I’m spending Thanksgiving at my brother’s in upstate New York, enjoying mountain views, quality family time, and Gizmo, the papillon. Gizmo LOVES when people gather at his house—as long as they all stay in one room together. If guests are dispersed throughout the house, he makes his rounds, checks in on them, and tries to herd them all into one place. He’s kind of the ultimate host because he’s all about togetherness.
My favorite thing ever is when Hugs the cat comes to visit. He shows up on the back porch and loves to hang out on the patio table. Gizmo gets super excited when Hugs arrives and always tries to play with him. Turns out that Hugs loves playing with cat toys that my brother’s family keeps on hand, but playing with Gizmo…not so much. He’s even been known to swat Gizmo on the head sometimes from his perch on the table.
Gizmo never gives up though. Just like when people are hanging out throughout the house and he keeps trying to herd them, he continues to try and convince Hugs to play. It doesn’t matter to Gizmo that Hugs is a cat with his own agenda—this dog just wants to share joy and interact. And he’ll keep trying as long as Hugs keeps visiting.
It’s the ultimate lesson in unconditional love. There’s no judgment on Gizmo’s part toward Hugs—he doesn’t get offended by standoffish behavior or a casual swat. He accepts the neighbor cat for who he is.
So to me, Gizmo embodies Thanksgiving…loving others for who they are and just wanting everyone to gather and hold space for each other. It doesn’t matter if cousin Martha can’t understand why you dress that way or Uncle Charlie’s politics are opposite from yours. The point is to be thankful that they show up on your porch. You can try to get them to play, but if they don’t want to, you don’t have to judge. I’m planning on being a Gizmo this Thanksgiving, living in love and acceptance. (I’ll just leave out the begging-at-the-dinner table part.)
It’s all about the magic. 🙌