Thankful Dogs: A Story for All Ages

Naomi King

Once there was and once there was not a family of dogs. Like many dog families, there were dogs that had wandered off the street and dogs with fine pedigrees and dogs from the shelter and dogs who had been born into the family. They ran together. They played together. They tumbled together in great furry masses of tails and snouts and paws. They loved each other very much—even if sometimes they growled at one another, even if sometimes they worried about enough biscuits from the tin on the counter, even if some dog didn’t feel good and snapped at another dog—they loved each other very much.

Each night as the moon rose, the family of dogs went outside and sat in a great circle on the soft grass and watched the moon rise and looked into each other’s eyes and wagged their tails. It was a doggy thing to do. Then, when the moon was a dog’s tail above the horizon, the eldest dog would bay loudly at the moon. And what do you think that dog was baying about?

The eldest dog was telling the other dogs and the moon and the whole world what he was thankful for. He was baying, “Thank you for this day! For the running and the jumping! Thank you for the biscuits and the tasty treats! Thank you little brown dog for nosing the ball my way! Thanks for being able to sing! Thanks for this and everything!”

Then the youngest dog would point her nose to the moon and begin to bay. And she was saying, “Thank you wonderful sun that warmed my back! Thank you fragrant frangipani so sweet! Thank you pack of dogs for wiggly dances! Thanks for the ringing ice cream truck! Thanks for this and all my luck!”

Then one dog after another would join the baying, saying their thanks, until they were singing together and to the moon. But they saved the best for last and howled together: “Thank you mother and thank you father! Thank you sister and thank you brother! Thank you neighbor and thank you friend! Thank you stranger and thank you world! We share our thanks for every being whether near or far, no matter who, no matter where, no matter what you are. THANKS!”

They did this no matter what the weather, no matter how many or how few of the family was home, no matter how they felt. The dog family gathered together each and every night to greet the moon and share their thanks! Let’s share their circle of gratitude:

“Thank you mother and thank you father! (congregation repeats)

“Thank you sister and thank you brother! (congregation repeats)

“Thank you neighbor, thank you friend! (congregation repeats)

“Thank you stranger, thank you world! (congregation repeats)

“We share our thanks for every being whether near or far (congregation repeats)

no matter who, no matter where, no matter what you are! THANKS!” (congregation repeats)