Thanksgiving Is Going to the Dogs

“My sunshine doesn’t come from the skies.
It comes from the love in my dog’s eyes.”

If I were a dog this Thanksgiving, I would have the time of my life.

I would start my day by showing up to a football game. And then, at the most opportune time of the play, I would make a mad dash onto the field and really get everybody’s attention. There isn’t a referee fast enough to chase me down, nor a player.

I can see the crowd come to its feet and give me a cheer as I chase after the pigskin. A golden retriever can catch anything and I live by my name.

Hey, there are a lot of teams that have gone to the dogs. I don’t mean the losers, either. Georgia has its Bulldogs and Northeastern the Huskies. Tell me the truth. People may forget a touchdown but they’ll long remember the time an energetic canine covered the length of a field with a crowd in pursuit.

By then I would have worked up an appetite. So back home I go, reunited with my own family after a stern reprimand. The smell of a home-cooked meal infiltrates my nostrils. The turkey roasting in the oven. Candied yams. Stuffing. You name it. Soup to nuts.

It’s the one time I get to enjoy a hearty meal and not from a can. Here’s the way it works for me. I rest my posterior under a table and wait for a hand-out. On comes a bone, then a wing. The kids who don’t like what they’re served ultimately pass it down.

That’s me, a living garbage disposal who can’t get served enough. Here comes a napkin and I paw it open. Broccoli. Not my favorite, either, but hey, beggars can’t be choosy.

My owner is less suspicious. “Anyone seen Rover?” he asks, hoping to set up a plate for me. By now, I could be part of a football team called the Bears.

I let out a yawn and out I come for more of the same. I hear humans say that Thanksgiving is a day when people finally do something about their weight: increase it! Well, it’s the same with us pooches.

They decided to hold dessert for later. Good thing, too. I’m about ready to waddle like a duck. Time for a nap, but not so quick. My owner has other plans.

“Come Rover. Let’s go for a walk. Gotta get up some more appetite for the pies. You like mince?”

I’d rather go for the pumpkin. The mince would go right through me.

The walk went well. Turned out, I was walking him, not the reverse. Owners don’t usually walk their dogs. That’s why people call it a dog walk. We’re usually the ones towing the line.

On our journey, there was plenty of company. Doris the poodle looked gorgeous. And Taco, the dachshund. Fritz the bulldog never smiles. I keep my distance from him. Everyone we meet winds up in conversation. And what do they talk about? Food!

Or the movies. Remember “The Incredible Journey” and how Chance had himself a “chow-down” during the wedding reception? He had no table manners. A good dog has decorum. Shadow was my idea of nobility. He was never a growler and gave us golden retrievers some homage.

Could say the same for Otis until he caught up with Milo, the soft-hearted feline. But still, not bad for a pug. Every dog must have its day.

People say the whole world is going to the dogs. If that were true, we would probably have a better shot at creating harmony. When dogs get together, they usually bark the same language.

But it’s Thanksgiving and our bite is bigger than our bark. Don’t know if you’re computer-literate but some of us can get to a keyboard and paw our way to the website called “The Bark.” There, you’ll find a Thanksgiving dinner just for dogs.

We love turkey and sweet potatoes, too. We hounds can chow down with gusto. Put it all into a bowl but make the turkey chunks skinless, please. We’re not fussy. Light or dark meat will do.

You may have caught the TV commercial of a retriever eyeing a turkey with his paws on the back of a chair. In runs the owner, trying desperately to convince the dog to step down. He plays it safe and keeps his distance. His reward was a leg.

Who can say “no” to that furry face with the big eyes and wagging tail? People find us irresistible, especially at Thanksgiving.

If I were a cat, I would demand equal treatment.

Tom Vartabedian

Tom Vartabedian

Tom Vartabedian is a retired journalist with the Haverhill Gazette, where he spent 40 years as an award-winning writer and photographer. He has volunteered his services for the past 46 years as a columnist and correspondent with the Armenian Weekly, where his pet project was the publication of a special issue of the AYF Olympics each September.
Tom Vartabedian

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