Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States, a day usually dedicated to food, community, and feeling grateful. There are plenty of myths and misinformation about Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales seem to creep in earlier and earlier each year. For so many reasons, Thanksgiving is a complicated day for some folks or a day of mourning but for many, it’s a day to remember what in your life you can be thankful for.

The last year, for me, has been rough; losing Milo and Rooster last June was a huge blow and I still miss them deeply. But I am so incredibly thankful for the time I did get with them. We got significantly more time with Rooster than I thought possible. Between a kidney infection several years ago and multiple digestion issues, there were many times we thought we’d have to say goodbye. But somehow, he rallied every single time and we had more adventures.

Despite knowing we were on borrowed time with him, there’s nothing that can quite prepare you for saying goodbye. And there’s really nothing to prepare you for seeing a once healthy and happy dog like Milo go through such a hard time. These two dogs were my best friends and were practically brothers in their own way.

But even with all that, I am so incredibly grateful for the time I had with those two goofballs. They were my dogs, my best boys. They taught me about love and patience and adventure. And I really can’t explain just how thankful I am for them.

I’m also thankful for all the time I spent with other dogs and animals. I got to visit an alpaca farm on Orcas Island and go whale watching. Milo met a snowman and was rated by @WeRateDogs (13/10 if you’re curious!). Rooster, Milo, and I went on many adventures together. This was also the year that Rosie joined my neighbor’s family and became an Animal of the Pacific Northwest! She’s come a long way in the last few months and it’s been amazing to watch her grow.

Rainy and I spent a good deal of time together this year and I’m so grateful that she considers me one of her people (and that her people trust me with her!). I also got to meet a friend’s dogs and had a blast showing my friend and his dogs around my hometown. And there were so many other animals that I got to take care of and know. I’m grateful for all that time, even with all the heartbreak.

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