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Gratitude is my attitude. I will never be the person that does not look at the positive side. I will never be the person that does not give grace to others. I will never be the person who looks at things in an egocentric way. I use the word, ‘never’ because that is my goal. Being perfectly imperfect, there will be times where I may focus on the negativity, but the goal will always be to move quickly back into the positive.

Clickety Clack. That is my husband’s term of endearment, believe it or not, when I have been on crutches. It is also the sound that terrified my fur baby, Sandy. That term of endearment also described the sound of Sandy’s nails on my hardwood floor. She pranced and slid around on my office floor as she tried to get my attention. It is a sound on both counts that I am grateful for.

Why would the sound of crutches make me grateful? Well, here is the reason. It represents forward movement. It represents the ability to get from point A to point B. It represents the possibility of healing. It represents resilience.

And that same clickety clack sound that came from Sandy’s nails, I forever will be grateful for. Eighteen years ago, my son and I snuck out of the house to go on a top-secret trip to the mall – just the two of us. Our little secret became completely obvious before we were even missed as we walked in the door with an adorable puppy. No questions asked. Just love – unconditional. From that moment forward.

It did not matter that we were imperfect. Busy. Moody. Irritable. She was the keeper of time for 18 years. She represented a barking observer of my kids as they grew up. She represented a lay by my side companion as I recovered from hip, spine and ankle surgeries. She represented a full nest even as my kids left home for college and their lives. She represented the concept of gratitude that us humans should strive for.

This last week I sat on my recliner with her after her first grand mal seizure. I held her as she sniffed my morning breath and did not seem to mind. Why? Dogs are grateful for everything we do and for who we are. They don’t see our imperfections as humans. They see our possibility. They are the embodiment of gratitude. We need to listen to the lesson of gratitude as taught by dogs.

My nest is empty now, but I will hear her clickety clack sound in my mind and will always remember that gratitude is my attitude. Is yours?

A grateful dog is worth more than ungrateful man - Arab Proverb

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