One lap around the house with my Shark 3X Capacity Vacuum proved that our family pets have perfected the art of holiday celebration. A vacuum tank stuffed with dog hair, catnip, and shredded tissue reminded me that my family has been hosting pet-friendly holidays for years. Rarely have these events included pet decorum.
For example, my parents Dachshund, Otto, once consumed the bottom of their living room drapes during a New Year’s Eve bash. Minutes later Otto upchucked the whole enchilada, then resumed his partying by pinching a summer sausage from the hors d’oeuvre tray. That happen to be the New Year’s party when Joan Horstick’s pet cockatiel took a swan dive into in the punch bowl. Joan quickly plucked the bird from the improvised swimming pool, checked for any residual feathers, and washed her beloved cockatiel in the kitchen sink. Nobody suspected a thing!
I also recall our first Labrador retriever Cinch arriving at a July fourth picnic with a fifteen-pound ham. Not only did Cinch discover the ham in Cal Foster’s garage, he made the acquaintance of Cal’s lovely standard poodle, Chloe. This little lark produced in a snappy verbal exchange with the Fosters and the first known litter of labradoodles.
Sam, our second Labrador, celebrated the holiday by tipping over the Christmas tree.
This tended to take place at about 2:00 a.m., insuring the most spirited response from my father. Sam also had a habit of touring the neighborhood in search of stray hams and lucky breaks. He often arrived home from his rogue sojourns in a police car. Sam and I once celebrated Arbor Day together when we entered our first (and last) field trial. The day went well until the final event when Sam dutifully retrieved his duck, then made a quick poo stop and loped off to greet the crowd. Spectators loved it, and I won a special poo poo prize.
The list of pet celebrations continued to grow. Rufus, Lab number three, hoovered down twenty uncooked hamburgers at my parent’s fiftieth wedding anniversary picnic. He never even burped. Molly, our border collie, gnawed a hole in the TV room wall during my son’s birthday party. Apparently, she wanted to watch Animal Planet.
So, this morning while collecting unrecognizable bits of wood, I had to admit that no amount of pet obedience training has deterred their Holiday hijinks. Our new kitten Tootsie has been using her post-surgery neck cone as a plow. She’s already dismantled the Christmas tree and convinced our Jack Russell that her cone holds dangerous powers. Meanwhile, the Jack Russell has spent the past three days unwrapping packages and lunching on candle wax. As for our Tibetan terrier house guest, Bear, he just polished off a tennis ball and an antique pincushion… thankfully no pins.