I am so thankful for my many blessings – including my husband (we are celebrating our twelfth anniversary this weekend), my parents, my family (including my husband’s amazing family) and my incredible friends. Despite this, I have really struggled with this Thanksgiving post as I have friends and acquaintances who are alone and having difficulties this holiday season.
In searching for light-hearted ideas for this post, I looked through some old family photo albums, thinking that pictures of Thanksgivings past might help me. I came to an interesting realization that there are almost equal amounts of pictures of our childhood pets as there are of my brother and me. I love that – and am so grateful to my parents for raising me with that appreciation for animals.
So I dedicate this post to our loyal, loving, and faithful companions, both past and present. Before I show you how I was raised with animals, I invite you to watch the below video of an English bulldog protecting his baby, which was sent to me this week. It reminds me of how I was raised.
This picture of my brother as a tiny baby and Boomer, our first English Bulldog, pretty much captures the equal footing of people and pets in our family.
The second bulldog in the Williams family was Oliver. Oliver loved playing with my brother and lounging
on with my dad.
Next came the Siamese cats. First was Kiki, who liked to eat wool socks. My mom asked the vet how to cure him of this and the vet suggested getting him a playmate. Enter Casper into the family, and my parents then had two cats that liked to eat wool socks. When my mom was pregnant with me, she used to wear jumpers with large arm-holes. She said that when she would sit down, Kiki would climb into her jumper through the arm-hole and lay on top of her pregnant belly. I often wonder if my love for cats started then – through the womb. Here is an early picture of me and Kiki:
My grandparents had a beloved Boxer named Biffy, who was my mom’s constant companion when she was a teenager. Biffy was amazing and was quite old by the time I came around – and he became fiercely protective. I love this picture of me with my grandfather and Biffy. Like the bully in the video in the beginning, Biffy looks to me like he is protecting his baby.
Our family sent out holiday cards each year and the dogs were always included. In this early picture of my family, if you look closely, you can see that I am NOT happy. I look like a thundercloud and am trying to pry my dad’s hand off of me. The picture was taken immediately following my temper tantrum because I couldn’t hold the dog (Moosie) in the picture.
A few years later, this card shows our bulldog Celeste, along with Moosie. And they still didn’t let me hold the animals for the picture, but apparently I was more accustomed to the slight at that age.
On this day, as we remind ourselves of our many blessings and show thanks, please don’t forget your pets! I know that I will be loving and kissing on mine – even more so than usual.