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Dogs, Holidays and Reality Check

November 28th, 2009

Dogs and holidays are great for marketing.  The Lab snoozing quietly in front of the fireplace which is all decked out with stockings.  The family dog romping around the children building a snowman in the yard is a wonderful memory.  The family’s new puppy decked out with a large red bow sitting under the Christmas tree is a cute picture.

The reality, however, can be very different and causes one to pause and, occasionally, wonder if the dog we love is possessed.  MY memories of dogs and holidays are vastly different from the media’s.


I remember Taos, a large, noble dog that took immediate and immense dislike to my (ex) mother-in-law the second she walked through my door.  I can’t fault the dog; I was of the same opinion.  However, HE was able to act out his dislike.

She didn’t like dogs, didn’t believe they should be in the house, and this resulted in her being testy with him.  This was not a good idea as he took it as a throwing of the gauntlet.  It became his mission to drive her crazy during her holiday stay with us.  And he did it well.  It began with little inconsequential acts, but escalated quickly.

Soon his covert operations were expanded to entering her room each morning and sitting next to the bed, staring at her until the intensity of his gaze woke her.  To be greeted like this in the morning really got her day off to a bad start.

Once he was certain of his ability to irritate her, he upped his game again.  He would stealthily enter the bedroom and gently lay his nose within an inch of her ear and breathe.  Inevitably she would wake to see two eyes and a very wet nose close up and personal.  Taos had just ensured her mornings were even worse than before.

The culmination came on Christmas morning.  Don’t ask me how that dog knew it was Christmas, but in my heart of hearts I am certain he knew, and I was fortunate enough to observe his final coup de grace.

I was passing her room and happened to look inside.  There sat Taos, head resting on the bed, his nose almost touching her ear.  He heard me and raised his eyes over her sleeping form without moving from his position.  Keeping his eyes locked on mine he took a deep, deep breath and let out a very loud, melodic, yodeling howl.

With a screech she sprang from the bed and staggered around the room all the while gasping, “Wha???? Wha???? Wha????”

Like a wraith he slunk unobserved from the room and ambled past me to lie down in the living room as I tried to get control of myself.  He was laughing.  I KNOW he was laughing.

His was a wonderful Christmas gift to me, I just don’t believe it to be a gift that is marketable.

Please leave us your special Christmas tail in the comments.  We’d love to read them.

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  1. From Cindy, December 2, 2009:

    We had a small dog that was a pound puppy with a sugar addiction. She loved Christmas because we usually had treats around the house that we normally didn’t have. She especially loved the candy cane tootsie pop suckers and the cookies. One night as I after I am in bed I hear this crinkly sound next to me and I look and Mocha is burrying something under her bed. She had grabbed a sleeve of cookies and was hiding them for later. Mind you she had grabbed a sucker out of the dish earlier. The worst part was she was diabetic and we had to give her insulin twice a day.

  2. From Sandy, December 3, 2009:

    Great looking dog.

  3. From Mike & Hattie, December 4, 2009:

    Hi Susan!!!
    Love your new website and Peter has really benefited with your training. Thanks for all you did for us. We will try and stop by Hastings to see you. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  4. From Carol Lyons, December 4, 2009:

    I still marvel at the wonders you worked with Peanut. Molly is still the “good girl”, but Peanut knows who is boss!

  5. From Daniel Rivera, February 24, 2010:

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