One of my favorite writers is Brian Doyle who wrote many marvelous prayers, giving thanks for things that are often overlooked, things like well-fitting shoes, hair scrunchies, and wicked hot showers. I started my own list, making my way down the page with as many details as possible. Perhaps you’ll make your own list.

I give thanks for my dog Mandy, particularly the soft white hairs on her chin that weren’t there when she was young. I give thanks that though she often turns her nose up at the food I present on a plate, she still licks every fork in the dishwasher clean. I give thanks for the people she’s helped me meet, like the neighbor who reliably stops mowing or raking leaves or pulling weeds to scratch her behind her ears or on her rump.

I give thanks that though she has set aside old hobbies, eviscerating a plush toy to get to its squeaky heart and bouncing around the neighbor’s yard with the puppy who lives there, she has discovered a new one, hiding and finding and hiding again a rawhide bone as big as her head. Her dedication is proved by the shiny spot she’s worn on her nose from scooping dirt over the bone where she’s placed it under the lemon balm or among the tiger lily leaves.  

I give thanks that, though the walks are shorter now without the let’s keep on going pull, she still pushes her nose into piles of leaves and under bushes, and when I say, “Come on, let’s get home” pauses her investigation to look at me and then goes back to her study of the bark at the base of the tree, quelling my hurry to get on with my day so that I simply stand there, waiting, while she contemplates the wonder of the universe.