By Corinne Wnek
The tree is up, the house is decorated and the shopping is almost done. I’m actually ahead of schedule this year but I’m feeling the stress that goes with hoping I got the right gift for everyone. Right around now, I’m panic stricken as the clock keeps ticking and the calendar rolls out yet another day closer to Dec. 25. In times like that, my two dogs also function as my private therapist.
My guys are two of the finest con artists in the canine kingdom. There isn’t a day that goes by that they don’t make me laugh about something. Oh sure, I’m always bombarded with love and dog kisses the minute I walk through the door because they’re cagey. But that’s all part of a bigger plan they have in mind. They know the stakes are high because, after all, it’s Christmas. Honestly, they really know it’s Christmas.
It all starts when the first decorations are put up. I see them look at each other with a look that signals, “It’s go time” and suddenly they become December Dogs. They seem to do cuter things and behave like the good dogs I know they are deep, down inside. Somehow, they understand that to be otherwise would put them on the ‘naughty’ list. Oh, they’re very smart these two.
The sight of wrapping paper causes a bit of a stir in my house because my dogs understand what it is used for. One of their favorite pastimes, by the way, is unwrapping packages so that’s why no gifts ever go under my tree until everyone is up on Christmas morning. Try explaining that to a little girl. “Oh sweetie, Santa got lost and he’s running a little late. But he’ll be here. You’ll see.”
When they were younger, jumping for the hung ornaments was a favorite pastime of my dogs. And seeing who could pull the most lights off the tree was a veritable contest between beast and smaller beast. What fun to come home after work and see how these two re-designed the Christmas tree, undoing in a few minutes what took me hours to get just right.
Then at a particular moment in the evening when the Christmas lights cast a soft, warm glow over the room, I look around because it’s just a little too quiet in the house. What could these two be doing and, oh no, did somebody forget to close the door in the room with all the wrapped packages?
Then what to my wandering eyes do I see, but two sleeping dogs ‘neath the old Christmas tree.
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