When Mom isn't working or taking care of us, what she likes to do best is read. And one of the authors she likes to read when she's feeling all the upset of this angry world is the Edinburgh author, Alexander McCall Smith. She first discovered him when he wrote the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, which, by his own admission was just to be a short story and is now into the 12th book. Then she discovered two more of his series, both of which are set in Edinburgh: The Sunday Philosphy Club series and the 44 Scotland Street series. The latter features a character named Bertie, a precocious boy of six -- no relation to our Bertie who is indeed precocious but a WFT and not a Scottish lad. The former revolves around a fascinating lady, a moral philospher, named Isabel Dalhousie. It also features a fox, Brother Fox, who lives in her garden and appears at special moments. He's a cool character who makes us rethink the idea of what we fox terriers are supposed to be about!
In this latest novel, The Lost Art of Gratitude, several events happen where a simple thank you would be appropriate -- but is not proffered. And then, when someone actually does thank her for resolving an embarrassing situation, Isabel ponders (yes, Wilf, people often ponder too) that she has come to no longer expecting people to say thank you -- rather, they accept things, take them as their right, and have forgotten to give proper thanks. Thus the title of the book, a lovely book, especially if you've come to know the other characters and how they look at life. After reading one of these books, our Mom is much calmer, more given to idle musing, and a lot more fun to be with. So we approve her spending time with them.
Yesterday, as Mom discussed this idea of gratitude with us, Just Harry and I decided that we hadn't said enough thank you's -- tomorrow is the big T-Day after all and we have a gazillion things to be thankful for. Most of them are the every day kind of things that we've come to expect as our right:
At least three walks a day -- two of which --- morning and evening -- Dogdad takes us on together around the golf course and into the sand traps and lets us run and chase each other -- and one of which, our mid-day "pee time," when Mom takes each of us on a slow walk with lots of sniffing.
Breakfast and dinner with as many in-between snacks as we can wheedle out of Mom.
More toys than we can ever destroy.
Beds and pillows everywhere for us to sprawl on or curl up on. Plus the couch, my bench near Mom's computer, the rocking chair by the big bed, and any other chair we choose.
A backyard to romp and sniff in -- even if it's not very big.
Daily scritching time. Sometimes full body rub downs before going downstairs to breakfast.
Infrequent baths and plucking. And Dogdad's switching from plucking to clipping at the point where it makes us uncomfortable.
The bedtime snacks that Dogdad gives us when Mom isn't looking.
And love, lots and lots and lots of love!
And then there are the big things:
Our friends, virtual and real, who have taught us so much about sharing joy and sorrow.
The Circle of Paws and the caring community we've come to know through both giggles and sobs.
The feeling of being connected across the globe!
For all these things and more, we are grateful and do bark a loud (very loud, says Mom) THANK YOU!!!
And one thing more:
Like those books which Mom says calm her in the face of the angry world, she says we -- yep, us, Jake and Just Harry -- are her antidote to all the nastiness out there.
Happy Thanksgiving every body!!!