Pfeiffer was the family dachshund who came to us as a Christmas gift when I was 10 or 11 years old. He was probably a "bargain" because his little tail had a crook at the end. He loved us with a passion and couldn't bear to be separated from us. He was also as stubborn as a mule (a dachshund trait) and there are many funny family stories about him. When my parents moved to Guatemala on business, he went with them, and contracted a disease that paralyzed his hind-quarters. He had a little two-wheeled cart for a while, and he could go running around that way. He eventually had to be put to sleep when they returned to the States. I still miss him.
Buddy and Peaches were my two Siamese cats who loved me for 22 years. Later, Siamese litter-mates Bouncer, Baby, and Mariah came into my life. Now, only Bouncer and Baby are left, and they are getting old and fragile. What will I do when they're gone? I don't know if I will want the care and heartache of a pet again, but I do know that I will be forever grateful for the love, joy, and companionship that they have given me over the years. I'm not sure I even know how to live without a pet in my life. And I'm guessing I probably won't even try.
Don't forget your smallest friends this Thanksgiving. And have a wonderful holiday.