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Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Seasonal Reflections

Now I consider myself a dog with a wealth of experience regarding the festive season, after all, it's my fifteenth Christmas, so there's a few tips I can pass on to the less experienced furs amongst you.

It's normal, at this time of year, for your family to become a bit preoccupied. 'Her Indoors' has been wandering round, clutching lists and muttering under her breath for weeks now. It's also normal for  the appearance of trees and other stuff that you normally associate with outdoors such as holly and ivy, in the house. Weeing on it is a definite no-no but if you get a chance to have a go at the baubles or tinsel, go for it, as for presents, get stuck into that wrapping paper at the first opportunity. As we get nearer the big day, maximise any opportunities in the food department, particularly dropped noms and unattended items. The only caveat is to avoid anything that's poisonous to us dogs as you don't want any unscheduled trips to the Vet.

If your standards of care start to slip a bit in the all card signing, wrapping, shopping and general seasonal bustle, make sure you draw that fact to your family's attention. I favour a little tactical naughtiness. So far, I've refused to come in from the garden when called and led 'Her Indoors' on a merry dance. Just as she got within grabbing distance I'd trot off again. The only disadvantage with this is when she did catch me I got such a scolding my ears wilted.

Next I found that someone had forgotten to fill my water bowl up, and when I woke at 5.30am for a little drink, I was thwarted. Not for long! I chased my empty metal bowl around the kitchen and made such a noise that 'Her Indoors' got up to see who was breaking in. She guiltily refilled my bowl but I decided it was play time. She wasn't very obliging. I then felt that I needed to go outside so she had to stand out in the garden, waiting, in her dressing gown, amongst the frost-fringed bushes, while I, after a token wee to deflect her wrath, sourced a quick snack under the birds' peanut dispenser. She gave me lots of advice about hurrying up, none of which I heeded.

Later on, when she actually wanted me to go outside for my walk, I stopped mid-way to the playing field and refused to budge. What can I tell you, it was cold. She had to pick me up and carry me home although once I got back I remembered it was breakfast time and started frolicking around like a spring lamb. What kind of name is 'little bugger' to call your senior Border Terrier?

Anyway, the big day is not far off now and I'm eagerly awaiting the return of my Juniors for a festive season of attention and tummy rubs. However, a few events have given me paws for thought. 'Her Indoors' runs a writing for well-being group at a local hospice and also dog walks for the Cinnamon Trust, so she knows a few people who are facing Christmas with serious and/or life-threatening illnesses. There are also those who've been bereaved in the last year, both of human and canine companions, for whom Christmas is an especially difficult time.

In addition, we saw a post on Twitter about senior dogs being dumped in rescue at around this time of year so that people can get a festive puppy instead. I guess there will also be the knock-on effect in a few weeks or months time, when people realise that puppies need a lot of caring for and also grow up, amazingly, into dogs, with all the demands on their attention and finances which that rightly entails. Such reminders, of some of the harsh realities of Christmas, don't do much for seasonal good cheer that's for sure.

So I'd like to spare a few moments to consider both furs and hupeeps for whom Christmas is a difficult, lonely and emotionally charged time and offer them my senior dog's breath licking and nose bumps which I know will be some considerable consolation. And if it's your Christmas that doesn't look as you'd wish it to look this year, consider it like an unattended kitchen table, and take from it what you can, enjoying what can be enjoyed, in the moment.

So, it just remains for me to send all of my Pals, real and virtual, my kindest thoughts and very best wishes for the festive season. I'll see you on the other side of the celebrations, in January. Happy Christmas to you all!

Waiting for Santa Paws....

'Her Indoors' gets revenge with a pom-pom on my bum!

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