Puppy of the Month: Dog-Gone Thankful

November Puppy of the Month: @goldenretrievergoose

November’s Puppy Of The Month is Goose – a Golden Retriever from Seattle who is also a certified therapy dog! Goose is the definition of a good boy with all of the work that he does.

With Thanksgiving happening this month, I thought it would be beneficial to use Goose to help us reflect on different ways to show we are thankful. There are many ways to express gratitude, but one thing to keep in mind is how different people appreciate different things. One way that we identify these differences is through the five Love Languages – how people prefer to give and receive affection. Love Languages apply to friends, family, significant others, and anyone else you might meet along the way. Interested? You can take a short quiz to determine your own top love languages, which can help you understand your own method of choice for expressing gratitude. For now, let’s talk about them in the context of Thanksgiving.

1. Words of Affirmation

Words of affirmation apply to both those who like to be told that they have done a good job and those who like to affirm the the things that others do. This can range from completing a project well to being a great listener to wearing the perfect sunglasses, like Goose here.

One of the important things to keep in mind with words of affirmation is that the more specific you are with telling someone the good that they have done, the better. So you want to tell them you’re thankful that they’re your friend. What makes them a good friend? What sets them apart from others? Why do you value that friendship? Getting an in-depth statement of thanks can mean the world to someone and can drive them to continue doing whatever it is that makes them so great.

2. Quality Time

Quality time means spending time with someone, yes, but it also means being invested during that time. Small talk doesn’t quite cut it. Especially in today’s world, it can mean so much to have a full conversation with someone without looking at your phone, or go to an event together where you are not primarily thinking about what your Insta caption is going to be at the end of the day. Being with that person and giving them your undivided attention can show them that you are grateful for them, and want to take the time to have a quality conversation.

 

 

 

3. Giving/Receiving Gifts

Birthdays, holidays, special occasions, or just a random Tuesday – many people enjoy giving and receiving gifts. Look how happy Goose is with that stuffed turkey. #Thankful

Often, it does not matter what the gift is; it does not have to be extravagant – it can be a card, flowers, or a handprint turkey artistically made by your 2-year-old niece. These things are nice because they are simply a concrete representation that someone cares. The person can look back on the gift and remember the way it made them feel. If you’re looking to show gratitude this season, you can consider giving a thank you card and a gift – whether it’s from the target dollar section or anywhere else.

4. Physical Touch

Are you a hugger? Physical touch is probably highly ranked in your love languages. It seems like it may be one of Goose’s favorites as well.

It’s a bit of a joke among the leadership consultants that physical touch is not one of my top love languages. While I do LOVE to hug dogs, I don’t immediately think to give a person a hug when I’m grateful, and I enjoy my space. However, I also know that it is the way some people like to express that they care, and so it’s nice to receive from time to time.

I think it is a good lesson in remembering that not everyone has the same top love languages, so getting to know what people prefer is a great way in and of itself to show them that you care. If you don’t know – that’s fine too! Do what is most comfortable for you, and I’m sure they will understand.

5. Acts of Service

Being a therapy dog, Goose is no stranger to service. In the sorority world, we often talk about service as giving of your time to do something for the community, and this is not so different. Acts of service as a Love Language means simply doing something nice for someone else. Have they mentioned needing to take the trash out? Do it for them. Are they stressed about baking the pumpkin pie for the family gathering? Go for it instead.

The smallest things can help lift the burden from someone’s shoulders, and show them that you are grateful. While we can’t all be quite as comforting as Goose, we can at least try to do acts of kindness for others.

 

 

Do you have a puppy you want to see as puppy of the month? Leave a note in the comments! And don’t forget to follow Goose on Instagram @goldenretrievergoose, as these are all his photos!

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