“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”

-A.A. Milne

As I reflect on what I am grateful for this Thanksgiving, I think immediately of our supporters, staff, volunteers, Junior Volunteers, and Board members who give so much to help prevent the suffering of innocent animals.  Call me biased, but I believe people who feel such great compassion for animals are the best of humankind.  I am so thankful to work alongside them and that we are able to ban together through this noble institution to put our compassion into action.

But this sweet Pooh quote also makes me think of our animals and their gratitude.  It is often said that when you rescue an animal, their gratitude is palpable.  After all I have seen, I have no doubt this is true.

Animals certainly know when they are in pain or distress, and they know when they feel safe and content.  They also recognize what it is that makes them makes them these ways.

And it’s not just those amazing elephants who can remember.  Our companion animals remember all sorts of negative experiences.  Think about how your dog knows when you’re headed to the vet’s office or how your cat disappears when the carrier comes out.  The same is true for remembering positive experiences.  Have you ever known an animal to forget supper time?Dog kissing woman

The animals I see here at the shelter easily recognize those who show them love and kindness and those responsible for saving their lives.  One just needs to witness the exuberant joy of our dogs when they see the classic green apron of a volunteer dog walker to know this is true.  They can’t say “thank you” in words, but you can definitely feel their gratitude through their affection.

HSHV Staff member kissing and snuggling Finn the catJust look at Finn (on the left).  Finn is one of our Feline Leukemia cats living in our FeLV Sanctuary (a.k.a., administrative offices).  He came from truly torturous conditions and would have most likely died there—sick, scared and alone, if it not for HSHV.

But like so many animals, it’s gratitude not grudges that Finn holds.  He is such a timid fella, but he’s never shy about showing his thankfulness for his HSHV home and family.  He gives frequent head bumps, bear hugs, and toothy wet kisses to all of his special people.  Way better than words.

What an incredible gift it is to serve these beautiful and benevolent creatures and to do it alongside the best kind of people on earth.

From me and the many grateful hearts you have helped save, THANK YOU!