Yes. I have a lot to be grateful for. I’m a very lucky dog. But there are some things that yank my chain. An, you know me… I’m not going to let it go until I get it off my chest.

My goal is not to rain on your Thanksgiving day parade. But there are some things worth thinking about before entering a state of gluttony that really has nothing to do with the pilgrims in the new world.

(Side note: my mom listens to talking books at night. She says it calms her mind. Whatever the excuse, I learn a lot.)

And these human books make me think… a lot.

One of the things I think about is the origin of dogs. We dogs either come from a wolf, or we were scavengers. Me? I am a scavenger. You can’t miss it. I will happily jump up on the table when you guys aren’t looking and steal food. (This scavenger thing does mean some thing about my health. But that’s different post.)

But my other point is to talk about the natives that were on this continent first! The whole continent. Not just New England.

The conquerors brought fighting dogs to fight (read slaughter) the natives. And that shames me. Because, really, I just want to be loved. And you can throw me a Scrap. Or, I can root around in the trash pile and help myself. Just like my ancestors did when following around the Native Americans.

And what does that have to do with Thanksgiving?

First, there’s no way to make reparations for the Native Americans, who were here first. But I’m very grateful to them because they are persevering and they are letting our government know how they’ve been wronged.

Because my mom listens to those alternative reality books, I wondered what the world would be like if European settlers had never come to the Americas. It’s hard to grasp.

But what do you suppose the first Thanksgiving was like?

I guarantee you there wasn’t enough food. Let alone an obscene gluttony.  But enjoy your holiday and your family and your yummy food in excess.

But please think about those who died on the Trail of Tears.

And please consider sharing some of your food with me!

Did I not go through all that historical background to remind you that I’m a scavenger?

There are ONLY  a few things, just a few, I should avoid.

But the real problem: overeating! (Overscavenging.) No matter what I overeat, my guts will complain. (Me personally, I don’t really worry about a little soft stool but some people freak out.)

So what can I eat in moderation? A lot!

What do I need to avoid?

This list is short.

It’s not even 20 items.

Most are common sense.

  • (Bread dough. Really? I don’t care your species, a tube of raw bread dough will make anyone bloat.) that’s a common sense test.
  • A pitcher of margaritas. Bad. (For you too.) A tiny taste – it will be fine.

What I need you to do: stop reposting memes. Let’s do the research. Find the original science (often it doesn’t exist).

  • Mushrooms. We can both eat the same culinary ones (leave the funky ones in the woods for Sasquatch.) Mushrooms have amazing medicinal effect. Just because some bright colored wild mushroom could be dangerous to dogs doesn’t mean it needs to go on some list and make all mushrooms evil. It’s the same thing for people, yet you still see mushrooms in the grocery store.
  • Cinnamon. Seriously? It’s fine. Where do people get the idea that cinnamon is poisonous to a dog?
  • LARGE amounts of RAW onions and garlic. I have news for you – I don’t even like a tiny taste of raw onion. A little cooked – just fine. (FWIW – I’m a 50# guy. I need to eat 2-3 POUNDS of RAW onion to get sick.) (Someone is going to chew my anal glands for this bold statement. It will be ok.) So anything cooked for Thanksgiving dinner that might have a little bit of onion or garlic as seasoning – it’s cooked! It’s fine!
  • Grapes and raisins. Again, I’m a big boy. One isn’t going to harm me but you better keep me out of the bowl.
  • Same thing for chocolate. In fact those little kiss things – they don’t even have real chocolate. We’re taking the big D again if I eat too much. (D. You know. Diarrhea?)
  • Xylitol. Don’t do it. Just skip it. Cuz I don’t know which pie has sugar and which has xylitol. And if you’re going to be a Thanksgiving glutton, do it right. Use cane sugar. Xylitol will kill me dead. And the manufacturer isn’t required to label it as dangerous to me. What the Florida?
  • Cooked bones. You know. When your back is turned and I scavenge the turkey carcass? I can’t help it! Mmmm… I’m gonna get the big D

What else do people fear? Stuffing. Why? Wheat? What do you think kibble is? Raisins? Ok. Don’t use that stuffing. Mushrooms? We talked about that. If you’re using that famous stuffing in a box – you should compare the ingredients to a bag of grocery store kibble. It’s not as different as you think.

  • Gravy? Ok. Let’s not overdo it but it’s not dangerous
  • Turkey? Bring it on
  • Ham? Let’s talk. All of you Americans buy precooked ham. If anything, it’s salty. That bone might cause the big D.  Trichinosis. Where do you get that? If the ham is risky for me then it’s risky for you. And it’s only pigs raised on dirt. That precooked ham – they cooked the Trichinella out of it. And let’s have yet one more reality check. It’s humans that are super worried about Trichinella. We dogs are aside species. American farming methods have worked to get Trichinella out of pork for the last 50 years. If it’s safe for humans it’s safe for dogs.

So I don’t know what’s going on with some of these ridiculous memes that people are passing around. That basically says anything other than kibble is going to kill us dogs. It does not make me feel very thankful.

What does make me feel thankful? I eat fresh food every single day. I haven’t had kibble since being adopted to my forever home. And while I can’t make reparations for wrongs that have happened to Native Americans, I am very grateful that they persevere. And I’m grateful they allowed my ancestors to develop scavenging around the trash pile.

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