Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 10 Gratitude: Animals

I am grateful to live in a beautiful and peaceful area of the country where I am see animals, wild and domesticated, everyday.
I spent the first 13 years of my life living in Long Island, where stray cats, pigeons and squirrels were the extent of our wildlife.  We didn't grow up with any pets and neither did our friends, so I was not around any animals and knew very little about them.
When my parents built the "woodhouse" in NH where we would spend summers and winter vacations, my brother and sisters and I were amazed at all the animals!
Not only did we live within walking distance of Greenfield farm, where beautiful horses lived, but our neighbors kept animals.  Almost everyone here had pets.  Dogs and cats were a given, but people had chickens, pigs and cows.  These weren't farmers, but people who lived in a humble house that had a small barn with these creatures.
And to us "city folk" anything that had 4 legs or a tail was a creature!
We had never before seen chipmunks, let alone had them living in the stone wall only inches from our bedroom window!  We called them, "chippies" and to this day think they are adorable.
We had never seen people being affectionate with their animals.  I didn't even know that each animal has it's own personality and disposition. I went from being afraid of cats and dogs at age 13 to having a houseful of dogs and cats when my children were young.  And I adored all these pets.
I still chuckle, though when I see a gruff looking "mountain man" get into his pick-up at the grocery store and pat his dog on the head.  His companion gets rewarded for keeping the driver's seat warm while his master is away.
Banks in NH, stock not only stickers for little kids, but dog bones as well.

And dogs aren't the only plentiful canine around.  Coydogs are common place here as well.  And of course, with coydogs, you have to have something for them to eat, so we have deer. And lots of them.
Just this morning,  Jon and I were in the family room and I noticed a deer just outside our window.
 I ran to get my camera and realized that he was not alone.  He traveled with friends...
 There were 5 total!  And they hung around the yard for at least a half hour.
They were all sizes and are my favorite animal.  So beautiful.

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