I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat): Thanksgiving Edition

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We all know the story of the first Thanksgiving -- the Penguins traveling to the New World in the rickety Mayday; Squinty the Indian teaching the clueless newcomers how to grow potatoes (the Penguins had left Ireland because of a famine); George Washington marrying Pocahantas on Plymouth Mount.

These wonderful stories have been with us since we were babes, and this year, as your family gathers around the table for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner of meatloaf and milk, we hope you'll think about some of those lesser-known travelers to the New World -- the dogs who risked life and tail to make a better life for their litters, and their litters' litters, and so on. Hair Balls researched the genealogy of many BARC dogs this week, and we're fairly certain that the ones in this week's column are direct descendants of the voyagers on that legendary journey.


Oreo, a neutered, two-year-old border collie, is so excited about the Thanksgiving feast that he's already licking his snout. We're pretty sure that, if you adopted Oreo, he'd have no trouble using that Gene Simmons-worthy tongue to lick all your dishes clean. Plus, border collies are extremely smart dogs, so Oreo would be an especially good pet for a total idiot! A1004885



Does this dog look aggressive to you? Lexy, a spayed, 1-year-old lab retriever, was apparently returned because she was aggressive. However, we're not noticing any bloody fangs and mawled baby parts sticking out of her mouth, so she appears OK on the surface, at least. But we'll strike a deal with you: if you adopt her and she eats your face off, Hair Balls will buy you a Big Mac! A1004965

Max is a neutered Australian cattle dog, approximately two years old. This dog is especially fitting for Thanksgiving, because, if you'll recall from the story of the Pilgrims, they originally landed in Melbourne but were scared off by aborigines. Records show that, during their brief stay down under, Max's great-great-great-great-etc. grandfather climbed aboard the ship and became the first Australian cattle dog to step paw on American soil. (He was also the first Australian cattle dog to learn how to ride a horse.) A1009059


Butterscotch is a spayed American staffie mix (aka "pit bull") approximately ten months old. If any dog deserves a friendly home for the holiday, it's a pit bull. To say pits get a bad rap is an understatement. The Pilgrims knew how loving and friendly these dogs are, which is why they made sure to bring a whole mess of them on the boat. When one passenger, Sir Michael Vickston (of the Berkshire Vickstons) was caught organizing a fighting ring on the lower deck, the crew sold him to a passing pirate ship, where they turned him into their pegboy. (Yeah, look it up.) A1003753


A three-month-old catahoula mix, Jessa is low to the ground, which is why the Pilgrims were able to stack 850 of her ancestors comfortably, like Lincoln Logs, in the cargo hold. (Incidentally, at that time, because Abraham Lincoln was not yet born, Lincoln Logs were just called "Logs.") And none of those dogs complained, because, like their descendant Jessa, they kicked ass. We don't think your Thanksgiving will be complete without Jessa at the table! A1009026 


Bennie, a Yorkshire terrier, is approximately five years old, so you know what that means? He deserves a big ol' break. And really, isn't that what Thanksgiving is about? Didn't the Pilgrims give the Native Americans a break (well, at least before giving them smallpox and genocide)? There is no truer way to show your Thanksgiving spirit than by adopting B-b-b-bennie, even if he does not come with any Jets. Yeah, we went there. Suck it. A1009107



Is it just us, or does Daniel look a bit...shall we say, "special"? We're not saying this approximately one-year-old pug mix isn't cute as all get-out, but it seems like, if he were human, he'd wear a helmet and would never be granted a driver's license. But this is all just more reason to adopt Daniel. The Pilgrims and their descendents didn't ostracize those who were different. Well, unless they were witches, and then they'd burn them at the stake or drown 'em -- but, hey, those were witches! Look, all we're saying is this: we're fairly certain Daniel is not a shape-shifting witch. A1008831


This Thanksgiving, Hair Balls is thankful for photo-master Robyn Arouty , whose photos, as usual, really capture these dogs' personalities. AND REMEMBER: as far as we know, PetSmart gift cards are still available for the first six folks to adopt any of the animals featured in Hair Balls!

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