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Patriotic Dog

Happy Independence Day

Here we go! No more wishing, expecting or contemplating. It’s Fourth of July weekend, which means summer is officially here! People have been flooding off the boats and planes all ready to fire up their grills and celebrate Independence Day.

It certainly made for good people watching at the Stop and Shop parking lot. I observed everyone navigating the lanes in search of a parking spot and then hustling into the store only to be bombarded by dozens of other people all fighting for the best watermelon. There was a bulldog waiting in the car parked next to mine and we shared a knowing glance. We were both grateful for once to be left in the car.

“Better them than us,” I said.
“Damn right, Sister,” he chuckled.

On July 4, everyone will head into town where there will be activities galore. Pie eating contests, live music, face painting, water fights and finally at the end of the day, the annual fireworks. Then the celebration continues throughout the long weekend… and well, pretty much until Labor Day.

It’s wonderful to see everyone munching on their hotdogs and enjoying a much deserved break from their work and everyday life. However, I worry that the meaning of Independence Day is not fully appreciated. Even with the Red, White and Blue displayed everywhere, it seems like the significance of the holiday remains hidden in plain sight.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the jubilation as much as the next dog- except the fireworks. Those freak me out. I’m still getting over the vacuum cleaner… But I digress.

My point is, everyone should take some time this Independence Day weekend to reflect and be grateful for our liberties as Americans. Be mindful of our freedom to pursue our goals and dreams and our right to express ourselves without fear of persecution. Our founding fathers didn’t fight off the British only to have their legacies get lost in a delicious bowl of potato salad.

I’m reminded of my freedom daily. Every time I run untethered with a pack of dogs at Tupancy, or when I hear about a fellow dog at the animal shelter finding a forever home. Or when my mom treats me with dignity and respect, even if I have done something wrong.

So get out there and join in the celebration because there is so much to celebrate!

Happy Independence Day!

J Dawg, who voices the paws-on-the-ground perspective of island life, is created by Janet Forest, owner of Nantucket Pet Sitter, which you can follow on Facebook, too.

[Photo Credit:  Natalie Maynor]