Thanksgiving 2015: Be the Person Your Pets Think You Are

I know, I know. It’s the Sunday after Thanksgiving and I’m a tad late to the table on my gratitude list. In my defense, though, I spent most of the holiday in Tahoe snowshoeing with dogs and cooking up a storm at my sister’s place. The rest involved traveling back and forth to Miami, an odyssey that featured trying not to slide off a mountain (this, despite chains on my tires and the best efforts of a rented Kia). 

 Aulani (the earless wonder) as a baby. He's six months old now and just got neutered the week before last. 

Aulani (the earless wonder) as a baby. He's six months old now and just got neutered the week before last. 

So you forgive me? Great. Now I can get on with the business of baring my grateful soul to the Internet, á la Kardashian confessional (sans Botox, lip injections and butt pics). Here goes: 

As a mother: I’m thankful that I get to be the parent of a teenager. No matter how angsty, sullen and annoying he gets, I made an awesome kid (with lots and lots of help from a zillion other people I’m also thankful for). Plus, this is the last year he lives under my roof, so if nothing else I’m thankful for getting him this far (college application purgatory notwithstanding). 

 Max, exhausted after snowboarding in Tahoe this weekend. 

Max, exhausted after snowboarding in Tahoe this weekend. 

As the partner of a brilliant musician: I’m thankful for all the music in my life. Guitars, mandolins, banjos, ukuleles, rock, blues, jazz, bluegrass, country … it never ends (nor do the countless hours of practice in the background of my home life) and for that I am grateful. 

As a vet practice owner celebrating her first year in business: I’m grateful for my patients and the people around them. For my clients, because they push me to be a better vet by demanding more for their pets than I might otherwise offer them ...

 This girl clearly doesn't want to be at the vet's.

This girl clearly doesn't want to be at the vet's.

... and for my employees, because they challenge me to be a better human than I’m naturally inclined to be. 

 Our youngest volunteer holds a foundling.

Our youngest volunteer holds a foundling.

But most of all, I’m thankful for the animals in my life. As the saying goes, I aspire to be the person my pets think I am. I mean, without the animals in my life, whether patients or family, who would I be? 

 Little spunky right after undergoing surgery for his diaphragmatic hernia. He's huge now!

Little spunky right after undergoing surgery for his diaphragmatic hernia. He's huge now!

Wait ... don’t answer that question. 

Instead, answer this one: What are you thankful for this year?