Any one of us house dogs could have handled today’s bark, but since I’ve got the most to be thankful for we decided I should do it.

If you’ve been reading our barks, you know I was taken from my owner after somebody complained me, my pal Butch, and a bunch of little dogs were being neglected.

I had no idea what it meant to be neglected. I’d always lived that way. Oh I knew I had fleas, my eyes were gooey and I was pretty skinny, but at least I had a place to live. I’d say I was ignored more than neglected.

Then one day the animal control officer came and arrested me and Butch. We were put into a dog cage. Nobody read us our rights.

I don’t know what hapened to the little yappers in the house. Butch and me were put in jail. First we were together in the same cell, then one day Butch disappeared.

I spent five long months in the joint. I didn’t have an attorney or anybody to speak for me. I never got a chance to tell my story. Nobody asked me what I wanted. The jailers were really nice to me. I guess they decided I was a pretty good mutt because one day without any explanation I got sprung. Old Dog Haven volunteers drove me way far north to where I met my new pack.

Sorry for all the details about my past life, but if you don’t know my history you won’t understand what Thanksgiving means to me. This is my first Thanksgiving at Asherpark. My fleas are gone, I’ve gained some weight, my fur is thick and shiny, and my eyes are bright.

I can see because Old Dog Haven pays for my eye drops. Every day I get a drop in each eye. Otherwise I will go blind. I don’t like the drops but I sit real still. I do admit I clench my eyes tight shut, but my people know just how to spread my eyelids enough to get the drop inside. Then they kiss me and make over me and tell me how wonderful I am. Sometimes when I’m still blinking they’ll slip a treat in my mouth.

Last night it was plenty cold. I took my nightly walk down the driveway. I could hear outside dogs barking. I could smell the coyotes. I looked back at my home. The lights were on and it was warm inside. Tess ran by and bumped me. That’s the signal to head back to the house. We always get a treat before bedtime and Tess likes us to hurry back so she doesn’t have to wait for hers.

When we were all in, Mom turned out the lights. I followed her to the bedroom and curled up in a ball in my favorite bed. She kissed my crooked old snout and told me she loved me. Dad told me how special I am, that I’m a permanent member of the pack and I will always have a home.

That’s the beauty of it. I have a forever home at Asherpark with Ash and Tess. My people love me and take care of me. Generous donors sponsor me through Old Dog Haven. I even have a secret admirer who writes me notes and sends me treats. My heart is bursting with joy and gratitude. I am so very very thankful.

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