Give Your Paws a Voice
Thanksgiving isn’t here yet but I can feel it is coming. It is just like a train down the tracks a ways, long before you see it, there is a sense it is coming closer with slight movement of the ground, and the sound of the rumbling on the wheels. You are close to the crossroads and can feel familiarity in your bones that the train is close before you see it. That is exactly what is happening here. See, it is not Thanksgiving that has me in a dizzy, no way, l love turkey, it is what comes afterwards!
See, the problem here is, not enough people take into account what the holidays look like to a dog. And yes, I have dictated to my owners what I feel needs to be said. This holiday stuff is really quite stressful to us four legged BFF’s of yours and you need to face facts and reward us for putting up with this holiday upheaval in our lives.
Who came up with the bright idea of putting something that belongs outside in the yard inside the house? First, need I mention, from day one, my life in my home began by learning the difference between what is permissible indoors and outdoors. How ironic that my dad tells me all the time peeing on a tree is a good thing. Now all the sudden, because he gets lazy and decides to bring the tree in the house, he now changes the rules on me!
Oh yea, one other thing, if I bring stuff inside from the yard, like a tree branch, God forbid, I get yelled at and reprimanded. What a set of double-standards we have going on here. The dog owner brings the whole tree in and not a word do I say. How many of you won’t let your dog bring in branches but bring in a doggone tree? Seriously, think about the irony and what kind of mixed message you are sending to your pet.
Why put the tree in a prominent place in our house, hello! I am a guard dog, at least when I want to be, I am. The location my owners choose is right in the living room, the largest floor space but directly infront of the front window. This is so wrong, on the most basic level. That tree that is a thorn in my side, clearly blocks my view out the front yard. I have no idea how I am supposed to do my job as diligently and greet everyone walking up and down the street with my friendly barking and my gorgeous studly face pressed up against the window pane. Oh, how lordy, does Mom have a cow when I sneak behind it and about knock the tree over with my 115 lbs of muscle!
My next observation is all those ridiculous things dangling on the tree. Colored balls, get out of here. What good is a ball you can’t play with? And all the other silly knick knack Dad says we have too many of, the little Santas, figurines, colored lights, quite honestly, it all stresses me out. I am not sure why this tree seems to get more attention then me. I sometimes feel it is getting watered more than I as well. If it didn’t hurt so bad to go up under it, I would drink from that center bucket Dad keeps dumping water in every night.
The beginning of December, box after box comes out and that is when I retreat to my man cave. I am still waiting for Mom to clear her clothes out of there and her shoes. Some women just have no respect for males. I love her but she still needs work.
Anyways, this is a blues day for me. I think it is for Dad too because he moans and complains a lot. Occasionally I hear some nasty words come out and this time, they aren’t aimed at me but those darn things coming out of the boxes. I never understand why he doesn’t take a manly stand and just say “No more, no more junk is getting put up.”
Well for hours, things around our house are put away, replaced by all this holiday stuff making our home look like a holiday themed home. It does have its good points, true, but it is reminder to me that I am in for a long stay at the kennel over Christmas. I love the kennel but I miss my folks and I miss my home just being the usual way, uncomplicated.
One year I was so upset about the decorating process, I ran away. Dad was so busy going out in the garage I snuck out when the door was open. They never let me out in the yard on my own because they then have to spend an hour hunting me down because I never come back. I am just that way, call me curious and adventurous.
Well, this time I did feel bad, it being the holidays and all. I couldn’t ruin Christmas for them. So I came back to the garage door. They were so busy decorating they never even opened the door! I finally went around to the front door and after about a half hour; Mom opened the door and found me sitting there. I wonder if they even noticed I was gone. But I will admit they sure loved on me a lot when she let me in.
And please, for the love of God, do not put those dorky collars on me. They have twothat Mom loves, Dad hates. He thinks I look like stupid in them and tells her all the time I hate them. He has that right! One is red with white fur like Santa and itches like poison ivy after a while. The other one was specially made, but no, I do not feel special with it on. It has colored Christmas lights and get this, bells! How irritating is that when dogs have great hearing. It literally reverberates in my ears every time I move. This sends me straight to the man cave!
I can’t mention those guys that wear the same clothes every day, some uniform thatnever changes. I wonder if Santa should bring them a washing machine so they can change clothes! They give me the creeps. Well, maybe if something a box to the door with doggie treats in it, I would like them more. But let me tell you, they drive up and down the street what seems like fifty times during this period, running up and down people’s driveways like they are training for a marathon! What a nuisance, knocking on doors, ringing door bells in the middle of my naps, delivering packages. Don’t they have anything better to do than just hang out in our neighborhood? By the time they leave at night, I am literally hoarse from barking and my throat is dry. Yeah, I am out of water too, the dish is dry. All the watering went to that blasted tree in the living room window.
I do love when the grandkids come over because they seem to be so excited around the holidays. Plus there are always more yummy treats around. Those kids are just the right height for me too. They are so use to me that they are not frightened and will share. Their parents taught them that, I am to be respected and treated as a friend. I don’t think their folks know how good they really are about sharing. I think some things parents should be kept in the dark about.
The one thing that drives me nuts is the Christmas Train Mom insisted one year she just had to have. She told Dad it was something she always wanted as a kid. I wanted to tell her, it is too late, you aren't a kid lady, but I God loves her and I do too. So Dad went and bought her one.
Jake, one of the grandchildren, loves that train as much as her and when he comes over, anything he wants Mom and Dad will do. I lost count a long time ago how many times he screams train repetitively. And then here we go again, with the noise, the music, the tooting, the yelling. But I do have to say it is cute to hear his excitement. Each time it goes around to Jake, he reacts so excited as if he didn't expect it to reappear! If he had his way, that train would play over and over again the entire time he was here. Grandma would make his bed there under the tree by the train, feed him his meals by the train and put a toilet out there or let him pee in the bucket to water it. It would serve that darn tree right. I would really get mad then. If they won't let me pee on the tree, Jake shouldn't be allowed to!
Anyways, eventually he gets told the battery is running low. I really don't think this is fibbing. My now I am long gone, hiding somewhere as far from the living room as possible. I have learned to put my head under pillows to stifle sound. Amen for this feat because when the Christmas train comes in town, it is needed. I don't want on board!
I guess I have been pretty harsh on the holidays and left off a few good things. I wouldn't want you to think I have no spirit. I do have a sock hanging with my name on it over the fireplace. Weird though, when I try to pull it down, I am not allowed to play with it but that’s okay. Eventually, when I do get it, it is filled with doggie treats and that is very cool!
Mom and Dad spend more time sitting in that room this time of year gazing at that tree and petting me and that feels homey and reminds me how I am loved. It also makes me glad I am part of such a good family while I am here on earth.
Our home is filled with wonderful music during this time of year too. I do like that except when Mom starts singing. Don’t tell her I said this but her voice, well let’s just say, it needs work. I don’t howl as long as the radio is on and she is singing with it. I wish I could tell her don’t sing Acapulco, it hurts my ears something awful.
But the best part of the season is that I can always feel the love and caring between Mom and Dad and that always make me feel warm inside and kinda fuzzy too. Yes, during the season this year, never forget your pet in the hustle and bustle. We are family too.
So, in closing:
It is not easy being a dog,
When the holidays draw near,
Because all the hubba,
Brings out my fear.
But I always know,
When Christmas arrives,
That the love in my family,
Is something that will never die.