Naughty or Nice?
Did you hear the news? Santa Claus is coming to town! We’re getting ready for Christmas at my house. Mom and Dad got 50 boxes out of the attic and now there are decorations all over the place. But it’s all so confusing to me.
For instance, take the pretty velvet blanket under the Christmas tree. It’s a really soft place to sleep. But Mom says it’s not really a blanket, it’s a “tree skirt” and she says I’m naughty if I rest there. She’s not buying my argument that trees don’t wear clothes. I have a rule in my house. If it’s on the floor, it’s mine. Here’s something else to ponder. If it looks like a blanket and it’s soft like a blanket, it’s a blanket.
Also, if it’s near the floor and I can reach it, it’s mine. So don’t hang pretty ornaments near the bottom of the tree. Don’t leave delicate stuff on the coffee table. And last, but not least, forget about all those stupid bells and angels you hang on door knobs. How am I supposed to know they aren’t my chewy toys? I certainly will not land on Santa’s naughty list if something accidently breaks when I’m in the near vicinity. And teeth marks don’t necessarily mean I was responsible. This isn’t CSI, you know! I swear the squirrels tried breaking and entering the other day.
To all the kitty cats out there: Go ahead and climb any tree that your humans bring into your house. Since they won’t let you outside (for your own good, I might add!) all cats should climb the Christmas tree, perch on its branches and play “bat the ball” with any ornaments they find there. Santa will not accuse a feline of “naughtiness” for following basic instincts. In fact, scolding a kitty for doing any of the above will actually land the human on the naughty list.
Humans will be accused of naughtiness for spending too much time baking, shopping and wrapping and therefore ignoring the needs of their pets. Remember: we don’t really care that it’s Christmas. We just want to spend time with you…and eat, sleep, walk and play. If you ignore us, we might just eat all the Christmas cookies! Or unwrap all the packages. As you will recall, if it’s on the floor, it’s mine.
So of all the things I’ve been blamed for, now you know I do not belong on the naughty list! Actually I’ve been a very good girl, as long as you forget that lack of sharing business. I’m great at the “unconditional love” thing. I give excellent kisses. I’m always happy to see my family and I haven’t bitten anyone (lately!) I asked for forgiveness when my teeth accidently connected with Dad’s toes. That’s all in the past and forgotten, right?
I think all dogs and cats belong on the nice list. Where would you be without us? Lonely, that’s where! Just think of how our wags and purrs make you smile. We get you off the couch. We alert you to the phone or the door bell. We remind you when it’s time to eat or when to go to bed. Your wallet might be heavier without us, but your spirits would sag, too.
So from all the pets who have homes and all the homeless pets waiting in shelters, here’s a message to the humans: Stay on Santa’s nice list by taking good care of your pets. And we’ll return the favor and take good care of you, too! Isn’t that nice?
Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Whatever your faith or tradition, I send my love!
The other night I was minding my own business while trying to do my…business… when all of a sudden… the unthinkable happened.
It came from out of nowhere and I just started following it because I was curious. And then… WOW! I didn’t really know what hit me right between the eyes at close range! I started running around like a maniac because I couldn’t see anything. Then my sweet mother (who really doesn’t have a potty mouth) yelled a word that is unfit for print. She grabbed me and took me into the house and started pouring water on me from the laundry room sink. My eyes were completely swollen shut and the stench was everywhere. There I stood, dripping wet, poor pitiful stinky me!
If you’re a dog, or if you’re a dog owner, you probably know this has been the worst “skunk season” ever in our area. Some dog groomers report 30-50 skunkings a week. I know one dog who has been skunked 6 times! (Although really, you would think he would figure out that black and white furry things equal terrible consequences.)
But dogs, being naturally inquisitive, and skunks who have few defensive mechanisms, cannot seem to peacefully co-exist.
Skunks are nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day and forage for food at night. So before you let your pet outside in the dark, I suggest you shine a bright flashlight around the yard. Or better yet, walk on the sidewalk under a bright street light. But if you are unfortunate enough to get skunked, I’ll give you the universal dog de-skunk recipe:
- 1 quart hydrogen peroxide
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 2 tsp. Dawn dishwashing soap
Mix it all together in an OPEN (not enclosed) container. It’s going to foam up like an over-zealous science experiment. Then pour it on your dog, being careful not to get it into your pet’s eyes. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes and then rinse and bathe with regular dog shampoo. There are other products available at your local pet store, but chances are skunks and dogs will have their little rendezvous after the stores close. So either plan ahead with supplies or know how to get to your nearest 24 hour grocery store for peroxide!
After the indignity of a 45 minute bath, and a trip to the groomers next day, and then about 17 baths later, I must admit I still stink sometimes! Especially after a walk in the rain. That skunk scent is very oily and it lingers on my long fur. Some of my doggie friends had to be shaved after getting skunked and now they run around practically naked!
So a few words of final advice: Skunks are not your friends. They do not like to play. If you get skunked, you will smell, your house will smell and the neighbors might complain. But those stinky little devils sure are cute!
Until next time,
PS: Happy Thanksgiving to all the pets and the people who love them!
(Zoe missed her deadline this month, so please enjoy this repeat from Halloween 2012)
Halloween is coming up in a few days. Only I call it Howl-ween. And for me, that evening is complete sensory over load.
The door bell rings a gazillion times… and that requires barking. Excited little kids come to the door…and that requires barking. They wear weird clothes and strange make up on their faces, so I don’t recognize any of them… and that requires barking. Then they beg for candy. I can smell it, but no one will let me have any… so that requires barking. I feel like a frenzied, agitated turmoil of emotions.
After awhile, Mom and Dad put me in the upstairs closet and close the door. “It’s for your own good,” they say. And I think, “Wait! Is this punishment for me or protection for the trick-or-treaters?!” I can’t think of any holiday I like less than Howl-ween. Except maybe 4th of July fireworks and that assault of the ears.
Believe it or not, research shows that lots of pets accidently get lost on Halloween night. Sometimes they bolt out the door with all the excitement. Or they get frightened while they are outdoors and get away from their owners, and the ghosts, goblins and zombies. So keeping your pet safe in the closet
really is the kind thing to do… but that doesn’t mean we like it! Just be sure to provide extra special pet treats, toys and water and we’ll forgive you… eventually.
Have you ever noticed how many people put Howl-ween costumes on their pets? No thank you! Not for me! I don’t like to wear clothes. It’s not that I’m a nudist or anything! Jay Leno doesn’t think pets should wear costumes either. We love you unconditionally and then you torture us with stiff, itchy RIDICULOUS outfits and parade us around the neighborhood like we’re status symbols or something. How many wiener dogs in hot dog costumes does the world really need? Same goes for Chihuahua tacos and black cats in witch hats.
You think you’re so clever, but you’re not that original. Someday the pets are going to take over and make you wear embarrassing attire. We’ll post your photo on the internet and click share a thousand times. Then we’ll all laugh at your misery and misfortune and we’ll call it even!
And what’s up with carving pumpkins? I know how to mutilate things and call it artful decoration, too. But you don’t like it when I put holes in your shoes.
So, let’s skip the costumes, the door bell and the pumpkin carving. Leave the porch light off and we can just sit in the dark. I’ll tell you I love you unconditionally and you can feed me treats while I do tricks. Then, instead of Yappy Howl-ween, we’ll have a quiet All Hallows Eve. You can eat all the Snickers bars by yourself, I won’t have to bark my head off, and we’ll all be happier!