Each day since the 8th of October 2008, I give thanks. Thanks to the wonderful people who so kindly took in me and my baby. I give thanks for their kindness and tummy rubs. I give thanks for the yummy treats I get to eat, to the gentle hand that offers me food with never a harsh word spoken. I am so sure now that I will never again know what it means to be starving; gone are my sunken sides, showing my ribs. I give thanks that no one will ever make jokes about eating me for Christmas or making me into salami, and I am thankful that my baby will never become a spit roast.
I give thanks in the knowledge that I will never again be forced to be made pregnant, only to have my babies taken away from me after each pregnancy. I have had so many. I give thanks that my baby, troubled as she was, will never be taken away and that she has now received the medical attention she so desperately needed. I give thanks that these good people were able to find someone prepared to go the hard yards to ensure my baby will have a good life.
I give thanks that my life will not end when my usefulness does. I give thanks for this wonderful warm and snug bed of straw and I give thanks for the wallow that cools me on hot days. I give thanks for the trees to shelter under and friends to play with and grow old together.
I give thanks that I now have a name: “Mary, dear sweet Mary”, “my lovely Mary”, my own name. I have never had anything of my own until now. I give thanks for all these things.
I give thanks that a place like Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary exists, but my greatest thanks will be reserved for the day that such a place does not need to exist, for everyone extends the greatest of mercies to animals – kindness. Because on that day we can all truly be thankful.
I give thanks to the kind humans who speak so gently to me and I show my thanks by lying gently at their feet and offering my sweet “hog breath” open mouth grunt of pleasure.
But above all else, I am truly thankful that now I can give thanks for living.
Happy Thanksgiving Day!