Counting Blessings

Every year around Thanksgiving I ask my students to reflect on why they are thankful. Sometimes I have them write a letter to the people who made a positive impact on their lives. Sometimes we make a thankful tree and each leaf is something for which a student is thankful. This year, I decided to practice what I preach and reflect on why I am thankful. My list is long and my blessings are many, but a few of the obvious ones that are often taken for granted are food, a roof, a bed, and love.

There are many in other countries and even in our own country who are hungry and I get to choose what to eat. Even my pup eats well when I make scrambled eggs or extra veggies. I can make sure I our family gets the proper nutrients or even splurge and eat a rich meal in a restaurant. I never go to bed hungry. (I am also thankful for my gym and my trainer for that reason, but I digress…)

How many times has it been windy, rainy, snowy, or some other other nasty weather and I sit comfortably in my 74 degree home, snuggling with a my pup and good book or playing board games with my family? I don’t have to find shelter. I do, indeed, take the roof over my head for granted.

When I was a kid, we used to tent camp. We used air mattresses, but throughout the night they would lose air. Inevitably my mattress would be situated right over a rock. After camping, I appreciated my soft bed so much more. I haven’t been camping in years and, admittedly, now take my bed for granted.

Lastly, I take for granted love. When my husband whispers, “Be careful. The roads are slippery,” I know that is synonymous for “I love you.” My pup jumps up and down when I come home, excited to see me like I am the best person in the world. My children love me. My colleagues love me. My parents love me. My friends love me. I know that whatever obstacle I am facing, I will always have someone to turn to – someone to give me good advice, a kind word, and a hug.

Now I think about the tens of thousands of pups and kitties who just want the basics: food, a roof, a bed, and love. It breaks my heart to know that many will never have these basic blessings. I look at my own pup, Pepsi, who was rescued by S&L Animal Rescue and fostered by Dee and Paul. She is a member of our family. I know she is thankful for all her blessings. She loves us all unconditionally. She is one of my many blessings. I can’t imagine life without her goofy underbite and her sweet cuddles. That is why I am so thankful for harnesslife.org and for all that they are doing to make sure that every animal is wanted and loved.

Every pup and kitty deserves life’s basic blessings. They deserve to be thankful. They are all blessings.

Posted in Roverpopulation and tagged , .

Gwen Kusznier is mom to a 12-year old competitive gymnast, a 10-year old AAA hockey player, an adorable 8-year old furball with an adorable underbite (rescued through S&L and fostered by Dee and Paul), and a baby parakeet. She is also the wife to a beer league hockey player. She loves them all fiercely.

Gwen teaches eighth grade English- Language Arts at Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School. She believes that everyone can make a difference and should pursue their passions to make the world a better place. Her students amaze her with their clever Humanity Service Learning Projects in which they educate others about and volunteer for charities such as HarnessLife.

Gwen has been involved in numerous book clubs and writing groups. As she begins her volunteering with HL, Gwen is excited to harness her creativity energies with this new chapter in her life.

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