By Benny Huckleberry as told to Liz Hoffmann | Dec 04, 2019

Being a dog, I don’t spend time in dark places. Well, actually that’s not technically true. Let me be more specific. Every now and then, my human will take me and my dog sister, Ilsa, out for a walk after supper, and it’s dark. We walk outside through the darkness and then head home. But those aren’t the kind of dark places that I’m referring to. What I mean specifically are the dark places that some humans go to during the holidays. They’re dark because they’re sad. It’s not a physical darkness like my walks at night, but rather an emotional one. Because humans don’t travel there in cars but rather in their thoughts, they sometimes get stuck. And then the holidays end up being really difficult for them. While I don’t understand it, I want to help. I want everyone to be happy and wagging their tails. So, with that in mind, I’m going to share how I think about the holidays, hoping maybe it will help.

First of all, I know that I’m a miracle and so are you. That’s right, you and me both! Let me tell you why. As far as I’m concerned, I know how lucky I am to be alive. Despite the odds, I got adopted while millions of dogs get euthanized in shelters every week. I was so fortunate that wasn’t my fate. Instead, I ended up in a warm home where I get lots of love. And just as amazing, is that here I'm writing this column. Wow, I think you’d agree that those are both pretty spectacular miracles of sorts! I think I am one lucky pup!

Enough about me; let’s talk about you. As far as your story, you are a miracle too! I can tell you why I say that. Statistically, it’s a miracle that you even were born. My human was listening to a show on Public Radio the other day, and it was mentioned that for humans, scientists estimate that the chance of being born is about one in one trillion! Yup – one in one trillion! Those are crazy bad odds that you’d never take at a horse race or anywhere else. And, yet, you beat those odds by being born and here you are! It’s truly amazing! You are a miracle indeed!

Since we are both miracles, that begs the question, what does a miracle feel like? And what does a miracle do? For me, it means that I feel grateful and blessed right off the bat, no matter what I happen to be experiencing at that time. I get to be here, for some good things and some bad things, but I get to be here. Going to the vet is no fun, but eating biscuits is! Getting my nails trimmed is scary but hanging with my dog friends is great. Sometimes my human travels away from home, and I feel lonely and sad. But then she comes back, and I’m happy again! I hope you get my point, speaking from one miracle to another. Because we get to be here, we get to do lots of things. So even if it’s upsetting for a moment, it will be good again soon.

Please remember that, especially if this holiday is hard for you for whatever reason. Maybe your special human is sick, or a family member has passed. Maybe money is tight, or you are alone. Whatever it is that tries to send you into a dark place, don’t go there. Remember first and foremost that you are a miracle. Start with that. Like me, you beat the odds to be here, and so anything else you can handle. The sun will come up again and it will shine on you. Perhaps not when you want it, but soon, I am sure.

With love for you this holiday season,

Benny H.

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