In search of ponies: Christmas adventure for house pets

Sharna Johnson

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even the mouse…

When out from the living room there arose such a clatter I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter…

When what to my wandering eyes should appear but my dog shredding presents, his face full off fear…

OK, that’s not quite the way it went down, not this particular year anyway. It was more like a week before Christmas and as usual I was at work when my son called.

“Guess what your friend gave you for Christmas,” he said.

In my mind I pictured the brightly colored gift bags I had set under the tree the night before.

“Why, do you know what’s in those bags?” I asked.

“No Mom. Guess,” he insisted impishly.

“I have no idea,” I said.

“Peanuts,” he replied. “Want to know how I know that?”

“Oh jeez”, I thought, needing no further explanation but knowing it was coming anyway.

“Kaiser found them, they are all over the living room,” he said.

His laughter turned to protests as I informed him he would be cleaning them up.

“And put him outside NOW,” I said, knowing what the next phone call would be if Kaiser didn’t get to the yard in time.

The last thing we needed was an aging dog trapped in the house with a good dose of fiber.

Christmas with pets is always an adventure. Think about it, we bring an amusement park into their little sheltered environments.

There are the pretty little balls wrapped in silky threads (one well placed claw gets a string loose and they go across the floor leaving a trail of thread to chase).

There are the shiny glass ornaments dangling from the bottom branches of the tree to bat at (until they are knocked loose and hit the floor in a cloud of itty-bitty glass particles. Oh well there are more…).

And then there’s the tree. The pinnacle of Christmas tradition and for the pet amusement park, the tree is the epitome of fun and entertainment – the mother of all roller coasters.

The tree is the best gift of all for randy young males who, especially in this part of the country, can spend their whole lives searching and never find a tree to lift their leg on.

And cats find themselves purring with glee at the thought of scratching and climbing.

The best part is, it comes with a built in water dish at the bottom so when there is a break in the fun, one can stop and indulge in a cool sip… how convenient.

But then there are the treats… Oh the treats…

Candy, cookies, cakes and more… It’s a smorgasbord.

Ill placed plates of cookies, gifts of food you stuck under the tree because no one warned you… All part of the glorious season we call Christmas.

Long before they get that candy cane shaped rawhide you thought to throw in the cart in the last store you went too, they have probably already plundered, slunk and pillaged.

So Christmas morning when you gather round the drying, crooked tree picking gold and red glass splinters from your toes.

And the kids are peeling the plastic from broken, slobbered on candy canes trying to find a good, dry piece,

Remember the joy you brought your furry friends.

Besides, maybe next year the dog will eat Grandma’s fruitcake and you’ll get a few days of poop free relaxation.

And you always have the option to hang ‘em high… The stockings that is. Merry Christmas!