Pets force to be reckoned with on holidays, too

Sharna Johnson

Sharna Johnson

Yep, you’ve done a downright gorgeous job of decorating and you better believe they appreciate it — except of course for that terrifying Santa that sings and dances when they walk through the room.

But everything else is perfect.

There’s the shiny things, the tinsel and long strands of garland and the lights that twinkle.

The tables are snazzed up with doilies and colorful table cloths and the candy dishes are full — things even smell special, what with the fancy candles and such that fill the air with edible scents like cinnamon and gingerbread, not to mention the delicious waves of cooking aroma that trail out of the kitchen from time to time.

Something really special is on the way and the anticipation works its way into the very walls, giving energy to the house strong enough to make ears perk and even the stubbiest of tails wag.

And the rule of thumb is, if it is important to the people, it must be really really awesome.

Not that any extra incentive is needed when all those sparkly, noisy, glowy and smelly things are introduced into an otherwise unchanging environment.

There will be casualties.

Only an exceptional pet can pretend it isn’t happening and it’ll be a rare dog or cat — provided they have so much as an ounce of youth in them — that is going to be able to resist.

The question is, what, when and just how catastrophic it will be when it happens.

Of course going without is an option, like one man who said it has been decades since his family has put up a Christmas tree because of their cats.

But most will go ahead and spin the wheel, animal mischief be darned.

And the critters will too, finding bizarre ways to court disaster in an effort to join the festivities.

There’s no shortage of strange incidents that land pets in the doctor’s office around the holidays, according to a press release from Pets Best pet insurance.

Take, for example, the golden retriever pup that went through multiple procedures after an chunk of antler went down the hatch and had to be surgically removed (no mention of what became of the antler’s original owner).

Or the sheepdog that scarfed bread dough — which, incidentally, rises superbly in the warm belly of a beast, expanding to exceed even the most ravenous of appetites.

Another pup discovered rolling ornaments are not as fun to catch as they are to chase, especially the ones made of glass that lead to x-rays and a horrible tummy ache.

And one mutt, perhaps seeking to achieve round and jolly himself, ended up being rushed to the vet after eating a Santa costume, stuffing and all.

Knowing that the temptations are great and the distraction level of the season provides a ripe environment for such mischief and the consequences therein, celebrators beware and take care.

Low-hanging fruit will be plucked from the tree, exposed cords will get wrapped around running dog legs and connected items will inherit the momentum.

Tails will knock pretties from low tables.

Fancy table cloths will draw playful critters into hiding beneath them and are vulnerable to the snagging and tugging of claws and teeth.

The tree must be climbed and/or marked because it is, well, a tree.

And since everything smells yummy, everything must be edible, from ornaments and gifts to actual food.

But the show must go on, and ideally for all, it will proceed with minimal destruction and injury, because when the spirit of Christmas has four legs, it’s a force to be reckoned with.

Sharna Johnson is a writer who is always searching for ponies. You can reach her at: or on the web at:



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