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“Canine Columnist”: Cultivating the Attitude of Gratitude


By Santino Corleone Berkwitt

Bella and I love treats. Our parents give us treats for all the good things that we do. Sometimes I ask to go out to potty even though I don’t really have to. I do so because I love treats! Mommy and Daddy give both of us treats when one of us earn a reward because they don’t want to slight one of us over the other.

Recently we visited the doctor, and he told our parents that we needed to lose weight. Doc recommended giving us a little less food and to lighten up on the treats. Mommy and Daddy decided to break the treats in half and give us half instead of a whole treat.

We are just as thrilled to receive the half treat as we are to receive the whole treat. Bella and I hop up on our hind legs, Bella smiles, I wag my tail, and we look at our parents with appreciation and gratitude. It doesn’t matter that we don’t get whole treats anymore! We are grateful for whatever we are given because Mommy and Daddy don’t have to give us treats at all. They do so because they love us, and in turn, we show our appreciation back by a lick, a tail wag, or a snuggle. We truly appreciate it! I heard my Mommy say, “if only people could be so grateful”.

Mommy and Daddy believe that the little things in life should be cherished. Holding a door open for someone, a phone call, or a text to show concern, a small token of appreciation, or a note to say, “Thank you” are important to them. I hear them talking often that the happiest people are the people who appreciate the little things in life. I guess it’s why they smile when Bella and I are so happy to get a treat.

I think that people are often so busy that they don’t stop to appreciate the little things. Some people don’t say “thank you” when people hold the door open for them, or when people give them a complement. Some people can’t see the value in things unless it’s tied to money. What a shame. If a person goes through life not appreciating the kind things that others do for them then that person is leaving a lot of happiness on the table. If we fail to realize acts of kindness, that might be a que to slow down and absorb the good things in life.

So, the next time someone holds a door open for you, gives you a complement, shows you compassion, offers you some degree of support, it would be a good idea to show gratitude. In doing so, it will make you feel better and it will also brighten someone else’s day knowing that they made and impact in someone else’s life and knowing that their efforts are recognized and appreciated.

Now off to get a treat!

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