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  • James Meleney

Tails at the Table

Updated: Jan 18

I’ve recently come to realize that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving, unlike any other holiday, reminds us of the importance of gratitude and thanks toward family and friends. But in the hustle and bustle of the season there is oft overlooked, ever faithful family members we barely notice – the “tails at the table”.




The table is set

We gather ‘round


Holding hands

The love abounds


Suddenly it happens

With a single a bound


There’s a tail at the table

Running around


Don’t leave me out

I’m still about


I promise to be good

I won’t make a sound


I’ll lie right next to you

Here on the ground


Can’t vouch for the cat

That’s always in doubt


Just don’t forget us

We’re still about


Tails at the table

Please don’t leave us out


But set some rules

To keep us safe


So there will always be

tales at the table

for you and me


Copyright 2023, James Meleney


Big or small, shaggy or smooth, rambunctious or reserved, they deserve our gratitude and thanks too. They are our best friends, keepers of secrets, watchful guardians. They are ever present, always faithful, lovers of life, comedians and quiet counselors.


Of course, I am talking about our pets.


Now Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity for families and friends to gather and enjoy being with one another. And of course, we want our pets share in the excitement too. After all they are family and we would like them to share in our gratitude for all they bring into our lives. But the holidays present special challenges to the health and safety of our furry friends. Here are some tips to help keep our precious pets happy, healthy and safe.




First let’s talk about table safety. Many of our favorite foods can be upsetting or dangerous to our pets. There are many resources that list items that are harmful, for example veterinarians, local animal shelters or online websites. Make it a point to ask family and friends to refrain from offering table tidbits and mouthwatering morsels to pets.


Second, all the boxes and bags, tinsel and toys, flowers and decorations offer interesting enticements. Remember to keep a watchful eye or remove items that may be harmful to your pet.


Third, dogs and cats can become shy, nervous, or overly excited particularly with all the comings and goings with a house full of guests. Think about creating a quiet room for them to keep them calm and prevent door dashing, running and jumping. If pets must join in the family celebration assign someone to Paw Patrol with a lease to help control behaviors and access.


Fourth, have your guests hang coats and bags in a separate room, as these may contain medications, gum and other substances that may be hazardous.


Above all don’t forget to give your precious pets some extra scratches or treats to show your thanks in a way they can understand. To carry this idea further consider a new walking route, play date with a a favorite pal, extra-long play session or car ride.


You may wish to start some new traditions like buying a new collar and leash, include them in a Christmas portrait, fill a stocking for them, donating to a local animal shelter and your pet’s name. Get creative!


As we sit down to celebrate the holiday season beyond let’s stop to count the blessings that come with pets. Happy holidays and cheers to you all!

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