For some years now we’ve felt the desire to go against the flow at Christmas; one year we tried to spend December 25th up in the mountains, but foul weather derailed that plan. This time around we’ve taken the time, effort and expense that normally goes into Christmas and poured it into decoration of a different kind. Instead of putting up trees and tinsel, we’ve painted and re-tiled our kitchen!
Despite this success we still had to observe some Christmas traditions: we’ve done the ritual exchange of cards and of course there have been presents – at least for the furry members of our family.
That thing under Beanie’s paw is a rolled up edition of The Daily Dog. It has everything you’d expect from a doggy tabloid: all the latest gossip on celebrity dogs, articles on food, a photo of a Bassett with huge ears, a squeaker embedded in the centrefold – and crucially this particular edition also has.. a crinkly bit.
Beanie absolutely loves loves anything that crinkles, and this new toy has been an instant hit. Amazingly it’s proved to be quite durable too, though I did have a to step in a couple of times when harmless play threatened to tip over into wanton destruction.
Biggles is very much a traditionalist when it comes to toys; the crinkle didn’t interest him in the slightest, but when he found the squeak he suddenly felt the need to read this new publication in the privacy of his Corridor of Doom.
If anybody wants me, I’ll be in my office. Squeaking. A lot.
The Daily Dog was followed by a serving of filled bones, and I’ve got to be honest, those bones were in part a present to ourselves. For two hours after they were delivered we were able to go about our work in the kitchen without anybody sneaking in and playing at being a furry paint-roller.
One evening later in the festive period I was called away from our DIY project by an explosion of woofing in the living room. On my way to investigate I pondered what had triggered the noisy outburst. I half expected to find Biggles engaged in a heated negotiation with Beanie over a sock that he’d just pilfered from the laundry basket, but instead both of them were woofing directly at the blind-covered front window. The woofing paused briefly as I entered the room, and I heard raised voices and car doors slamming in the street outside. I figured it was just Christmas revellers visiting our neigbors and thought nothing more of it, until the following morning that is.
I’d got up really late and Susan was just returning with Beanie & Biggles after their first walk. One or both of them had just put black, almost tar-like pawprints on the wooden floor (trivial to clean) and on the hall rug (not so easy to clean). I assumed it was mud, but when Susan told me what she’d learned from the neighbors, I realized that it was bulls**t. Literally the poo from a bull. That commotion I’d heard the previous evening? That was the sound of local farmers trying to herd one their prize beasts out of our street and back to where it belonged. During the bull’s visit some lawns had suffered hoof damage, but ours had been the lucky recipient of an all-you-can-eat-and-roll-in poo buffet.
So there you have it. You can refuse to put up a tree and tinsel, you can re-decorate your house instead of sitting in front of crap TV shows while trying to digest a week’s worth of food eaten in one day, but no matter how hard you try you still have to deal with Christmas bulls**t.