This week, we're thankful for people who are working behind the scenes -- the organizations that find homes for homeless animals, the men who rush into burning buildings and the guys who patiently wait outside a building trying to coax someone out of a tense situation.
A lot of newspaper ink is devoted to celebrities and headliners. But it's worth noting, and thanking, the people who quietly make our lives better.
Stray dog and pups
Away from home and pregnant on a Christmas Eve. This time the story is about a dog in Pasco, not a babe in Bethlehem.
But like the inn keeper in the story of so long ago, Carmen and Joe Rodriguez found a place for the soon-to-be mother and her male companion.
In "Momma's" case she delivered eight puppies later in the week, six by Caesarian section.
Pet Over Population Prevention stepped in to handle the adoptions and cover the medical bills. We suspect the community will find homes for all involved and pony up on the expenses as well.
Dogs pull at people's heart strings. So this is a sweet story of an animal's salvation.
That the animals are unwanted, lost, abandoned or otherwise homeless is a pity.
We look forward to the day when these stories, sweet as they are, are only found in history books, not newspapers.
Richland firefighters said goodbye to a century's worth of experience.
We have no idea how many calls the three responded to since they first suited up in 1977. But we're certain each of them has seen plenty of action during their time on the job.
Being a firefighter is one of those "glamorous" and exciting jobs, according to Hollywood. But the reality boils down to hard, dirty work and uncommon stress.
Nowadays, it's unusual for workers to stay on any job for as long as a decade, let alone a dangerous job for more than 30 years.
We wish Medical Officer Terry Thrall, Battalion Chief John Boardman and Capt. Ron Beardemphl the best wherever the future takes them.
Now our friends in the Puget Sound area can visit Kennewick without crossing the Cascades -- but we hope they will still make the drive over and enjoy our sunny climate from time to time.
Riding on Kennewick, a new ferry that will be stationed on the Port Townsend run, will be a different experience than visiting wine country.
But it's one more way to get our name out there.
We hope there's space on the new ferry's deck for some brochures inviting all who ride Kennewick to visit its namesake city as well.
You probably weren't expecting the SWAT team to make it onto our Thankful Thursday page. But here it is.
We're thankful that a neighbor was alert and called the police when someone broke into an apartment. Too often, people are oblivious to their surroundings or afraid to get involved. Either one impedes neighborhood safety.
We're also thankful the regional SWAT team worked together and was able to subdue a man who said he was armed.
The SWAT team hones its skills in mock situations, but this was the real thing handled like a drill. So, yes, there is plenty to be thankful for.
Dancing in the street
Good friends and good health are hard to beat.
Members of the Tumbleweed Sam's Motor Home Club celebrated both with a street dance on New Year's Day.
Two of the club's members battled cancer in 2011, so Mary Zilar and Sharon Halazon were especially happy to see 2012.
It's likely that each of us can tell a similar story.
We hope there's something about 2012 that gives you new reasons to celebrate.