Sometimes I wonder what the dogs are thinking when all this Christmas activity is whirling around them in their households. They probably think we’re looney-tunes.
Of all the dogs in the family, without a doubt, the ones with the cutest “Christmas spirit” have always been those of my niece Leanne Gorman Dudas.
My niece never does anything in a small way. When Leanne makes up her mind to work on a project, it’s best to just stand back trembling and wait. Whatever it is, it’ll be spectacular. It’s advisable to be sitting down when you see or experience it.
Take her Christmas cards for example. If you’ve ever received one of them, I’ll wager you a candy cane that you still have it. They are too dazzling to throw away. I think I have every one she ever sent me.
For the past few years, the cards have featured Leanne and John’s twins, Jack and Gigi. Talk about your magical Christmas cards, these are it. It probably takes months to design and execute them.
But those aren’t the ones I want to tell you about today. I want to show you some of the “stars” who appeared on her older cards.
Before parenthood overcame their household, Leanne was the doting owner of three dogs and a bird. Every year, she would enlist them as her Christmas card models. Begonia, Penelope, Lawrence, and Posie have since died but I’m always going to remember those little troopers, especially at Christmas-time.
Since we’re talking about pooches, here’s some interesting “rules” you may enjoy.
Rules for your dog at Christmas-time:
Be especially patient with your humans during this time. They may appear to be more stressed-out than usual. They may come home with large bags of things they call gifts. Do not assume that all the gifts are yours. Be tolerant if your humans put decorations on you. They seem to get some special kind of pleasure out of seeing how dogs look with fake antlers. Crazy.
The Christmas Tree:
They may bring a large tree into the house and set it up in a prominent place and cover it with lights and decorations. Bizarre as this may seem to you, it is an important ritual for your humans, so here are some things canines need to know:
- Don’t pee on the tree.
- Don’t drink water in the container that holds the tree.
- Mind your tail when you are near the tree.
- If there are packages under the tree, even ones that smell interesting or that have your name on them, don’t rip them open.
- Don’t chew on the cord that runs from the funny-looking hole in the wall to the tree.
Your humans may occasionally invite lots of strangers to come visit during this season. These parties can be lots of fun, but they also call for some discretion on the part of us dogs:
- Not all strangers appreciate kisses.
- Do not eat off the buffet table.
- Beg for goodies by all means but do it…….. subtly.
- Be pleasant, even if unknowing strangers sit on your sofa.
- Don’t drink out of glasses that are left within your reach.
Likewise, your humans may take you visiting at Christmas. Here your manners will also be important:
- Respect the territory of other animals that may live in the house.
- Tolerate children.
- Turn on your charm big time.
- A big man with a white beard and a very loud laugh may emerge from your fireplace in the middle of the night. Do not bite him.
A Dog’s Christmas Promises
- Christmas tree light bulbs, are not food.
- I know that the cat and the snowmen are not real, therefore I will not pull them out of the Christmas tree.
- I will not attack next door’s outside Christmas tree, and drag the string of lights through the hole in the fence.
Now after all that, everybody deserves a dog biscuit or two. And if those tasty morsels came from Leanne’s house, they’re probably shaped like wreaths, snowmen and little bells.