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It’s November — and what better time to remind ourselves to be thankful — for the comforts around us, our family, friends (both in the real world and online) and, of course, for the dogs we share our lives with. Whether they are trained to be a Service Dog, working dog, or are simply a loyal pet, animals are a unique and integral part of of our lives. Here are 24 reasons to be thankful for dogs — one for each day of November until Thanksgiving.

From the way they smell as puppies to the big contented sigh of an old dog resting in the sunny spot on the floor on a nice fall day, we love love them with all of our hearts.

1. The day you met your dog for the first time, whether they were a potential working dog1-puppy candidate that you were worried would ever even make it or the fluffy little puppy every child dreams about.

2. The day you saved their life, when you picked them out at the pound and gave them a reason.

3. The day they saved yours right back, when you realized that in those eyes was YOUR reason.

4. Puppy noses and ears. Be they candidates for a career as a working dog or pets from the beginning of their lives, those puppy noses and ears are so precious.

 

5. Chunky toddler dog legs … they’re just cute.

6. The “all legs and knees” teenage dogs and their wrecking ball ways. From being a fur covered bowling ball barreling into the room to the “chewer, the destroyer of many things”, I look back on those days (and look at the chewed books) and just remember how sweet those short months really were.

7. The morning silliness to wake you up, for the whole of their lives, they’re the first ones to see you and the ones that never judge the morning hair/face.

8. When your partner graduates from their first puppy class.

9. The trust and teamwork that makes your bond stronger, makes your work together, be it throwing a Frisbee, guiding a blind person or finding the drugs. That bond is wonderful.

10. Bath time, and if you’re lucky, the way you both smell like wet dog after the fact.

Cattle Dog being Washed

11. The soft fur on their muzzles and ears. The soft sound of the snuffling that you hear when the whiskers and soft fur tickle your ear.

12. The deep sigh as they fall asleep at night, and the peaceful feeling knowing that everything is ok, right now.

13. All of the adventures that you had. That time they ate your broccoli for you or that time they barfed on your sister, in the car, with her seat belt on.

14. The bark in the middle of the night – it was just the wind, but you felt safer.

15. The way they protect us from the evil of squirrels.

16. The way they love each other and our other pets.

17. The way they look at us, with those eyes, with all of the expectation and hope. Every day.

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18. The way they snuggle us when we are sick and follow us around when we’re well.

19. Companionable silence: the time spent just “BEING” with your dog – unless you have a puppy, then silence is suspicious.

20. An older dog’s comforting ways, the way they fill a void in our lives, just right. Takes a lifetime of dedication get to that exact level of perfection.

21. The way they are an integral part of our families, and in some cases our work lives.

22. The way they train us (stupid human tricks), to do things like open the back door without any obvious cues.

23. The way they take us for walks and care for us in their own ways. We are loved.

24. The way we care for them, just to see them smile.

Their stories, and our memories of the very special times are what make having another species live in our homes and hearts so rewarding. In this season of being thankful for what is around us and who is with us, let’s not forget those sweet eyes that look up at us, and be grateful that we are blessed with their love, and sometimes, their help. Why are you thankful for your dog? Leave us a note in the comments!