How the Dogs Destroyed Our Thanksgiving
Way back, almost 30 years ago, the moment my wife and I got engaged, we immediately went to the animal shelter to adopt a dog.
We found nothing, and, discouraged, we resigned ourselves to a trip every week or so till we found the perfect companion.
But as we were walking back to the parking lot, a man was walking in with a box of puppies. There were eight total: four tan baby Golden Retrievers and four black puppies whose breed we could not tell. “Same litter, different fathers,” he suspected. I guess “mom” got around.
We played with them all and picked the two with the biggest personality. It was a tossup. I fell in love with a Golden and she fell in love with a little black one. Which do we pick?
We each had our favorite, we each had fallen in love with one — so we picked them both.
Of course we all think our dogs are the greatest dogs ever, but these really were.
After they turned about a year old, we were preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t recall if we were going elsewhere and taking the turkey or if we had guests coming to us.
In any case, when the turkey was done, it went out on the countertop to cool down, and we left the kitchen.
Suddenly it got very quiet.
With puppies, you learn very quickly that if things get too quiet, a dog is in the closet eating a shoe or something. But we had never imagined this.
Leo, the Golden, had jumped up on the counter and dragged the entire turkey pan to the floor, grease and all. Somehow we didn’t hear the crash.
Both dogs devoured the entire 16-pound turkey, eating every bit of it to the bone before we discovered them.
Our Thanksgiving was ruined and we had a giant mess to clean up, but we had a good laugh and the dogs took a long, tryptophan-induced, full-belly nap.
Memories of Thanksgiving
What I love about Thanksgiving is that there are so many memories. There was the year I had a temper tantrum and threw my loaded plate across the room, where it crashed into the wall, then to the floor. I can remember my aunt whispering, “That kid is spoiled and needs a good spanking.” She was right, and I got one.
I can remember my dad’s friend Raymond McPeak, from the Merchant Marines, who we only saw on Thanksgiving. Of course there were parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, football games, and the Macy’s parade with cousins and others who dropped in.
It seems silly, but…
We have to have a special day to remind us to say thank you … thank you for those we love, thank you for the people in our lives, thank you for the kindness of those around us.
And though I try to say thanks at every possible opportunity, I just want to thank you.
You’re getting this note because you subscribe to one of our magazines or newsletters, have attended one of our online or in-person conferences or artist retreats, have signed up for our podcasts, or have invested in one of our hundreds of art instruction videos or watched our PaintTube.tv channel on Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire.
That means a lot to me and my family.
I have become obsessed with art, making art, writing about art, developing things to help you become a better artist or collector. And sometimes that obsession results in our sending you notices of lots of new things, new videos, or letting you know about things we’re excited about and that hopefully will make your life better.
I hope our obsession is helping you in some little way.
And though I hope you hear “thank you” from us all the time, it can’t hurt for me to say it once more.
I truly am thankful for you. I am grateful.
It’s my wish that this Thanksgiving is memorable, and special. And if you have an extra seat at the table, think about those you know who will be alone if not invited. Everyone deserves a seat at the table.
And, if you have a lot of extra, make up some plates and bring them to people who need to know you care. Or help serve at a local shelter.
Your generosity can make others feel appreciated and remembered.
God bless you, and Happy Thanksgiving.
PS: If you missed last week’s Sunday Coffee blog, it’s all about Thanksgiving and the people you will be sharing it with. You can find it here.
I appreciate your Sunday’s blogs. I don’t always have time or take time to read on Sundays but I do save the to read later. Your stories are fun and insiteful. I am thankful for you and how you do everything you do to encourage and support Art and Artists!! Thank you!!
Gosh, your TGD note JUST arrived!
And THANK YOU Eric…for ALL that you give, share, and for the “doors” that you open!
Each nite I hit the hay, and each morning when I get up, when I get home from being on the road, when a friend calls, or I get a special email…I give THANKS!
For all the little handmade treasures that set around my house…created by someone, somewhere, that did it out of their love for creation.
Thankful for LOVE, for my HEALTH, for my HOME… for the little dog that blesses my daily life > 24-7.
I never take anything for granted…for I have been “without”, many times!
And Thank you, for being HERE FOR ALL OF US!!
Hi Eric and family,
Thank you for sharing your wisdom, talents and all. May God richly bless you back.
Thank you! I look forward to your writings! You give me hope!
Greetings and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours too, Eric! Thank you and your team for all you do to encourage, educate and entertain me in my journey as a Christian, an artist, musician and mom and grandma, amd twin;) Bóg zapłac..may God richly reward you! Sincerely,
Thank you for making my life brighter. During the Covid Pandemic, your magazine and artists’ lessons on FB brought me back to art. You are a blessing.
Happy Thanksgiving from Sherwood Park Alberta Canada. I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving. Your platter full. I have enjoyed your programs and all you do for the art community.
Wonderful thoughts! Thank you to you, Eric Rhoades!
Thank you, Eric, you truly make an excellent informative and inspirational magazine! You and your family have my best Wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!
My prayers go to everyone that is alone or is dealing with hard times that they may find happiness this Thanksgiving!
God bless you, and Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A great big thanks for all you do for so many. Your dedication to the Plein Air Movement made a huge impact.
Meeting Roger Rossi at, I believe, the second PACE, and deciding to start, the Plein Air Force, got me moving in starting a Southern California Salmagundian Plein Air Group, with so much of Roger’s support. Very Grateful for you all. Happy Thanksgiving and continuing blessings.
And we thank you and your team for everything you do for artists. Happy Thanksgiving.
lovely, thank you so much
Happy Thanksgiving ,
GOOD MORNING, HAPPY TURKEY DAY, I LIKED YOUR MEMORY STORY, THRU THE FRUSTRATIONS OF LIFE I FIND I MUST DWELL ON THE HAPPY THINGS TO KEEP ME IN MY HAPPY PLACE.
AT 9O SOMETIMES EVEN THO I HAVE CANVASES SKETCHED ,THEY MUST SIT AND WAIT TO BE WORKED ON WHILE I WRITE OR SKETCH TO KEEP MY MIND POSTIVE. AND SHARP.
I SAT DOWN AND TYPED TYPED A PARTLY TRUE SHORT PIECE ABOUT (GOOSEGREASE A FULFILLED GOOSE ) AND A MEMORY OF MY LIFE ON AN ISLAND IN OSWEGO, ILL . A MEMORY OF THE COLD WINTERS AND HOW DAD WOULD CHECK THE ICE TO BE SURE WE KIDS COULD SAFELY WALK ACROSS THE THE RIVER TO GO TO SCHOOL. OF DADDY TRAPPING MUSKRATS AND SELLING THE HIDES .
Sounds interesting! 🙂 Best Wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving from someone you don’t know but shares the passion for art.
my dog also jumped up and dragged the turkey to the floor.
Love your Sunday blogs. Happy Thanksgiving!
I have so enjoyed your Sunday morning coffees. This coming year wil be my 100th. I love to paint and read all of your messages. Not possible to attend your greatsounding workshops, I glean what I can from your messages. Thank you for all you write. Good luck always and God bless you.
And to you, Eric, for all that you have created and shared that so many of us enjoy and use. It is a very special gift to give people what they want and need and you do just that. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and friends.
Warmest, Best, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your great family and staff, Eric! Thank you for everything and for just being you!!
You are very special Eric Rhodes and I really enjoy reading your Sunday Morning. Thank you for all you do to inspire.
God’s blessings on you and your family.
Yes, I have enjoyed your paintigs & some of your instructions. I know I ‘have art in me’ & I know I have good sense of colour & balance//composition & love conemporary/abstract – & am VERY thatnkful for that. I see that you are a very good artist & I appreciate seeing your work. I’m working up to PAINTING !!! My head is full with ideas even when looking at the colours in clouds. I’ve dabbled a bit here & there in acrylic & watercolours. I plan to burst out more intentionally, very soon. I am 70, so shouldn’t wait too much longer !!! (ha, ha)
I’m very thankful for the beauty around us & so many other things. Your letter to your subscribers was very nice – I’d say you put the most effort into expressing that people should be thankful AND SHOW IT by sharing with those less fortunate . Certainly a belief of mine, shared with those in my congregation. (Christian Reformed denomination) …….
So often I will not read through such ‘letters’ sent ……begin & then delete but for some reason I kept reading – & the dog story kept me going. The fact that you & wife are dog lovers made me very happy. Oh – those doggies so enjoyed their meal & were so fortunate no bone punctured anything inside ! What a terrible shock for you guys! Now, nowhere as devastating as a turkey being destroyed ! but, my current dog – a rescue who had no ‘life’ no rules etc stole a new brick of butter – a pound of butter. She was new to me – within 2 wks, at 5 1/2 months old. Kessie, …..she is my 10th dog of my life (3 with my parents) ……so I’m not new to dog training. However, she is the smallest & the most stubborn – also very smart – & has a very pleasant personality. BUT in that new period, I had the new butter well back on the counter – at least 1/2 way to the wall. (she’d never ever seen butter before or a pkg like that & butter does not have a strong odour – not enticing like meat) ……..So I set it where I deemed it safe – as I don’t like it hard from a fridge…….Next morning I was very puzzled as I could not find it – I knew I had left it out. I could only ONLY guess that she had got it – but I still can’t imagine how she managed to reach that far! She is, to me, a small dog – (I’ve always had medium large to very large dogs) ………..how she stretched so far to reach something she had never in her life eaten or even seen before is still a mystery to me. But – oh, yah – out in the yard were the torn bits of aluminum of my new pack of butter! Proof was out there ( (I have a pet door, so she was able to sneak it out without me knowing)
Our Thanksgiving is held in October – I hope people stopped to be ……..thankful.. Something we should think about daily – & act on.
Lately, when people are griping about bad weather or the price of gas etc., I interject with ‘well, we are not being bombed like those in Ukraine & other places with serious misery. And, then they stop & realize ………yah, too right.
So, sorry for the blurb, you’ll likely never hear from me again! You sent a very nice letter I hope it resonated with many others.
God’s blessings to you,
Thank you Eric, I am one of your appreciative admirers! You are one who I do not get irritated with for piles of emails! Keep up the wonderful work you do!
Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family and all those workers who support you!
I am truely grateful for all the art you bring to me and the rest of the art world! … Sandy
Happy Thanksgiving! Eric and family! We all have so very much to be thankful for. When I was a little kid my older brothers were in a church play that was held on thanksgiving. So our Mother had everything prepared – all we had to do was come home and have our meal. All I could think about was that wonderset of pies waiting home. Living a walking distance from the church we hurried back and much to our completed and utter dismay/ thanksgiving diner had been stolen! Pies and all carried right out the dining room window. We were all crestfallen! Well there were some bad boys in the neighborhood that weren’t in the church play, instead they would break into houses and steal things. They had hit others too stealing guns (our Father kept his under lock and key) but only our dinner was taken. It was an unforgettable thanksgiving – I think we ended up with soup and sandwiches. But we were together and ever so thankful my brothers weren’t part of that pack of boys. We’ve laughed about it forever now. But have always remembered to lock the windows too. Happy thanksgiving to all and as always many thanks for all you do, Eric!
Thank you for all the positive posts!
And thank you for being the obsessive artist and publicist that you are! Yes, you have made a very positive difference in the world and touched many hearts. The dog story reminds me of my own dog story when the neighbor’s dog came to visit during our wedding and we were having a catered meal at our home after the ceremony. The dog just could to resist the wonderful smells coming off the caterer’s grill and at an opportune moment ran in and snatched an whole brisket off the grill and took off with it. There were still a lot of other briskets on there, thankfully so no one went hungry. But the neighbors who were actually among our guests were just horrified by their naughty dog and about a week after we returned from our honeymoon came over with complete gourmet meal for us. Totally unnecessary, but very nice.
Love the story and the sentiment. Thank you for sharing it.
What a fun memory. It’s a great life when you can laugh at occurrences like that. We had a similar thanksgiving dinner when the cocker spaniel jumped up on the set table and downed 2 dinner rolls before anyone could intercept. We are especially thankful this year that our granddaughter is home from the hospital and healthy from a bout of pneumonia. Hug your little ones tighter.