the shrimp, guppies , goldfish and piranhas, roaches, rats and spiders (ugh...God is still dealing with me on these living arthropods with eight legs!) You get my point though. Thankful for all living creatures. God made them. When He made them, it was good. I could go into the curse of sin, and what it did to mankind and the animals that He created as well. Another blog. Just know that when they were created, there was perfect harmony between the creatures He made and mankind, as well as those creatures in the sea. I am thankful that God had them in mind. He also had a purpose for creating them as a part of His plan. I am thankful that He has given me the task of understanding that purpose and presenting it to the world.
I am thankful for every group and organization that works on behalf of animals. from the ASPCA to the Best Friends Society and all rescue groups in between. They have made a commitment, as I did, to seeing that every living creature's life matters and has worth. When we see the horrors of abuse, neglect, mistreatment and unkindness, it breaks our heart. We want to save all the creatures. From horrible conditions and horrible people. Bringing them to a place of love, care and compassion. They deserve that as they endeavor to fulfill their purpose in bringing love, joy, friendship and companionship to millions of people in need. I am even more thankful for the smiles they bring to people's faces. Understanding what these groups and organizations are doing on behalf of these animals in nothing short of a miracle. One time, in particular, where I was really very thankful that these groups were in place was when Hurricane Katrina devastated Florida and Louisiana. I watched the news. I saw the horror in those faces and the lives that had been destroyed. Heartbreaking. I also watched in unbelief as thousands were rescued, but something else was happening. Hundreds of pets were being left behind. They could not take them and could not run the risk of going back to get them. My heart sank. Those poor, defenseless creatures were left to survive on their own. No one to care for them. Feed them. Be there for them. The people who evacuated had to leave their pets behind in shelters on higher ground. There was the hope that they would return and be reunited with their beloved pets. Nonetheless, they were left.
How thankful I was to see that organizations like the ASPCA and the Humane Society start forming rescue groups to go in and save those animals that had been left behind. They have mobilized even greater units since then to go in after natural disasters , trained and equipped, to rescue any animal that is left behind (for whatever reason). This is where I like to see my donated money go- towards efforts like these. I wished people didn't have to leave their animals behind. If you know you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, hurricanes), please make the evacuation of your animals a part of your emergency rescue plan. You will be glad you did, and the animals will be eternally grateful.
I truly have so much to be thankful for each and every day of my life. There really is no time to complain when you count your blessings. I have a heart for humans and animals, and only want to see the best be given to them that they may live full, productive lives. As I examine the world we live in, I see so many areas where improvement can make a world of difference. Whatever I can do to help make a contribution to those improvements, I will gladly do so. I am also very thankful for every other individual, group or organization that brings these improvements to fruition. When I carry this "attitude of gratitude" with me, I am always marked with a stamp of approval in grateful hearts from those who are the beneficiaries. Whether it is a smile or a waggin tail, you know you have done something good.