Pre-cooked Turkey and Other Things I’m Grateful For

This year we celebrated casual Thanksgiving with just the immediate family and the dogs. I am appreciative of so much but I want to overshare some of the things that made this particular holiday special for me. Feel free to judge.

  • Shout out to Gelson’s for their pre-cooked turkey. It was delicious and also saved me from having to deal with a raw turkey and all of those terrifying things you have to pull out before cooking.
  • My stuffing and praline sweet potatoes and my granddaughter Samantha’s cheese bread were so good that no one thought about the pre-cooked turkey. Did you ever realize how little credit you get for cooking a turkey?

ELBEE Pack Leader really has issues with that turkey. Wonder if it’s a childhood thing.



  • Four year old Bella, the one who calls me “Grandma with the dogs,” was much braver with Elbee, going so far as to pet and even brush him. Gus is small and cute so has never been a problem. Riley our Golden is fourteen and too old to be scary but she used to view Elbee like Cujo. The jury is still out for her younger brother.
Elbee with cousins Samantha and Bella
Bella and Gus, her favorite








  • Let’s hear it for paper plates. I know it is totally tacky but no one had to do dishes.
  • My thirteen year old grandson Ryan informed me I should be glad that at his age he still likes to talk to me. We even fist bumped.
  • Ryan and Samantha’s adorable Havanese JoJo blended in with our pack. I spent the first hour with Elbee leashed to me but then all was good.

ELBEE That was humiliating!

  • I love this photo of my son-in-law Dan and the dogs watching football. I am also happy that I got to share it here. Jennifer, the lawyer daughter, threatened to sue, but Dan, also a lawyer, gave me permission to use it.

  • Speaking of photos, the UCLA People Animal Connection is doing a calendar. Guess who’s November? And yes, I am still a stage mother.






GUS I know I’m a good sport but I didn’t realize those were turkey legs on my head. I may need to go back into therapy.

ELBEE OMG I just saw this other picture. Gus looks like Yoda.

  • On a more serious note, I am grateful for a visit to a sixteen year old patient at Providence Tarzana on the day after Thanksgiving. As soon as the Doods walked into her room she jumped up from her bed and dropped onto the floor next to them. The mom, almost in tears, said, “I can’t believe she got up. We haven’t been able to get her to move.” Then the mom confessed that she was standing on the far side of the room because she was terrified of dogs. When I asked if she wanted us to leave, she replied, “Absolutely not. My daughter is up and smiling.”
  • Above all, having lost my parents and brother long ago, I am so deeply grateful for all of the chaos, love and caring that is my family.



Thanksgiving is NOT for Sissies!

In the spirit of the season, I was planning to share my appreciation of the Doods and all of their hard work. Then Thanksgiving happened and gave new meaning to the word chaos.

Do you see this photo?  That is definitely not me. I don’t know what Norman Rockwell was thinking but obviously he didn’t have Doodles.

But check out this photo of my family enjoying a lovely Thanksgiving dinner. Yeah right! Who are these people and what meds are they on?

THE DOODS We don’t like the direction that this is taking!20161007_114744_resized




It started the day before Thanksgiving when my three year old granddaughter, the one who calls me “Grandma with the dogs,” arrived. She immediately decided she liked Charley and Elbee much better in photos than in real life. Apparently, in person they looked like huge, scary beasts. Gus, being small, made a more favorable impression.

CHAREY & ELBEE Isn’t that body-shaming not to like us because we’re large?

The Doods did nothing to help. They don’t like being ignored and take it personally if you don’t love them. They will make every effort to win you over.

On the day of Thanksgiving they seemed to be everywhere and hairier than usual. They enthusiastically greeted each person who arrived. They started doing tricks on their own. They sat and stared at people until they petted them. When we put them outside to keep them out of the way, they sat at the door and looked pathetic. Elbee did so much barking I’m surprised he didn’t lose his voice.

THE DOODS Hello?! We’re used to being the center of attention. That’s our job. And we resent the hair remark. We looked fabulous.

When my husband was carving the turkey, some juice ran over the cutting board and onto the floor. The Doods were all over it. Gus, short as he is, figured out how to get into a tall trash bag.

CHARLEY & ELBEE Way to go little guy. We’ve taught you well.

I admit that some of it, okay a lot of it, was my fault. They’ve had tons of training but I let it slide that day. With food and family and company, things got out of control.

THE DOODS At least she’s taking responsibility!

After everyone left, the Doods were worn out. They didn’t move for the rest of the evening. Just look at this photo of Gus and Charley.By the way, Elbee isn’t in it because he had to go to the ENT to check his throat after all the barking.

ELBEE Not funny, nor is this old picture!