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Family Pet Animal Care - November 2014 - Giving Thanks


Family Pet Animal Care - November 2014
Giving Thanks - Feeling Gratitude

by Dr. Michael Trapani

I am sitting in my den listening the happy sound of 14 mildly tipsy women. It’s Bunco Night at our house and Halloween Costume Bunco Night to boot, so the ladies are dressed as their favorite things (Barb as a bottle of Ménage à Trois wine) and the house rings with laughter. 

And I am grateful. 

Bunco is a ladies-only activity, not because the women do not want us but because we men do not understand how to participate in this game of giggles and high-pitched conversation that bounces from one end of the room to another. My presence is justified (in my mind) by my role as bartender. Margaritas and Cosmopolitans are my specialty, and I am in danger of developing Bartender’s Elbow after the workout these women have given me tonight.

And I am grateful: grateful for the friends and the laughter, for the fine food and great wine, grateful for the guests that fill my home with companionship and warmth and (dare I say it?) that fill my home with joy. I am grateful for the silly dogs that saunter from guest to guest. I am grateful for the cats that move from person to person, certain that all these people have dropped in only to bask in their feline presence and to be blessed with the rumble of their purring.

Halloween is upon us, opening the season of holidays, which mark the ending of the old year and celebrate the coming of the new. Soon it will be time for Thanksgiving and Christmas and Chanukah and New Year’s (and all the other holidays that I neglect to mention). But where does this season begin? We celebrated the three-year anniversary of opening our new hospital last month, and my 60th birthday just before, and Barb’s birthday soon after that. It seems that every month – or every week – includes an occasion to be grateful for. And I am grateful.

I am grateful for my neighbors and for the people of this community who have received me with open arms, who have trusted me and made my business a success. I am grateful for the loyal and skilled employees who make it possible for me to do my work and perform at my highest level. I am grateful for my readers, who inspire me to write this column (I do it all for YOU). I am especially grateful for Vesta, my publisher, who encourages me and provides the platform from which I speak.

It is easy to sometimes become so immersed in the details of day-to-day living that we forget that we live in a paradise. I am not immune to this. The work I do is dangerous and often filled with tension and outright fear that I might make a mistake, or fail to anticipate an unknown factor, or simply exceed my ability to maintain control of a situation that rebels against any notion of being controlled by a mere human being. In the murk of that stress, it’s easy to forget how lucky I am to have problems like these. And I am grateful.

As the evening wears on (and amid the squealing cries of “Bunco!”) I can only wonder at the amazing piece of luck that has brought me here, to this time and place, to this community, to these neighbors and friends and colleagues and clients, to the beautiful and loving pets and animal patients who enrich my life… and I am grateful.

I have discovered only one piece of genuine wisdom in my 60 years, and it can be summed in three words: Love Your Friends. 

Thank you, all of you, who have touched my life in so many, many ways. For you, I am truly grateful.

Happy holidays everyone!