A Girl’s Guide to Thanksgiving with Her Dog

Thanksgiving is here! A time for family and friends to gather together at the table to enjoy lively conversation, a delicious traditional meal, and each other’s company.

If you’re like me, though your Thanksgiving looks a little different; My family is too far in either direction to get to in 1 day and then back the next for work (one half lives in San Diego, the other in Las Vegas), and I live a pretty solitary life, save for my bully buddy Magoo.

Those of us who spend holidays with our dogs (and cats) instead of a house full of humans know what it’s like to get the looks of pity from others, followed by the well-meaning invite to someone’s home because “you shouldn’t spend Thanksgiving all alone.”

Alone? Hardly! I’m with my best friend on a day that’s all about being thankful for things like best friends, so Magoo and I celebrate too, albeit differently from you.

If you find yourself this year opting out of a crowded Thanksgiving and instead, staying home with your dog, here are a few ways that Magoo and I would like to suggest you celebrate.

Go for a nice, long walk or hike together: One of the best things about Thanksgiving Day is how quiet the outside world is. Since most people are either out of town visiting friends and family or indoors hosting said visitors, the streets tend to be empty, allowing for a peaceful promenade with your best buddy! Relish the solitude and take time to enjoy the scenery and quiet repose as you stroll leash-in-hand around your neighborhood, favorite park or hiking trail. It’s also a great way to work up an appetite for all those wonderful Thanksgiving treats!

Cook a Thanksgiving feast for two: Your dog is your family, right? Then why not enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving meal together! Cook yourself a turkey or turkey breast (heck, even a roasted chicken will do) and be sure to carve a slice or two for your buddy. You can also serve him a small, PLAIN serving of mashed potatoes and whatever veg you’re making as the side dish. While Magoo is on a pretty strict diet most of the time, I like to share my Thanksgiving meal with him to make the day stand out as special and (hopefully) show him how thankful I am for his great company all year round.

Post-dinner t.v. time: What better way to end a long walk and delicious meal than with a Thanksgiving Day movie or football marathon? Go ahead and relax — you both deserve it! It’s great to snuggle up on the couch with your faithful friend, blankets pulled up around you, enjoying some festive holiday programming. No pesky political conversations with relatives giving you indigestion, just some quality time with your dog to show you what life’s really all about.

Many of you who are reading this are either on your way to your holiday destination or perhaps already there, and I and my fellow counselors will be hosting your campers for our annual Pet Camp turkey dinner!

We wish you safe travels and much joy as you spend the holiday with the ones you love. But for those of you who will be celebrating quietly at home with your 4-legged families, Magoo and I hope you find our suggestions helpful and wish you and your furry friends a very Happy Thanksgiving!

This is a guest blog by Michelle Barerra – Pet Camp’s Head Honcho.