Defining Gratitude

Hi everybuggie…er…I mean….buddy. Hi, everybuddy!

I think my bug finally hit the road or the windshield or whatever cuz I’m feeling MUUUUUUCH better today! Thank you to everybuddy who left me such nice get well wishes. I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t be all better today if it wasn’t for all your pawsitive vibes. I felt each and every one of them.

 

I luvs all of you, my furends!

Okay, my mom wanted to know if she could take over the keyboard today. But don’t worry! Today’s not one of those heavy posties that she sometimes does. It’s about…um, well, I’m not exactly SURE what it’s about but it’s most definitely NOT heavy. I don’t think. Anyway, here’s mom!

Oh, wait! One more thing! If you haven’t yet, be sure and go visit Khyra’s bloggie and leave a comment for a good cause! Okay, here’s mom for real this time and I hope you all have a Most Happy Friday!

********

Thanks, Mayzie!

Yesterday, I read a fun post written by our friend at Tip Tail. She wondered whether rescue dogs feel grateful for being rescued. She saidΒ  she never saw any real evidence of gratitude in her rescues and wondered if any of her readers experienced gratitude from theirs. Of course, this got me thinking about my own. I responded to her post but thought I’d share here as well.

Every pet we’ve owned has been a rescue. Some have come from more difficult backgrounds than others but I would have to say that almost across the board, they don’t appear to be grateful. Happy to be safe and loved? Yes. But grateful? No. I can’t really see it.

 

Yarrr! Are ye pullin' me leg? The humans should be grateful to ME!

By the way, notice I said “almost” across the board.

When I first met Mayzie at the adoption fair, the lady who was holding her leash told me that Mayzie was “one of those dogs who’s grateful for being rescued.” I thought that was nice but didn’t really understand what she meant. I mean, how does a dog show gratitude? Gratitude implies that someone understands they’ve received a gift and are acknowledging that. Are dogs capable of that?

While I don’t know the answer to that, I DO know that Mayzie practically vibrates the words “thank you.” Every single day, she celebrates the dozens of little miracles that make up her world in a way our other pets don’t.

“Ohmigosh! Dinner?! THANK YOU!”

“Ohmigosh! A walk? THANK YOU!”

“Ohmigosh! A car ride? THANK YOU!”

“Ohmigosh! Lay on the couch and do nothing? THANK YOU!”

And who knows? Maybe she was the same way with her previous (crappy) owners. Maybe that’s just who she is. Or maybe she really is grateful for the new life she’s been given.

All I know for sure is that she is a constant reminder to me to celebrate life’s little blessings, to never take anything for granted, and to always say thank you when someone offers you a kindness.

So what do you think? Do you think rescue pets can and do show gratitude for being rescued? If so, how?

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40 Comments

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40 responses to “Defining Gratitude

  1. Daisy

    Don’t know about grateful, but the happiness is there for all to see!

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  2. One of my Dad’s dogs that he had for many years was very intelligent and completely devoted to him after he rescued him. He would go almost nuts if he got out of his sight. We have had several dogs that really seemed to appreciate being rescued from very bad circumstances. I have noticed that those that were rescued from the hardest, worst circumstances seem to be more grateful than others that didn’t really suffer from starvation or cruelty.

    My Mom had dogs all of my life… the one that was most devoted to her was a little black Pomeranian that showed up around her house and was starving to death. He was petrified of people and lived under her house for several weeks while she fed him every day and finally gained his trust enough to get him into the house. I helped her catch him and he stunk like dead meat… his collar had grown into his neck… It was AWFUL!!! We got him fixed up and she spent so much time teaching him that he could trust her.

    Smokey had a hard time trusting other people, but he gave her his whole little heart. He was beside her from that time until he passed away 17 years later.

    I did CPR on a dog that had gotten choked through an accident. He had died, but I got him going again and my Shadow became my “shadow” from that time until he passed away at the age of 17, too.

  3. Roo

    I’m soooooo glad you’re feelin better today Mayzie πŸ™‚ Yay!

    I luv it that you get so happy when you hear the words “thank you” Makes me and Mom smile super big πŸ˜€

    And if you would share some of your ornament stories we would luv to hear them for sure! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Waggin at ya,
    Roo

  4. Glad you’re feeling better Mayzie. Happy Friday!

  5. Grateful, I don’t know. But I think there are dogs that hold back, waiting for the right human to come along so they can dedicate their life to them. There isn’t much that could rival that level of love and guardianship.

  6. Ahhhhh Mayzie…what a precious precious post. We can nearly see you dancing the happy dance. God bless your Mom and Dad and their great big hearts….as for the Cap’n he is correct you are lucky he is living with you!!
    MOL you forgot the disclaimer…Madi is finally coming too.
    Hugs and Mayzie we are so glad you feel better,
    Madi and Mom

  7. PS Madi is not coming too she is coming to as in awaking from fainting….her Cap’n is so handsome,
    Mom

  8. We’re thinking over the question of gratitude. We are both so very happy to be here but the shelters were the worst of it for us, where for Mayzie, her original situation was so much worse than that. Franklin’s health was neglected, but he didn’t really realize that and I was cared for well enough most of my life. However, I was certainly happy as could be to get a new home and a family that just loves, loves, loves me and so is Franklin. I’m not sure about gratitude, but I do know that we are totally devoted to our furever family – maybe even extra devoted since we had some time without one.

    We are all most grateful that Mayzie is feeling better. That’s been on our minds since we saw her post about being sickies.

    lotsa licks, Lola

  9. OoH Mayzie’s Mom,

    I am doin’ da boxer wiggle butt dance cuz my BFF Mayzie is feelin’ better! Happy Friday my furiend!

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

    PeeS My mom would like your mom to send your snail mail addy to me
    maggiemaesaysATgmailDOTcom

  10. I be so happy yu be feelin better Miss Mayzie, I did nots like to fink ovs yu feelin all icky sicky.

    Ma says she not sure me n Ronnii is grateful eggsakly butts we don’t like lettin her outta our site we follows hers everywhere, we follow her upstairs, downstairs in da yard, to the shed and even to da toilet n if she shuts da door we scratch on it to be let in. Sometimes I even wanna sit on her lap while she is on da flushy fing……Bol.
    Luvs
    Richie
    xx xx

    PeeS. Ronnii says to say she don’t ask to sit on Ma while she is on da flushy fing she is far too lady like fer dat………….. Bol

  11. Pip

    All of our animals have all been rescues. Our cats mostly off the mean city streets and of course, you know Pip’s story. I would say most of them are all just really happy to be safe and warm. Two of our cats, Daisy and Rosie, also showed what I think is gratitude – like the way you describe Mayzie.

    Our cat Daisy passed away about three years ago, but she was grateful every single morning of her life up to the last morning of her life. We rescued Daisy and her 7 kittens (found homes for all of them) in the alley behind our old apartment. All were starving and near death. Daisy seemed grateful every time we fed her – every meal for 13 years – she seemed as grateful as the first meal we fed her and her kittens all those years ago.

    Rosie (Pip’s current sister) is the same way. Every time we feed or pet her she is so grateful and happy.

    Sorry for the long comment …
    Kristin

  12. Mayzie, we’re so glad to hear that you’re feeling better!

    Hmmm… Gratitude? Well, I think if you’ve ever lived with a Greyhound that you have to understand that THEY think YOU should be grateful to share life with them! lol I think we do see gratitude from them for things we do for them, but not over a the issue of being “rescued.”

  13. I think rescues are grateful for their new life. I think they remember their “past” life in their own way. Our Lucy was tied to a gas meter in some morons backyard. They fed her when it was convenient. To this day, she has a licking problem. She licks to console her anxiety- it appears. She licks everything from the couch to her crate. She’ll stop if we just lay a loving hand on her. She’s grateful in her own way I think. Both our cats are rescues and quite frankly, they do not appear to be grateful. They complain when they can see the bottom of their food dish but if you have cats, you know that’s just the way it is! LOL!
    One thing is for sure, I am grateful for all my furbabies and the lessons they teach me everyday!

    Momma Heartbeat

  14. This is an interesting post for today. I haven’t had any rescue dogs other than Sophie but she didn’t come from a bad place. However I have never noticed her seem grateful that she lives with us. She bites and growls at everyone but me. Koda however seems to be alot like Mayzie and is always excited for everything you give him, besides the tub. lol.

    I think dogs live in the moment not the past or future and deal with things as they come. Whether it be hurt or happiness.

  15. Wyatt

    Hi Mayzie-
    So glad to hear that you are feeling better. You can’t be sick fur Christmas!!

    Wyatt and Stanzie

  16. Miss Mayzie, I am SO glad you are on the mend! Keep getting better, my sweet friend!

    This was such a nice post. I know that your enthusiasm about life and being in a safe and loving home is contagious.

    I think that maybe one of the reasons rescue dogs may not seem ‘grateful’ is because dogs are so resilient, and not at all like humans. They don’t know how to feel sorry for themselves, and when their environment is less than ideal, they just adapt to that. It’s their ‘normal’. Does that make any sense? Maybe they never truly realized how badly they needed to be rescued, because they were trying so hard to make that situation work.

    I think the #1 way that rescue dogs show their gratitude is by trusting their new families when humans may have betrayed them or even hurt them before. We think we are giving these dogs a second chance, but do we realize that they are giving US a second chance?! It’s a beautiful exchange.

    Thanks to your family for all the sweet animals they have rescued!

    xoxo
    Pearl

  17. Lyla shows gratitude … mostly by lickin’ and lovin’!

  18. In one way or another, Corbin shows me every day that he is grateful. When we first got Corbin as our foster, we swore we weren’t going to keep him. I wanted to foster a few dogs before adopting and I had mixed feelings about a pitbull and how large I knew he was going to be… but every morning when we’d get up, he’d give me a look that said “thank you for this day” and every night on the couch, he’d give us a look that said “thank you for this soft couch to lay on.” He never cared too much about food, so a “thank you” for breakfast and dinner wasn’t exactly in the cards for him. But what won me over about him was that look. In his eyes, he was in his home, not a foster home, a real home. And it didn’t take long for me to realize it too. He was comfortable, safe, content and happy… and I couldn’t tell him this wasn’t his home. We still take in fosters, and I’ve never seen the look in their eyes that I saw in Corbin’s. I think they know our home is their safe house until they find their forever families. But, Corbin…. Corbin always knew :o)
    I loved your post today! And so glad Mayzie is feeling better!
    -Corbin’s momma, Jenn

  19. So glad you are feeling better Mayzie!! We DEFINITELY think dogs can feel gratitude for being rescued!! It just seems that rescue dogs have the best air of thankfulness!

    Woofs and Kisses!
    The Fiesty Three

  20. WE are glad you are feeling better Mayzie.
    We all are very grateful that we have been rescued and we show it by our love for our Mom. We follow her around, sit with her when she is sad, sleep with her and head butt her but those are cat things. The doggies never let me out of their site so we can take care of her in case anything or anyone bad comes around.
    Mayzie, you have a great home and are a very lucky doggie.
    Take care and have a super day.

  21. Gussie n Teka

    Oh, we are so glad Miss Mayzie is feeling better, and we want to say “thank you” to Mom for making us think about “grateful” dogs.

    MMMMM… let’s see. We is both “rescues” and the real difference is that Gussie is an “official” rescue and I am not – cause I didn’t have to go to a shelter or anything, I just had to work real hard to stay with the Muzzer and Dad when they left Azrizona. Like, the very first night I got to sleep in the big bed, I had to pee on Muzzer’s feet so she knew I loved her.

    Anyway, me and gussie talked about this, and we are grateful in our way for everything, except sometimes I think I am not so grateful for Gussie and sometimes he thinks he is not so grateful for me.

    But, we’re always grateful to Muzzer in our fashion
    And we’re always grateful to our Dad in our way.

    Teka Toy

  22. miss mayzie,

    i am jumpin’ up and down with the excitements that you are back to 100% today! hooray!! πŸ™‚
    well, of course us doggies can be grateful for bein’ rescued! i think some doggies show it more than others for sures, though. like my big sis asa…she had it real bad like before she came to live with mama and daddy…she is very super attached to them now!

    *woof*
    the booker man

    pee s — i sent you a bark mail!

  23. Mum here…Mayzie, I am so thrilled with relief that you are feeling better. Puddles was beside herself with worry when she found out you weren’t feeling like yourself.

    Now Momma A you have raised an interesting question and one that I have pondered many many times in regards to Whitney. I want to believe that she is grateful to be out of a kennel and into a warm loving home. But, I often times wonder if she lived in her situation too long to not know the difference…meaning, they just don’t “know”. I know what I am trying to say but just can’t explain it. I think Pearl’s comment was dead on in our situation.
    As far as Mayzie…I think that is just her personality. She just seems to be a happy dog in general. And I think her age makes a difference whereas Whitney was already 8 years old when she came to us. She has made some remarkable connections to me and she loves to be on the couch now, and she even smiles now. I am grateful!

    I am just so glad so many dogs and cays have found wonderful homes forever.

    Mum A

  24. Frankie Furter

    It was very much good to know that our VIBES really do work.
    I show my mom how much I appreciate being HERE everyday.

  25. daisydog

    Glad you are feeling better! Mom give me pepcid when my tummy makes growly noises and I don’t want to eat, usually I feel better in a day or so.

    We think that all our doggies and kittehs feel gratitiude. They know there are in a loving place and are happy and well taken care of. I feel it from them every day.. Daisy’s mom

  26. We is so glad you is feeling betters Mayzie!

    We aren’t rescued doggies so we don’t know the hardships of life. We do remember our first day of daycare though… man, we were SO grateful when we gots home! We ran right to mom’s bed and did the happy back wiggles…

    We do think that all doggies and kittehs are grateful for a good home but some just aren’t as expressive as others.

    Sam and Pippen

  27. Kristine

    Mayzie is a truly special dog. I think it’s probably more just a part of who she is, thankful for every little gift of life. But you never know, I guess.

    My dog Shiva is very affectionate but grateful? I don’t think so. While I know she enjoys all of the things we do for her, she doesn’t seem to think we would ever do otherwise. For one, she certainly lets me know when it is dinner time!

    Interesting post, though, for sure. I’m glad Mayzie’s bug seems to have disappeared now. πŸ™‚

  28. I know Emma says “thank you” every time she smiles at me. She doesn’t do it for anyone else.

    Tigress was incredibly grateful the first week or so I rescued her. Now she’s back to her sassy self, though does go out of her way to clean me up, which she didn’t do in her past life.

    Even though Charlie wasn’t rescued or adopted or saved, I think he’s the most grateful for me presence of all my animals. Sure Emma gets upset when I leave and doesn’t like to leave my side, but Charlie gets really upset. He’s my heart dog and there’s a bond there, but it didn’t come from a rescue situation.

    And everyone wants Mayzie to know they’re quite happy she’s feeling so much better.

  29. Ohh My kitty sister Ellie was left on the streets and was rescued by my dad. She is so thankful still she hugs and luvs up the hoomans. She is thankful that she gets affection. On the other hand my recycled kitty brother Vader came from a shelter and he doesn’t really seem to care. So I think the worse the initial environment the more thankful the rescued pet is. Does that make sense?

    woof – Tucker

  30. So happy to hear that you are feeling better and all those bugs are gone. πŸ™‚

  31. We are SO furry happy woo are feeling better!

    Thank fur sharing the information about the Bark It Furward post!

    AND yes, grateful – I am truly but I know Mom is too – fur if not fur me, she would not have have met all the great furiends we’ve been lukhky enough to enkhounter!

    Hugz&Khysses,
    Khyra

  32. This was such a nice post, and I could see that with Mayzie. Miss M has started expecting things, but I think she has to be the happiest dog who absolutely loves people. She may not be thankful, but I think she doesn’t recognize the bad in humans and I think that is just as powerful. Mr. B is much more grateful, but really only for E. He watches for him out the window all day until he comes home; once home he becomes a velcro dog following him from room to room.

  33. Hmm, that’s a tough one. Mom says she admires us doggies because we can live in the moment so much – not hung up on the past or worrying about the future. Maybe that’s why most of the rescues don’t come across as “greatful” per se. They are just happy dogs at the moment, and that’s all they really ever need!

    Snorts-
    Brutus & Carmen
    pee ess – mom says thanks for your nice comments on Carmen’s post today πŸ™‚

  34. The OP Pack

    YES! So good to know that Mayzie is better.

    We aren’t rescues in the true sense of the word, but our Mom thinks we are grateful for all that we have. We do have to add that our Mom had tears fill her eyes as she read your beautiful words about sweet Mayzie.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  35. Teddy Bear

    We’re so glad you’re feeling better.:) We think that rescue pups have a ton of love and are truly thankful for their furever home.

  36. So glad to hear you are feeling better

    Kari
    http://dogisgodinreverse.com

  37. Another provocative post, Miss Mayzie. Mama knows some people disapprove when humans anthropomorphize animals, and it’s not fair to animals to assume they’re just like people. But there has been so much scientific research on so many species in the last 40 years or so that it’s clear animals have much more sentience, sensitivity, and social awareness than some people find it convenient to admit.

    Mama has had dozens of rescue dogs, as well as many Danes who were born into the family and were loved and wanted every minute of their lives. She has observed a difference between the dogs born into security and those who were rescued. She thinks it’s fair to call it gratitude. Dogs do live in the moment and don’t dwell on the past, but their life experiences, good and bad, form their characters, their reactions to things, their expectations. One of mama’s heart Danes was a black male who had been dumped at the local shelter, which fortunately called Great Dane Rescue. When mama went to get him, he literally pulled her out of the shelter and even seemed to know which was her van. He tried to jump in the van, but was too weak to get his rear end up. He just looked at mama with eyes that said “help me!” and she helped lift him in. He was supposed to be a foster and was actually adopted out after he lived with mama for a few months and got up to a healthy weight. The whole time he was a foster, he did everything he could figure out to do to be a good dog, even though he’d clearly never been in a house before and even though mama’s dominant female Dane was not thrilled to have him in the house. He just walked away from confrontation, even though he was a lot bigger than the female; he never snapped back when she growled, never even raised the fur on his back. The adoptive family called mama after a couple of weeks because the father developed an allergy to the Dane [strange but true]. When mama went to get him, he was waiting in the front yard and went into a big play bow and started dancing when he saw her. Of course, mama adopted him and he and the female Dane learned to get along just fine. He was a velcro dog, more so even than most Danes. Every day he just seemed to radiate “thank you” just for being in a loving home.

    There is a difference between being grateful and being needy, of course. But most of mama’s rescued dogs seemed every day to say “thank you!” Thank you for not being mean to me. Thank you for not hitting me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for letting me lie here by your side.

    We know we feel gratitude, as well as love, for mama.

    Jed & Abby

  38. KB

    What a great post! I think that even dogs who weren’t rescued emanate that “omigosh thank you” attitude. It’s just the “dog way”, in my opinion. We’ve had both rescues and non-rescues, and they all seem grateful! I love dogs… just like you obviously do!

  39. It’s evident for all to see how happy they are!

    Nubbin wiggles,
    Oskar

  40. Hey cool that’s my Mum’s blog! πŸ™‚ I’m Tatum and I’m the Mum’s smooth collie and the Mum doesn’t think I’m grateful either! See I deserve all the best beds and foods and stuff because I’m just a really neat collie girl! Though I’m glad to live with the Mum and the Dad and all my brothers and sister too, because I came from a really horrible place that I don’t ever want to think about again. I really like where I live now!

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