November 21, 2012

White Dog and The White Dog Army
Wonderful World Wednesday

White Dog and our family have a slightly different tradition to celebrate Thanksgiving. Instead of the huge feast of many delicious temptations and a gigantic roasted bird, we take our bird on the claw, literally. We are fortunate to live within a few hours’ drive of the country’s largest overwintering refuge for snow geese, sandhill cranes, whooping cranes and a myriad of smaller ducks. The Bosque del Apache is the winter home to tens of thousands of birds and ducks (including several pairs of magnificent Bald Eagles). The cranes are amazingly graceful and walk across the fields with a Zen serenity.  Feeding snow geese cover the ponds like hundreds of bobbing icebergs and at dusk flight after flight of wheeling shrieking sandhill cranes spiral downward from the heavens like a feathered cyclone to return to their roosts in the marsh.  It is there, surrounded by our Manzano Mountains, that the WDA celebrates its gratitude.

We walk together and sometimes just sit quietly, watching, and giving thanks for the bounty of blessings that fill our lives. Noses sniffing the winds, sometimes the White Ones will howl out a greeting to the not so distant coyote packs…and in that,  remember to be grateful for our little Pack, and our extended Pack that includes the supportive and loving friends that are family of our hearts…including you. Each year we are amazed at the fact that this refuge is not silent; in fact it is loud and active with communication and life. We joyfully run and bark and add our voice to the diversity as we appreciate that it is the differences that make this world awesome. The WDA stands at the Observation Deck and we pause to recognize our richness and how showered with the Universe’s gifts we truly are. And we are humbled by the grace, compassion, and kindness extended to us every day.

White Dog always gathers the others at the halfway point of the hiking loop, a clearing far from distractions and usually attended only by a dozen or so sandhill cranes curiously watching. It is here that we take a special moment to ask that on this day every creature be granted one thing, even if it is just one small crumb, for which they can be grateful. We pray that someday no one will be without friends or family or reason to share thanks; that no being is left abandoned or alone or without reason to utter thanks. We hope with all of our White Dog powers that Thanksgiving Day will come to represent again a celebration of community and harmony and cooperation which unites us all.

After the sunset descent of the cranes, we have one final ritual. Steve brushes each of the White Dog Army, who in turn walks with him to choose a site to leave a tuft of their fur…to line nests, for their coyote brothers, for the small creatures we never see. It is our way of saying, “Thanks.”

No matter how you honor this day, we wish you and yours a Thanksgiving filled with sharing, gratitude, loved ones, and celebration. And ask you to pause to remember those without…whisper a prayer for them. Remember, too, despite it all, it IS a wonderful world!

We are most grateful to each of you for enriching our journey by just being you. 
Happy Thanksgiving.
Siku Marie, THE White Dog; The Mighty Quinn; Nuka Angel; Puff the Magical; YoYoMa; Oso the Fearless, Sue; Steve; and Michael.


The Slimmer Pugs, Kitties, and Mama said...

Wesa thankful for your our dear white, floofy furiends!
Much Luvums,
The Slimmer Puggums
George, Gracie, Toby, Lily, & Mimi

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

So much to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving to you from all of us.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

Nola said...

I'm thankful for y'all! What a beautiful way to spend a holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

rottrover said...

What a beautiful post, and a lovely tradition! Happy Thanksgiving from the rotties. We, too are grateful for friends and our extended pack.

Bart and Ruby

24 Paws of Love said...

What a beautiful and lovely tradition. I can envision all the geese and cranes you so vividly describe and a ball of fluff to be part of the bigger picture.

Thank you for sharing.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful tradition with all of us. Your words fill my heart with love.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

Agnes B Bullock said...

Happy Thanksgiving! Love your tradition- so you!

TwoSpecialWires said...

Once again, you've so beautifully expressed the essence of the day. We appreciate your perspectives and words every day, but this day, Thanksgiving Day, they are even more special.

Right now we're wondering if perhaps some of the sandhill cranes that you'll see will be those that flew over our home a few weeks ago, bugling their song, moving southward. We wished them well on their way ... and now we're hoping they heard our well wishes and carried them to you to share.

Listen and watch. We're guessing you'll see them.

Happy happy Thanksgiving dear friends. We are so grateful that you are our friends.

Much love,
Sally and Nina, Jake and Fergi

Jeanne Pursell said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday! We are so grateful that we have you in our lives. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!! xo Jeanne, Chloe and LadyBug

Ginger Jasper said...

Thats a wonderful way to spend your thanksgiving and we would love to see that sight. We are thankful we met you and have you as friends.. HUgs GJ xx

Brian said...

Such a wonderful tradition! Happy Thanksgiving from all of us to all of you!

Hansel said...

We are very thankful for you all being in our lives as well. we are just so sad we are so far apart. I wonder why things work out like this? to be so far away from people you love... it's very sad.

Please know we are thinking of you on this day and sending all our love your way!

Amber DaWeenie said...

Wishing you a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

Amber and the Pack
and Mom too!

Jo's World said...

What an absolutely perfect way to celebrate the day! I wish I was with you in more than just spirit!

For those who love the traditional Thanksgiving Day feast, I am happy for them to have it. For me, I am thankful everyday and have no need to sit at a laden table. But this Bird Refuge, it would be my cuppa tea!

Cheers and hugs,


Mr. Pip said...

Happy Thanksgiving! We are so grateful for your friendship. Enjoy your day!

Your pal, Pip

P.S.: Thanks for your comment about allergies and chicken. Often Pip's tummy troubles are followed by skin allergies. When he is sick, I usually make him chicken - perhaps, there is a connection! Thanks for the tip!

Suka said...

Hi WDA and Family,

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am very grateful that through Suka we met. You are very dear friends and I am thankful for the friendship that you showed my Suka and to myself.

Enjoy your lovely day together and enjoy all your turkey (or duck!) treats!

Happy Thanksgiving!


meowmeowmans said...

Such a wonderful WDA-style way to celebrate the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends. We love you!

FiveSibesMom said...

That's a truly beautiful way to spend the holiday! Happy Thanksgiving to you and the WDA!

Cappy the Eskie said...

What a great way to celebrate a special day! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Hugs and yips,
Cappy and Ollie