This is an old article that was published in the 2009 Christmas edition of the Boxer Rescue Ontario Newsletter, but the issues remain the same this year! Toby has become older and wiser since then, but we’re still mindful of the things that can be not so merry for dogs at this time of year. One question that is not answered here but that I’m asked often is how to introduce your family’s dogs to your own dog. This is most successfully done by meeting outside your home, usually about a block away, and walking the dogs together on leash. Once they seem comfortable, let them meet and get to know one another. It’s a also a good idea to pick up the things in your house that your dog may be a little possessive over, like toys or food bowls. If you’re unsure, it doesn’t hurt to keep the dogs attached by leash to their human, and a Smoochy Poochy umbilical leash is the easiest way to do it! Holidays are best when everyone gets along – including the dogs! Keeping them safe, and friendly, just makes everything that much more enjoyable!
Hi! Merry Christmas wiggles! My name is Toby and I’m a four year old Boxer. My Mom rescued me last August, and we have a great time together. So far, aside from walking, eating, playing with my toys and getting treats, my most favourite thing to do with Mom is this thing she calls Christmas. Last year, she told me all about this man named Santa! I never got to see him, but he must be a pretty cool guy because he brought me MORE treats, MORE toys AND he brought stuff for my Mom too! What a nice guy – he’s never even met me and he knows exactly what I like! I can’t wait until he comes again this year! This Christmas thing was just a pain before with all the new rules and tempting things, but now that Santa comes for ME, it all pays off!
The best part about Santa is that he wraps up my new presents in this special paper – and Mom lets me tear it apart and make a huge mess! She says I can have fun with it, but only if I only do it on this special day called Christmas. Mom says Santa gets this special paper without any of the toxins or dyes that might make my tummy upset, and that he gets it at this place called the SPCA, or some of the doggy grocery stores we go to. I can have regular wrapping paper too, but Mom has to be really careful that I don’t eat it. The stuff Santa brings for Mom has this pretty string on it called ribbon, but Mom keeps her wrapping and ribbons in a bag on the table because she keeps saying it’s not a toy and that I might choke on it. Maybe one day I can have ribbons for Christmas! They look so shiny and fun to play with! But Mom still says no and hides it out of my reach. Maybe one year Santa will bring me thumbs to grab stuff off the table with….
Before Christmas, Mom gets presents from a special early Santa for all the other humans, and she hides those too in case I wreck them. She’s always telling me about this stuff that looks like snow cookies called ‘styrofoam’, and that it could make me choke or be sick. Sometimes when the humans come over, they eat and drinks lots of cookies and smelly water, and they can get kinda loud and annoying. Some of the humans feed me their cookies, but they make my tummy sick, so Mom always says “no cookies for the dog!” and makes sure that no one comes into my room. I just stay in my room and watch from there sometimes because it’s a lot quieter, no one steps on my toes and it’s not so tempting to eat those fancy treats that are everywhere. That can be hard to pass up when you’re on a special diet like me!
Some of the humans bring my dog friends over to play with me. My friend Tyson showed me these weird things that look like little snakes, and at the other end of them are these pretty little lights in lots of different colours. Tyson likes to chew on them, but Mom says they’re called ‘electrical cables’, and she tries pretty hard to hide them behind the couch and stuff so that me and Tyson don’t play with them. She says we will get ‘electrocuted’, and whenever she puts out the cables before Christmas, she doesn’t leave me alone in the same room with them and I have to stay in my room when she goes out. Tyson also showed me how to jump up on the kitchen counter and grab the good human treats. His Mom gates off the kitchen when she’s playing with the other humans so that he can’t do that, and when my Mom caught us she moved most of the treats into the fridge, put some of them into containers we couldn’t get open, and moved the rest to the very back of the counter so we couldn’t get at them. Tyson was mad, but I didn’t care. At Christmas they eat lots of this brown stuff that smells really good, but every time I eat it Mom takes me to see Dr. Smith and he says I have chocolate poisoning and then he makes me throw it back out. It’s kinda yucky that way and Mom tells me after that I spent all my allowance at Dr. Smith. Believe me, it’s not the best way to spend your allowance!
Christmas time is sort of mean though too. I have to pass this special test where Mom brings the bathroom into the living room! For weeks there’s this big tree just staring at me begging me to go pee on it, and Mom says I can’t! It must be a special kind of tree, because it’s got all these shiny balls on it, just like the ones I play with outside! But every time I come within a foot of the tree, Mom says ‘leave it’ and I have to listen so that she’ll say I‘m a good boy. If I don’t leave it alone, she’ll come and make me lie down somewhere else, and sometimes I’d really rather just wander around. Besides, Mom practices these words like ‘leave it’ with me all year, so I pretty much understand and it’s just easier to do what Mom says. Might even get a cookie for it!
Even though I can’t go near the tree and play with the toys on it, and I can’t pee on it, and I can’t eat all the good food, and all these humans come and bug me, Mom makes it better when she lets me go into my own room and get some peace and quiet, and Santa makes it WAY better ‘cause be brings me so much cool stuff! I think I’m starting to figure this out! Mom says she talked to Santa and I’m getting some really great new toys this year! Just 30 more big sleeps and 120 meals and 60 walks and 422 naps till he gets here again! Wiggle bum! Wiggle bum! Merry Christmas everyone!