"Roxie, it"s been awhile since you've been over for happy hour. I was taken aback when I heard about your other leg. What happened?" "Jim, I don't know about your being 'a back'. My description would involve a part of your anatomy a little lower than your back ." "Ha, Roxie, I'm glad your physical condition hasn't damaged your sense of humor. But please tell me what happened."

"During the rehab of the leg that was operated on for knee replacement, the other leg developed problems trying to take the load off the surgery leg. Now I've got to have surgery on that leg. I'm so tired of hurting. I can barely walk and cannot get up and down by myself."

"Wow. That is sad news. I was going to suggest that during the Thanksgiving season, we make a list of things we are thankful for. Maybe we should make a list of things we are not thankful for."

"Good idea, but first I want to thank everyone who is helping me get through this. I've discovered I have lots of friends. Humans like you and Mary who visit and bring my favorite snack, cheese. My general practitioner vet, Candi, who makes house calls. My "Mom", Amy, who is a marvelous caregiver. Neighbors, like Cindy and Johnny, who have stepped up to the plate. Max the baker who is always sending words of encouragement to me and Amy. I look forward to when I can visit the bakery again and get a good massage from Max. Bottom line is, like that old Beagles song, I get by with a little help from my friends."

"Roxie, that's the Beatles, not the Beagles. And a little bit of human trivia. The Beatles were originally the Beetles but then decided to make it Beatles because they had a special beat." "Whatever. "I much prefer groups named after canines. My favorite is Three Dog Night." "OK. Whoever sang the song, they were on the right track. Particularly in tough times, we all get by with the help of our friends."

"Jim, let's go ahead and list some things we are not thankful for. For me, not being able to move without hurting is at the top of the list. Hey. This is positively therapeutic. Let's each see if we can name five each. The leg is one. Then, let's see. Humans who think that because I'm large, I must be mean. Canines who think they have to bark at everything. Artificial turf. How would you like it if you had astro turf in your bathroom? Places that are not canine friendly. That's five. How about your list?"

"Number one is seeing you in pain. The divisions in our nation. Oil spills. Crows who crowd out song birds from the bird feeder. Tacky things. How's that?

"Not bad. Time for happy hour. I notice that along with the cheese, you brought some chocolate stout." "Amen and let's toast friends who are there for us." "Amen."

The Rev. Dr. Jim Watkins and Roxie