It’s time to think about planning the feast, dusting the tchotchkes, and putting together a fabulous dinner table centerpiece. It’s a time of reflection and meditation and a time to think about all of the blessings that have been bestowed upon us.

For those of us associated with the Beatrice Humane Society, we are most grateful to be in our beautiful, new Beatrice Animal Shelter. The transition from 300 Ella St. to our present location at 534 South Reed St. began in early May.

Today, we are settled into a facility that is not only larger, but it is more efficient than the old building could ever be. And those who benefit the most from this new shelter are the companion animals that temporarily call it home.

The cats, dogs, rabbits, turtles and the occasional ferret that reside temporarily in the building have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, but they are most thankful for you. Any success in fundraising for the “Raise the Woof” campaign is due in great measure to the generosity of this community.

Dogs like Radar, a one-year-old treeing Walker coonhound, is thankful that donors gave from their hearts to build this shelter that is his temporary home. His love of catching balls and being with people will endear him to the humans in his eventual forever home.

Athena, an eight-month-old pit bull mix, had a rough start in life. For six months, she was locked in a garage with no human contact. Now, with the care and compassion of loving staff and volunteers, Athena is figuring out that she likes human and wants a home of her own.

And we know of one family in the area that will be celebrating Thanksgiving with grateful hearts for little Patches, a sweet feline friend that had been hit by a car. Because of her injuries, part of her tail was amputated, but after recovering at the Beatrice Animal Shelter, she is doing well and loving life.

These three stories are representative of many of those that come with the wonderful animals that arrive at the shelter doors. Currently, we are continuing to see an influx of cats and kittens even though “kitten season” should be behind us. It is a strain on shelter resources to care for these felines, but to the felines, it is a Thanksgiving blessing, especially as the days get shorter and the air gets colder.

With the generous support of caring supporters, we will be able to continue our work with the lost and homeless animals in Beatrice and all of Gage County.

This Thanksgiving season, you may want to recognize your animals that bring you so much happiness by making a donation to the Humane Society in your pets’ names. Your gift will give other cats and dogs a chance at a forever home and create more happy tales of happy tails.

Thank you for caring. We are grateful for you! Happy Thanksgiving!

Christmas parade coming up

Mark your calendars now for the Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce’s third annual lighted parade, "Christmas Through the Decades,” beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2 in downtown Beatrice. The Beatrice Humane Society will have a float entry that our elves are busy working on, but they need your help.

If you have extra strings of lights, small Christmas trees, garlands or festive decorations that you would be able to give or loan to the float crew, please let us know. Or you can drop off the items at the animal shelter during regular business hours. For more information, call the shelter at 402-228-9100 during regular business hours.

This column was written by Bette Anne Thaut, board member of the Beatrice Humane Society.