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I had to look up the definition of tradition and found it to be – an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action or behavior.   I prefer to define it as ‘Thanksgiving with Lana’.   She & Kooper joined Holly, Helen, Gracie and I for a fine meal and a special day of conversation and reflection.  

The dogs (and cat) had their special moments as well and had whip cream, turkey and some warm gravy on their special meal.   Kooper, Holly & Helen had a weigh-in and came in at 58, 60, and 15 respectively.   Holly is approaching two years old at sixty pounds.  It is likely she will not fill out too much more. If she gains it is weight that doesn’t need to be there, the kind I have.   Her activity level and menu plan can be stable and she should be in a good spot for her middle school years.

The day included some photo shoot moments, common when Lana is around!  Gracie treated us with her steady presence in front of the fireplace.  We positioned the dogs around her and were able to get some posed pet family photos inclusive of Gracie!   Whether it was the warmth from the fireplace or the gratitude in the air but Gracie remained calmly posed on the floor despite the chaos of getting dogs methodicially situated around her.  For whatever reason all the dogs let her be and did not goose her, drop a ball on her head, paw at her or bark in her face.   She took command of her spot and was steadfast through the commotion.  

Earlier this week, I had my dryer vent cleaned out.  This required a long air hose through the backyard and the frequent passage of the maintenance worker.  It didn’t take long and Holly had made a new friend.  He was throwing the ball for her, squatting down for her and speaking sweet words in a soothing voice.  Holly followed him everywhere.  Later I learned his father is a breeder for golden retrievers in southern Minnesota.  He grew up surrounded by golden puppies and still goes home to help with freshly born litters.  

My neighbors (Diane, Donna & John) had sent me a thoughtful Thanksgiving message expressing their gratitude for our ‘neighborship’.  In the message they included all of us – Robin, DeeAnn, Holly, Helen, Gracie, Rainie & Keltie.  I commented that they likely never knew that they would be living next to a zoo, to which they promptly responded  – ‘and we never knew it would be so much fun’.  

Gratitude can be found in a treasured tradition, in front of a fireplace, in a fine meal, in sharing conversation, in a stranger’s kindness, and in a neighbor’s kind comment.  It doesn’t take one special day for gratitude to be in our lives but it does take gratitude to help our lives feel special.    Happy Thanksgiving!