Friday, December 12, 2008

The Twelve Doggy Dos and Don'ts of Christmas

I warn you that this is a long one. But, you see, I've been hearing about Christmas. It sounds good to me!

My PRs say Christmas is when my Creator came to earth as a human being. Personally, I think coming to earth as a dog would have been classier. But they say he knew what he was doing.

Lots of things are happening. I told you about the tree in the house. I have to leave the tree-sparklies alone so everyone else can enjoy them. I'm not to drink the water in the tree stand. Not even if I'm thirsty.

But I go to parties at other houses. Around the neighborhood, I see lots of lights; even deer have lights all over them. (My former neighborhood just had the regular kind.) At least, they look like deer.

I get to ride in the car more. I do lo
ts of shopping with my PRs. The Post Office people know me on sight.

There is another part to Christmas. I'm not sure of the name; it sounds like "Sandy Paws" to me. My four-footed friends say this part is important if you like toys and treats. But this Paws character is like your PRs and your puppy class teacher: you're expected t
o be good!

So, to help us all be good, here - according to my canine buddies - are some dos and don'ts for this season:

1) Do let people enjoy you. Be friendly. Shake your paw if you're asked. Don't jump on people, especially short people like puppies... er, children (you could hurt them). Do let folks scratch you behind the ears if your people say it's all right.

2) Do let the people, not you, sit on the furniture. It isn't just because of our impeccable good manners. They look stupid sitting on the floor. We look better. And we can get up more easily, too.

3) Don't whine if your people put you in your crate or tether you to a chair during parties (do you see my leash tied to the sofa leg?). Do just sit there sweetly, looking as cute and pathetic as you can. You'll get a lot of "awwws" that way!

4) Don't chase the MEE-YOWs around the Christmas tree, even if they tease you. Knock the
tree over and your people will be really upset. Do pose by it nicely, and someone will probably take your picture. If the MEE-YOWs want to get themselves into trouble, stay well away.

5) Don't eat the Christmas decorations. Sandy Paws might get upset. Your people definitely will. Besides that, you could get a major tummy ache. You don't know what those things are made of.

6) Speaking of eating (or not eating), don't eat tinsel or "icicles." Those are stringy things that some people hang all over the tree. It's a
ll shiny and looks like fun. But it messes up your insides big time. No matter how much you enjoy visiting your vet's office, you won't like that trip!

7) Don't eat electric cords, either. How can I explain this? There are tempting little chewy-plastic-coated wire thingies between each light on the tree. There are bigger chewy-plastic-coated wire thingies like that on the floor, too. Do not chew on them! You might suddenly meet your Creator in person, and your family will cry.

8) Do eat doggy treats; don't eat people treats. My PR mom loves a treat called chocolate, but she won't give me any. She told me why. For us dogs (and MEE-YOWs, too), chocolate is poison. Other poison treats are raisins, grapes, and macadamia nuts. Don't eat any of those, not even a little bit! See #7 for what can happen.

9) Don't eat string, ribbon, wrapping paper, balloons, house plants, children's toys, the new gloves your PR was just given, or sharp objects. Doing those things is just plain silly. (I'm not saying I wouldn't try it - I'm just telling you what my buddies say.) Do, however, save your wonderful mouth for those chew toys they are going to give you. People, you'd better come through on this.

10) Do - if your people want to give you a special food treat - ask for veggies. Veggies are good! I like carrots best. Baby ones. Cut julienne style, thank you very much.

11) Do ask your people to get you a Christmas bandana. It makes you look as festive as everybody around you. Don't thank them by chewing on it. Chewing on it only makes it look tacky. A bandana is good. That and a Nylabone. Chew only on the Nylabone. Maybe with a little peanut butter on it. Mmmm, yes.

12) Everything is more at Christmastime - sights, sounds, smells, people. Maybe we won't get as many walks or as many naps as we're used to. It's easy to end up with a big case of stress. Do... try NOT to! Our body language will tell. We delightful dogs don't speak people (and people don't speak dog), but we're probably getting stressed out if we yawn a lot, or lick our bottoms a lot, or drool a lot, or keep our ears or tail down, or have a funny look in our eyes, or chew things we know we shouldn't, or, um, do you-know-what in the house (!), or run out the front door without permission. Remember, Christmas is just for a short time, and life is still good! Soon everything will settle down and we can take our naps again.

Do you want your people to know more about how to make C
hristmas merry for you? They can try these online places for starters:

My four-footed friends and I wish you a Meowy Christmas and a Yappy New Year! (Yeah, I know that's old, but it's new to me, and I like it!)

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