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Dachshund sitting in a pile of fall leaves

Dogs show us the four stages of Thanksgiving

The leaves have turned their bright autumn colors and have mostly fallen to the ground. We know that snow is soon on its way, but that also means it’s time for Thanksgiving. For me, it’s the same almost every year. Wine is poured the minute we walk into my aunt’s house. Everyone is standing around the kitchen talking while all of the food is cooking, with a football game on in the background. The dogs are running around in the leaves outside. Everyone eats way too much food, somehow has room for pie afterward, and almost immediately disperses throughout the house for an hour nap. Same thing every year. Luckily, it seems as if this isn’t unique to my family because these dogs have the exact same routine.

1. Play outside and freak out about piles of leaves.
As an adult, I get why the kids and dogs are always playing outside before the big Thanksgiving meal--the adults just want some peace and quiet (read: wine) while cooking. It doesn’t matter because pups lose their minds at leaves on the ground just as much as kids do! Both will hurl their bodies at the crinkly piles of plant filth and love EVERY second of it. Plus, all the playing makes you even hungrier to devour everything on the Thanksgiving table.

2. Consume body weight in Thanksgiving deliciousness.
Time for the real reason to tolerate your relatives: food. Heaps of mashed potatoes, enough turkey to feed three families, gravy on literally everything, what could go wrong? Yes, there are probably vegetables on the table; no, I do not plan on wasting precious stomach space with such frivolous things. Soon I will reach the point of being pleasantly full and will promptly go get another helping. Of everything. I hope you brought stretchy pants! This dog is certainly on his way there and look at that etiquette!

3. Magically find room to also eat a few slices of pie.
Invariably there will be at least someone laying on the couch moaning in discomfort from eating too much. We’ve all been there. Somehow, though, whenever my aunt asks who wants pie, everyone perks up like they didn’t just overindulge. Slices of each pie—pumpkin, pecan, and cranberry—make it to my plate along with an absurd amount of whipped cream. Don’t judge me. If anything, this pup loves whipped cream way more than I do!

4. Pass out.
I’ve heard mysterious stories of people who don’t immediately fall asleep after successfully gorging on Thanksgiving food. I’ll chalk it up to urban legend or an old wives’ tale. If you can somehow remain conscious post-gluttony, I commend your super powers. I cannot. But the best part is there is a built-in scapegoat: Tryptophan. I’m fairly certainly I look exactly like this Frenchie after Thanksgiving dinner.

Nap away friends, you’ll need your energy for round 2!

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